Emma-Beth Lacey – WHS Class of 2016 - Reflections of Graduating in Lockdown
June the 10th 2019, my 21st birthday and the original results day for my Bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
Thankfully, I could scribble out ‘Results Day’, as I did a placement year instead. June the 8th 2020- the new results day. However, this date was only to be scribbled out again, due to Covid-19. Third time, is a charm, and the third ‘Result day’ to be inscribed in my dairy was the 26th of June.
A few days prior to results day I was feeling a tad blue that I hadn’t left the university how I had planned, so when it came to picking up my dissertation I jumped at the chance to get all dressed up for that obligatory photo in front of the main campus. It was a very wet day, but our spirits were not dampened by the weather. We had a lovely little drive from Beaconsfield to Oxford via the A40, looking over foggy fields and making a slight outing out of this moment. It was odd being back in Oxford, after living at home for a year. Yet, what was strangest of all was seeing the main campus; it was desolate. On the contrary, the lack of people enabled a photo to be taken with no photo-bombers present!
The 26th of June was next, and I was, and I am one of the lucky few who have received a first class degree with Honours! Unfortunately I was not able to celebrate with my friends and family the way I had intended but my family did make me feel incredibly special and we had our own mini-graduation. My parents decorated the back-garden with a banner going across the doors, and had a mortarboard and scroll to hand so we could perform our own ceremony- which consisted of me shaking hands with the whole family.
The entire family dressed up too, in the 34 degree heat- it was too hot! But I appreciated it, gratefully. My grandparents also took part in the celebrations and it was lovely to have the whole family united. My parents had a TGI Fridays take away, and through the day my sister, mum and I went to a bakery in Hazelmere for a celebratory coffee and cake. Incredibly rock and roll, I know. And we had a walk around Chalfont St. Giles; it was lovely to be out the house and a great way to celebrate.
I am also happy to report that after these phenomenal achievements, I have turned down a job offer in September to pursue a Master’s in mathematics at Queen Mary London University. My fingers are crossed that next year I won’t only graduate from Queen Mary’s but Oxford Brookes as well.