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For one day only ‘you can be as bigsy as you wint’: Aberdeen University graduates encouraged to celebrate their achievements

Piper Julie Brinklow kept the music flowing during day two of Aberdeen University's graduations at P&J Live. Pic: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson
Piper Julie Brinklow kept the music flowing during day two of Aberdeen University's graduations at P&J Live. Pic: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Thousands of graduates have been told to celebrate in style before setting off into the world.

As day two of Aberdeen University’s graduations got under way at P&J Live, professors and lecturers imparted their wisdom on the Class of 2022 and their loved ones.

Law, politics, international relations, anthropology and many other social science students accepted their degrees today.

Greeted with jokes about the improved “air conditioning” compared to the historic Elphinstone Hall, loved ones whooped, cheered and stamped their feet in celebration.

‘Treat people with kindness and never give up’

Covid and the struggles that came with the pandemic were a main theme throughout the speeches.

Dr Tanya Argounova-Low, senior lecturer in the school of social sciences, thanked students for their patience during online learning but also for the words of support shared with staff.

She told them: “My advice to you would be understanding and treat people with kindness.

“Soon enough in your life and career, you will be making decisions on behalf of people you work with – you would need to juggle many factors, pros and cons, listen to many voices, but it is important that you listen to your heart.

“My second advice is simple: never give up.

Elmo Thorppa and David Balla are celebrating in style. Pic: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

“It is important to provide a helping hand, offer support and deliver comfort when one can do so. Hope is something that we, as humankind, cannot live without.”

In the second of the day’s three ceremonies, head of the school of law, Professor Greg Gordon, said it was a “pleasure” to be together again.

He said: “A university is first and foremost a community. We have all suffered, while our community has been forced to stay apart.

‘You can be as bigsy as you wint’

“This has undoubtedly been a time that has called upon us all to adjust in the face of rapidly changing circumstances; a time that has really tested the depths of all of our reserves.

“But while those reserves may have been tested, they have not been found wanting. We are always proud of our graduates, but never more so than this year.

“I have great faith and hope in this generation of graduates’ ability to make a contribution to making the world a better place. I sense a hunger, a yearning, even an impatience, for change and for justice.”

He encouraged graduates to enjoy their big moment: “Here in the north-east of Scotland, we are sometimes a bit sceptical about making too much of a fuss, or people who seem a bit too pleased with themselves.

“As my grandmother said: ‘It doesn’t do to be bigsy.’

“But let me assure you that that all such native reticence is today – suspended. For one day and one day only, you can be as bigsy as you wint.”

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