Scared, disbelieving and excited: thoughts from students on graduating from Queen’s University, 2017 (Part One)

QUB Graduation. Photo Source: Queen’s University Belfast.

Bonnie Shawcross, Social Media Editor.

Across six days of sun and rain, blue and grey skies, muggy heat and cool wind, students from every corner of the globe celebrated the completion of their degrees from all the various schools of Queen’s along with St. Mary’s College and Stranmillis University College. I took the opportunity to gather the opinions of a handful of excited, nervous and dazed students, as well as The Gown’s very own former Editor, on their feelings after graduation, as well as their thoughts on their time at Queen’s and on the future ahead.

All photos taken by Bonnie Shawcross except where noted.


Rebecca Sloan, Law

”I feel quite surreal. I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life now. I’m just excited to see what will happen in the future, and nervous — what will happen in the future? Everything is so… not settled, if you know what I mean. I’m just going to enjoy the day and see where I go from there.”


Nicola Wallace, Sociology

”I feel scared. I’m looking forward to doing my masters degree at Queens, I’m doing a MSc in Children’s Rights. I did a module in the sociology of childhood in my undergraduate which was probably my favourite module, so that’s why I chose it.

I’m afraid of not getting a job. But Queen’s has put me on the right path, as a Russell group university.”

Have you enjoyed your time at Queen’s?

”At times. My friends made the experience good for me.”


Jack Archie Stewart, History

”I feel relieved, I finally made it. I am buzzing for the future, I’m doing an MA so it’s good, I’m going straight back [to Queen’s] and it feels good man. My time at Queen’s has been lovely, I’ve met amazing people and I’ve had some of the best times of my life.”


Ashleigh Boal & Bethany Crooks, Environmental Biology & Biological Sciences

How do you feel today?

Bethany: ”A wee bit anti-climactic. It was exciting but also, you got a bit of paper.”

Ashleigh: ”Disbelief. Because I actually walked up there and didn’t fall so that was good.”

What are your hopes and fears for the future?

Ashleigh: ”Coming out of this unemployed. We’ve graduated but now it’s the big bad scary world, we have to go out there and look for a job by yourself and it’s just… it’s a wee bit scary, I don’t want to adult yet.”

Bethany: ”Well I’m doing a masters, so more exams basically.”

Do you feel positive about your experience at Queen’s?

Bethany: ”Yeah totally. I feel like we’ve got a good opportunity.”

Ashleigh: ”Yes, but I don’t think I’ll go for a masters. I think I’m done at three years.”




Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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