I left Galway last year as I completed my PhD. Such a relief !
I was not really sure I would come back to Galway for my graduation.
I did not really get the point of celebrating my PhD that I associated mainly with pain and exhaustion.
However, in the back of my mind, I knew that I could regret not coming back one day…
Therefore, I flew back to Galway for the conferral ceremony of the 19th of June of this year. I definitely don’t regret it!
First of all, we were blessed as the weather for the ceremony was amazingly beautiful! For people who don’t know Galway: the weather is mostly miserable, except for a couple of days per year. Galway becomes heaven then, and there is nowhere else you want to be. The 19th of June 2014 was one of those days !
Secondly, I was delighted to attend the same ceremony as some of my PhD friends. We have been in the same boat for a couple of years so we felt very happy to be together on that special day
In the evening, I was so happy to party with them and some other friends who are completing their PhDs this year.
I was also delighted that my mum made it to Galway. It was a way for her to have a better sense of what I have been through, and met the people who contributed to my PhD and who became my friends.
In this regard, I was so pleased that one of my supervisors, some colleagues and other academics who have been involved in my PhD process attended the ceremony. They booked robes to join the academic procession during the ceremony, and then we took a lot of pictures. It was a lot of fun !!!
The ceremony in itself was very nice : Not too long, some Irish music, nice speech from the president…
It was definitely a celebration of the journey we went through, and I got quite emotional remembering mine.
But I think the most exciting thing of that day was being able to wear that beautiful red PhD robe. I just loved it! And something unexplainable happened: once I had my robe on, all my moments of despair and suffering suddenly vanished. I felt that everything I went through during my PhD journey was worth it in the end !