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It finally happened.
Yesterday I, Sorcha Catherine Ruth Cusack, became a graduate.
It’s a milestone that I’d talked about at length over the past four years. Every time we had an exam, an assignment, all those sleepless nights finishing off our dissertations… it was all for the sweet feeling we’d get picking up our degrees at graduation.
Ask my class –  they were fed up of hearing me say how good it was going to be at the finishing line when we all sat together in O Reilly Hall. And it worked out exactly as I’d imaged it to. Daire sat on my right, Georgina on my left, and together we lined up one by one for our degrees.  I was beaming. Of course I was. It hadn’t been an easy couple of years, but it certainly was worth it.
That said, maybe I shouldn’t have worn heels. My feet were in bits ever before the ceremony even started. Lesson learnt.
The highlights?
Aside from the obvious (clutching my degree as I desperately tried to gracefully walk off the podium and back to my seat), I was delighted with the effort that my friends and family went to for the occasion. Tom and Conor both managed to make it on the day. Tom should have been straight off to Cork but delayed his trip to meet me, something which I am very grateful for. Conor rushed over to UCD after work.  My grandfather also managed to make the journey from Tipperary and dad made it home from Bosnia for the event. Daire picked my robes up and dropped them over to mine, and mum ordered a vegan chocolate cake from Cornicopia in town just so that I’d have some dessert after the meal.
The whole thing couldn’t have possibly gone any better.
And know what makes the mile stone of graduating that little bit sweeter? Seeing how far we’ve all come.
Four years ago I was lucky enough to sit in O’ Reilly Hall for the UCD Entrance Scholarship ceremony. At the time we figured it was a bit like a mini graduation – my parents came along, the principle from my secondary school made the trip down to Dublin… it was, in its own way, a practice run leading up to yesterday. Looking back on the photo of 1st year me, and all that lay ahead, (combined with all the first years I saw yesterday roaming about the campus for orientation week) I can’t say that I don’t feel a twinge of sadness that my time in UCD has come to its end. But I have left with the fondest of memories, the most wonderful of friends and a degree that I’ve always dreamed of having.
Sorcha x


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