leah roe and friends at graduation

Hats off to the Class of 2020!

Last Wednesday, I was finally able to celebrate my degree from the University of Hull at graduation.

After a long wait, the Class of 2020 were invited back to commemorate their achievements at the Bonus Arena alongside family and friends.

With the sun shining in Hull, I had such a lovely time, and my graduation was more emotional than I imagined – reuniting with friends and being back in Hull.

leah roe at graduation in queens gardens

Leah Roe graduated with a BA (Hons) Human Geography from the University of Hull

Being a student in the Class of 2020

During the Summer of 2020, like many other students, I found myself completing my Human Geography degree at the height of a national lockdown.

Being a student in this period brought a unique set of challenges that came alongside the worries and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

Each of us had to adjust to a whole different university experience with online learning, completing finals virtually, and even socialising with friends on “zoom quizzes”.

Although having to write my dissertation in isolation was completely overwhelming, I look back on this as one of my greatest achievements.

With our social lives put on hold, it is fair to say that our (highly anticipated) final year celebrations were non-existent. That is why it has meant so much that the University of Hull was committed to hosting the graduation ceremonies that we all deserved.

class of 2020 at graduation

The University pulled out all the stops to make it a true celebration for us all.

Celebrations

With worries that ceremonies would look a bit different this time around, the University pulled out all the stops to make it a true celebration for us all.

It was so lovely to arrive at the Bonus Arena and see all my coursemates that I hadn’t seen in over a year. Everyone had dressed up for the occasion, with graduates looking smart in their cap and gowns, lined with the University’s infamous turquoise silk.

The ceremony was perfectly introduced by an ensemble of violinists that created a wonderful atmosphere in the arena by playing covers of recent modern hits.

musicians playing live at graduation 2020

The class of 2020 were invited back to commemorate their achievements at the Bonus Arena alongside family and friends

Listening to the speeches of Chancellor Virginia Bottomley, Vice-Chancellor Professor Susan Lea, and SU president Phoebe Bastiani, our ceremony was time to reflect on the sheer determination and resilience of the Class of 2020. A class I am proud to be a part of.

After the ceremony, my friends and I took to Victoria Gardens in the city centre to take our pictures. This was a highlight of the day, as I was back with my friends celebrating our time at Hull.

leah roe and friends at graduation

I had such a lovely time, and my graduation was more emotional than I imagined – reuniting with friends and being back in Hull

An end to my time at Hull

After the added stress of the final year, the graduation ceremonies commemorated the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 perfectly.

Being able to celebrate achieving my degree, with family and friends, felt so special and I have memories (and hundreds of pictures…) to last a lifetime.

Looking back at my time at the University of Hull, I will remember the fun times I had with friends and the experiences, such as travelling to Berlin, that I gained from my course.

The wait for graduation was certainly worth it and it was a great way to end my three years in Hull.

* Leah Roe, graduated with a BA (Hons) Human Geography from the University of Hull, and is now an intern in the Press Office at the University.

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