A definitive list of the 10 worst things about Exeter graduation

Forum hill is only one of them

You know it’s grad week when Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn notifications are popping off left, right, and centre. Every graduate is getting their rock pic in (as they should) and BeReal has been revived with the classic cap and gown selfie – honestly, I’m loving it.

This year’s graduates are doing everything possible to celebrate their success despite being disrupted by strikes, Covid-19, a Birks Grange bomb threat and Just Stop Oil protests throughout their time at uni. Its safe to say its been one hell of a ride. So, here is a list of the 10 things their BeReals and Insta stories of The Ivy DON’T show you about graduation at Exeter…

1. Forum hill in heels

Not to be underestimated, this is one of the most (literally) painful parts of graduation. Not only are you sweating in your gown, but now you’re also wobbling on your feet as you march up the hill towards campus. I applaud those of you who attended in flats but I do have to say I don’t regret my pink heels.

2. Running into all of your ex-housemates at the Ivy

I swear The Ivy has more students in it than the Great Hall during grad week. Surrounded by glamourous wallpaper, fancy cocktails, tiny meals and half of your graduating class – Exeter students can’t help but swarm the place. Why not try somewhere else this year and give The Ivy staff a break? You might also manage to avoid running into your ex-flatmate/situationship while tipsy AND next to your parents . That’s a win-win in my book.

3. Perpetual hangovers from back-to-back TP nights

Move over Wednesday and Friday TP fanatics because in grad week, every night is fair game. Unless you and all of your friends do the same course, it’s likely that you’ll be celebrating SOMEONE’s graduation almost every day of grad week. The pre’s will start with the free glass of champagne (or two) you manage to snaffle from the after-graduation drinks in the Forum, and end on the Sunday of grad week. Be sure to bring Ibuprofen with you this week…

4. Having to listen to the most ridiculous double-barrelled names you’ve ever heard during the ceremony

I’m convinced that the pretentious names of  “Exetah” students add at least 15 minutes to the ceremony’s duration – especially if you do an arts or humanities degree. Trust me, you’ll be ready for that free glass of champagne by the end of it.

5. Trying to get a photo with the rock

I never thought I would spend time queueing up to take a picture with a rock after the disappointment I experienced at Stonehenge, but here we are, by the Exeter university rock, behind nine other people, waiting our turn. A lifehack you might consider if you’re lucky enough to still have a year or two left at Exeter, is taking a picture with your dissertation and your mates at the Exeter rock during third term to avoid the queues on grad while still securing the mandatory rock pic for your gram!

6. Going back through all the pictures your dad took of you

Why is it that Dads fancy themselves as the best photographers but never manage to capture a single one where you are looking at the camera? Now THIS is a topic worth writing a diss on.

7. Having an Instagram feed that is just identical pictures for weeks

Having said that, we do need someone to come up with new pics for Exeter students to replicate each year because I am getting a little bored of the same exact Exeter uni graduation dump that has been plaguing my Instagram feed for the last week. If I see one more boomerang of people tossing their cap outside the Forum I might finally delete Instagram.

8. Wearing the same white dress as 27 other people

This one might not apply to you if you wore a suit, but even still, I think you can appreciate the pain of looking like a carbon copy of half the graduating class. Not being able to find yourself in group pictures because you look identical to everyone graduating is either a blessing or a curse; I haven’t decided yet. My dad did try to buy the picture of SOMEONE ELSE graduating though, which doesn’t really feel like a good sign – for either of us.

9. Saying goodbye to your friends

The only other time you’ll ugly-cry outside Pret besides exam week.

Graduation is a bittersweet time. It is both a celebration and a farewell of your time at university, and for many, one of the last times they will see some of their coursemates and friends (unless you read my guide on staying in touch, that is). Be sure to take photos to look back on but don’t forget to enjoy this final moment with your nearest and dearest; saying goodbye is one of the best and worst things about graduation.

10.  Graduating without knowing your final grade

Shoutout to the marking strikes.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

If you’ve done 12/16 of these things, you’re definitely about to graduate from Exeter

Five ways to stay in touch with your Exeter uni mates after graduation

A definitive list of the best places to go for graduation dinner in Exeter