After such a lengthy thesis submission/ examination / revision process, it's easy to overlook the simple fact that being awarded your degree is an achievement to be celebrated, the official coda of your university life. So it was a good opportunity to take a step back, be grateful for making it to the end, and thank family and friends for their support and endurance - not only during my studies but also of the ceremony itself (mum didn't waste time: she crocheted a baby blanket for Elmo's new nephew who arrived on Monday in London).
After the ceremonial bonnet doffing to the chancellor, we joined the other graduates snapping photos with their families on the sunny university lawn. I reflected on all those years spent on the lawns: skipping lectures to lie on the grass on a nice day, sitting with a coffee under my favourite tree or rushing through on the way to a seminar. It was an immeasurable feeling to think: I Do Not Belong Here Anymore.