On Thursday 19th July 2012, I graduated. Yes, I can now officially title myself as Dean Aaron Roberts esq. BA.Hons – but I wont! I gained my degree in Theology and I’m so thankful to God for how he has guided me through the last three years and has blessed me with this degree. The only thing now is to get selected to be a vicar!
I loved graduating – seeing all those who you’ve made friends with in their cap and gown, seeing all that hard work paid off as you robe in the robing room, going to shake the Vice Chancellor’s hand… all wonderful memories. I had my grandparents down and my girlfriend graduated the same day so her mum came down too and we had a meal together.
It was all wonderful until I got home and got in to bed.
You see, once the hype had worn off a bit, I started realising that the ceremony was actually rather bittersweet. Yes it was great that I had worked hard and earned a degree; yes it was great that I got to dress up in robes and parade around; yes it was great that I got to see all my friends again! Yet it occurred to me that I’d done this sort of thing three times before…
At the end of primary school
At the end of secondary school
At the end of college.
Life is a strange experience. We rarely make friends that will endure forever – no matter what our number of facebook friends, twitter followers and how many people we can aquaint ourselves with. Life moves on, and people do too. Graduation was both the closing and opening of a new chapter.
It seems rather dull and melancholic to reminisce on Graduation in such a way – but I think it is important to realise that people can feel alone in the world. All those times where you’ve been used to doing things collectively, and then suddenly you’re on your own. That’s what graduation is a sign of – you’ve worked hard in lectures together, you’ve earned your degree as an individual, and now it is time for you to step out into the big wide world for yourself properly – to make a life, to find a house, a job, a lover, to have children, to progress.
Yet, for the Christian, the walk is never alone, despite how bittersweet the moment seems, despite being in the world on your own, supposedly. And with that, my eyes closed and my body shut down as I fell asleep with the words of Proverbs 18:24 in mind,
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Jesus is the one who sticks closer than a brother. I do thank him that I’ve come this far, and that even though you can feel like a fish out of water post-graduation, he is always there – and quite often, he will be the only one who’s been with you from birth, through school, through college, through university and will ever endure with you til your last breath.
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
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