Graduation 2016

On Tuesday, 10 May 2016, I officially graduated Ngee Ann Polytechnic!

My day started at 10AM, after snoozing and rescheduling 3 alarms. The #nomoreexams group chat was already alive and kicking, and I read all the messages I’d missed as I ate breakfast. Then I got ready, wearing a dress my mum helped to pick out, and makeup. I went for a classic red lip-eyeliner combo.

My mum sent me to school!

I got to school right on time – 12.30PM – and hurried to the LT to report. Yun Rong mentioned that her batch had already had their briefing 😰 Luckily, the lecture theatre I was in took a little longer to settle down. I was the first in the order of the graduands in my theatre, and I thought I was alone in there, but Ashley and Cheryl made their way down from where they were (all the way at the back of the room) and said hi/talked for a bit. It made me feel so relieved and not so alone.

It was such a bummer that we all got split into two rooms. Oh well.

It was awkward being the first to have to follow the lecturer out of the room. But it was great reuniting with Joanna! We had the bad luck of being split because even though we were usually right after one another in the school register, we happened to be right in the middle, and so she was the last in the order of her room, followed by me. We had a way too dramatic reunion in the middle of the hallway separating the lecture halls. Luckily, we also sat in the same row in the CC for the actual ceremony! It totally saved me from being sad and alone and made the whole ceremony so much fun.

I think that’s actually representative of our relationship, actually, spending mundane times together but having fun because of the other person’s presence.

We all texted throughout the ceremony, sending pictures and chatting as we normally would.

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We were so nervous as we walked on stage that we held hands both before going up, while we were up there awaiting our turns, and after, as we sped through the hallways and staircases excitedly, in our heels, to get back to our seats. We repeatedly said to each other, we’re definitely the most excited to graduate. Outwardly, at least.

Joanna and I separated after the ceremony to look for our family and other friends. Both my parents attended the ceremony, and my sister came to find me in between classes (I think)!



#nomoreexams had initially planned to meet up after the ceremony at 4PM, but we underestimated just how crowded the foyer would be, and just how many people had come to see us, especially Yun Rong and Ashley 😂 they were the last to meet up with us, and it was kind of frustrating, because it was a really hot day and we were all tired. I don’t blame them though, this was a once-in-a-lifetime event.


I took the opportunity to plant a quick one on Ash when I bumped into her in the post-grad crowd.

We finally met up at Block 58 at 5PM! 😱  Regine and Si En were there, too. We all took turns helping each other take photos, and it was quite a hectic session as I needed to leave by 5.30PM and everyone was tired.

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I also got a bunch of gifts from Regine, Joanna, Si En, Cheryl, and Ashley! I felt so bad because I didn’t prepare anything. 😭 They wrote really sweet letters and Ashley even gave us matching necklaces and a cookie. (‘:

It’s starting to dawn on me that I’ll never sit in a lecture hall, or cram for exams, or eat lunch in Makanplace with #nomoreexams ever again. It’s sad. Of course I’m glad that we’re graduating together, but a part of me wishes I could stay in this period of my life forever. Especially second year, when I turned 18. I feel like I really learnt a lot that year as a person, and I really grew up in a way, as much as one can grow up at that age. It was a strange mix of stress, carefreeness, anxiety, fun, and happiness. Most of that was thanks to these 5 girls.


Here’s to the next chapter, I guess. This is so bittersweet.



Joelle Cecilia


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