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Graduation Ceremony 2018: A Volunteer’s Perspective

by Caroline Maria   26 November 2018

Graduation Day, the most special occasion for any student, and it was our job to ensure it remained the best day of their life. No pressure!!

It all began with one WhatsApp group called, Graduation volunteers’ 18.  From there, it went on to briefings on our roles and responsibilities and that’s where we realised what was at stake - The Happiness of our Seniors……

Being asked to volunteer for the Graduation Ceremony is the most honourable feeling for an active student at the University. Only selected individuals get to volunteer because they are considered hardworking, responsible and capable of handling the pressure of such a large and important event.

 “I felt part of something big; I was honoured when they asked me to volunteer because everyone is well aware that it is not for everyone and my University found me responsible."

- Sahasra Rao

The day arrived, 17 November 2018. We knew just one thing, ‘Your time to graduate will come soon, work the way you expect your juniors to work just for you to have the best graduation.’

Enough motivation, isn’t it? But wait, there’s one more rule, KEEP A SMILE ON YOUR FACE AT ALL TIMES.

The hardest part of being a volunteer at Graduation was not to look confused in the most confusing situations. Also, some said their cheeks hurt by the constant smiling. But come on, we all know that smiling is infectious and when you see a bunch of well dressed, happy seniors and families, we couldn’t resist smiling. Time passed with every one of us fully invested in our roles and responsibilities. All smiles at all times, helping in every way possible.

We move into the ceremony and manage the happy families, escort them to their seats, and try and ensure their comfort. As the ceremony began, we watched one by one as our seniors walked up on the stage with pride and honour. But you see, that’s when we had the brightest sparkle in our eyes and a joyful feeling in our hearts, where all us volunteers started clapping and cheering for each name called out as we worked.  

“The feeling of watching your closest friends and even just your senior's graduate is so fulfilling. It’s magic in the air.”

- Ansley Gonsalves

Ceremony one came to an end, and then it was time for our lunch break. Energised, we moved back to work, while few could take the whole lunch break, some of our duties required us to be back immediately, but there were no complaints. There we all were, back on our feet again, ready for the second ceremony, with smiles on our faces.

“In between our peak hours, we would attack boxes of pizza and the beautiful coffee machine. I barely sat down the entire day, but every second of running around was absolutely worth it.”

- Abigail Spencer

Both ceremonies ended with a little happy dance performed on stage by the volunteers to cheer the newly graduated class and fill their hearts with excitement as they walked out of those doors.

Graduation caps flying in the air, graduates dancing with us on stage, while proud families record and photograph every moment. It was just so happy!! The love, fun, and laughter couldn’t be contained at all and nothing could have been more important than that.

Throughout the ceremony, there was a mix of emotions in the air. While graduates and their families were extremely happy, the staff and volunteers did not letstress or exhaustion show. Instead, they were overjoyed to watch every member of Middlesex Unviersity Dubai prove that we are a family that works together to make each other smile.

Of course, nothing is over until the volunteers finish off with a little dance party and photo session which goes on for about 30 - 45 minutes just because we’re all so extremely happy we succeeded. 

One of the volunteers rightfully said, “Before and after the ceremony, everyone has fun. However, during the ceremony, everyone is conflicted within, while their bodies are giving up, their minds say, look how happy your seniors are.”

But all’s well that ends well, so we’re not complaining…

Let’s just say, working from 7 am to 8 pm, either standing or sitting the entire time, but keeping a smile on our faces. Did we have fun? We had a blast!! The tiring work, body ache, and cheeks hurting were all worth it to see a smile on the faces of our seniors.

You see, be it early mornings, late nights, or both, no matter how long we need to stand or sit, the MDX Army of Volunteers are always ready to serve with a smile on their face. We don’t do it because we have to, we do it because we want to, and it is a part of us, and most importantly, we are the Dream Team!!

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