Tom: That G-RAD-uation feeling!

Tom Sherson
Tom completed a Bachelor of Applied Media (Journalism) at USQ in 2013. He created a wide range of projects from a professional television show, to documentaries and short films and even his own radio show. Fast forward a few years and Tom is now working at USQ as part of the Social Engagement and Marketing team, developing his media skills further and creating even more projects, from YouTube video series to a student podcast.

Congratulations to everyone who will be graduating soon. It’s a rewarding moment, receiving THAT email after years of slaving away behind a keyboard. After enjoying the immediate obligatory celebrations, there’s a bit of a gap before your graduation ceremony. I remember a friend asking me 'why bother going to your graduation ceremony, isn’t it pointless if you can just get your degree mailed to you.'

Here’s why…

Firstly, you get to wear an awesome hat and gown. You know, the ones you always see in those American college films and they toss their hat in the air and by some miracle all catch their own respective hats. Now is a good time to mention you’re technically not allowed to throw the hats now. Did I mention the gowns are basically Hogwarts robes?

Pro Tip #1: Take a wand to graduation and duel members of other faculties for maximum enjoyment.

Another part worth going for is the chance to be snapped by the local paper. Personally, I love every bit of limelight I can crawl my way into, so with local newspaper photographers doing the rounds, there was ample opportunity.

Pro Tip #2: Being friends with the valedictorian goes a long way to increasing your photo chances.

I did worry that the ceremony itself was going to be a bit of drag, much like the old-school assemblies. However, on the day, you feel an emotional investment with each part of the proceedings. From marching through the middle of town, to the keynote speeches, and even the individual presentation of awards to each student. Standing in the wings waiting for my turn to receive my award was the best part. Watching each student before me push their chest out, lift their head and stride across the stage, you know that they are feeling the same pride that you are. It was at this moment I realised what I was about to be awarded wasn’t just a piece of paper.

What you receive during that fleeting moment on stage is ultimate satisfaction. Each all-nighter pulled, each early morning lecture, each overdue library book fine, each social event neglected all culminated into an abundance of achievement and self-gratification. That’s a feeling I could never recreate opening my degree in the mail.

I’ve since had my degree framed and it is something I am proud to hang on display for everyone to see. There’s no better feeling than graduating uni, and I’d love to do a postgraduate degree just to do it again.


Still not convinced? Find out why Emma wasn't excited to her attend her graduation, but why she's glad she did.


Emma: 6 reasons to attend your graduation ceremony (with or without knowing your classmates)

10 things to do on your graduation day

What to wear to Graduation