My Last 100 Pounds: Graduation Ceremonies Do Not Care About Your Financial Situation

$100! It is a lot of money, and yet, it is also not a lot of money at all. Where did your last hundred bucks go, James Griffiths?

Note: as of 19/07/12 the exchange rate means £100 = $157

I graduated from university on Tuesday. In less than two weeks, the contract ends on my house and I will have to move back in with my parents. I would like to be able to sign on a new apartment or house share, but doing so without any income seems incredibly irresponsible (since my savings would just about cover a deposit and not much else). With 32 job applications sent off with one positive response so far, money’s been on my mind a lot recently.

£20.00: Extra graduation tickets.

£35.00: I went to town to buy a nice white shirt for graduation and ended up getting a dinner jacket that was on sale. My black suit is in need of dry-cleaning, so I justified this on the grounds that it was only twice as expensive as my planned graduation clothing.

£6.50: Lunch at Leaf Tea Shop, because being poor doesn’t necessarily mean being responsible.

£2.90: Bubble Tea at Café De Pearl. I used to live in China, and drinking Bubble Tea lets me pretend I still do.

£3.85: Phone call to the Benefits Agency (via their premium rate number) during which I was told that due to a piece of documentation having the wrong date on it (despite my having sent in a corrected document as soon as this was pointed out), my benefits claim has been closed and I won’t be getting the Jobseekers Allowance I applied for (and travelled to and from Job Centres for, and filled in what felt like a million forms for).

£35.00: Graduation photos. There is a 90 percent chance I will regret paying for these when they turn up, but I didn’t want to regret not having a clichéd graduation photo to hang on my wall.

Total: £103.25 over three days, hopefully the piece of posh paper I received at the end of my graduation ceremony might help me land a job soon.


Previously: My Last 10,000 Yen: Train Fare, Chocolate, and a Haircut

James T Griffiths is based in Liverpool, UK, where he edits and works as a freelance writer, hire him. Photo: Shutterstock/Patryk Stanisz


7 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

Oh man, you know what’s better/cheaper than going to graduation? Not going to graduation (seriously, I went to 8th grade grad and that was enough for me).

selenana (#673)

@Megano! I didn’t go to mine either, high school or college. Maybe if I get a graduate degree.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

@Megano! If only my family made that an option! My brother and I both would have happily skipped our high school graduation ceremonies- me because I hated high school, him because it overlapped with staff training week at his sleepaway camp. Our parents said no, because they wanted to watch us walk across a stage.

College, I was a little happier to attend, but we were allowed to sit with whoever we wanted during the big ceremony and again, my parents would not have allowed me to skip. They contributed to four years of college? Damnit, they were watching me officially receive my degree! As were all of my grandparents.

LHOOQ (#1,634)

£35 for a dinner jacket? Niiiiiiice. Also, I always regretted not getting the graduation photos, even though I had a terrible haircut at the time. (It was only 5 years ago, it’s not like I have the 80s as an excuse or something.)

cmcm (#267)

There’s a certain amount of hilarious irony in the fact that it’s a premium number to call about getting benefits.

selenana (#673)

Also, yay! I want to see euros and Canadian ducats and stuff too.

It seriously sucks that you HAVE to shell out to rent to robes and whatnot to attend graduation (or at least you do here). That said, I skipped the mass street walk because I was on holiday and didn’t want to rush back for the morning festivities.

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