On the week of May 15 I got purpled when I graduated with my Master of Science from NYU! I went home to New York for graduation week and it was crazy. All the graduation ceremonies and festivities, partying day and night with my friends, and catching up with old faces all in the span of a week made my trip way too short!
NYU’s school color is purple, so I decided to embrace my violet pride. I dyed my hair purple once again! Third time’s the charm. 😉 Because my gown is a deep purple, I went for a pastel – it didn’t turn out the way I had imagined, but I’m happy with it nonetheless. Most of my hair was bleached with a double-process but unfortunately my hair is too thin to bleach to platinum, which is what you would need to achieve a true pastel color. Also, bleaching roots sounds really painful so I avoided that once again and just dyed it a warm light brown for an ombre.
I bought those white heels only on the day I got back, and dress I’m wearing is actually my mom’s! I picked it because the dress has a pattern in a similar purple tone. My necklace is deep purple as well, but it’s covered by my yellow Master’s degree hood so the purple is un-pictured, along with my purple earrings and eyeshadow. I really did put a lot of thought into this. Fun fact: I’m also wearing orange lipstick and nail polish to complement colors. 😉
That’s enough about fashion, but it was super fun to dress up for graduation, just saying! I don’t have a lot of opportunity to dress up in San Francisco. 😛
Because NYU is a huge university, throughout the week each school has its own graduation ceremony where you walk across the stage while your name is called, and then on May 17 there is an all-university commencement ceremony at none other than Yankee Stadium, with a lot of music, honorary degree presentations, and celebrations.
My house is two hours away from both ceremonies, though in New York traffic that’s not very far in terms of distance at all. It wasn’t easy to wake up at 6AM each day because my body was still on California time. 🙁
The School of Engineering had its ceremony early in the week, and it was like any graduation ceremony – honestly I was a little bored and I ended up forgetting my name card as I approached the stage. Luckily, luckily, luckily one of the ushers had an extra card for me! 😀 Afterwards I took my parents to campus to do my graduation photoshoot. It was incredibly crowded because that day was the eve of all-university commencement and every student and their families seemed to have the same thing in mind, not to mention Washington Square Park is always crowded. I must have been in California for too long because there’s so many people everywhere!
Meet my parents! That’s my dad and my mom with me in front of the famous Washington Square Arch. I’ve never posted photos of them before! Who do you think I look like?
Some of my fellow classmates posed for photos with me too. I’ve put stickers on everyone’s faces for their privacy (my parents don’t care hehe). If you remember, I took a break in the middle of grad school last year by pushing back my thesis, so I didn’t have classes with the other graduating students. Thus I only know a few of of the women in my degree from social hangouts I organized to get the ladies together in a male-dominated field. They’re mighty awesome engineers!
It’s a tradition on the eve of commencement for the Empire State building to be lit purple to congratulate NYU’s graduates! My parents and I stayed out really late to see it since it didn’t get dark until close to 9PM. All the streets surrounding our campus were filled with graduates and their families partying. I was so exhausted when I got home, and I had to do it all over again the next day for all-university commencement.
Commencement day didn’t start off too well. I woke up with a scratchy throat and could hardly keep my eyes in the car. I took a nap and felt better by the time we arrived at Yankee Stadium, but I was NOT prepared for the weather. It reached 92°F (33°C) in the three hours we sat in the sun. New York is notorious for fluctuating weather in the spring. It was only 45°F (7°C) when I arrived 4 days before.
The audience were the lucky ones – they got seats in the shade and a full view of what was going on. Each school in NYU took a glory walk around the baseball field while their respective students cheered on from the stands. I gotta say The School of Engineering had the most energy and were the loudest! Even though I was miserable in the heat – that’s probably why they give us baseball caps to replace our graduation caps – the ceremony was too lively to not feel excited and happy.
The singer Pharrell was one of the honorary degree candidates and he got his Doctorate in Fine Arts. He was very stoic and not once did he wave at the audience even though he is a celebrity. I’m very impressed. He also gave a speech on equality and women’s rights.
After commencement my friends and I gathered for photos. Each year my friends attend commencement as a group to support our graduating friends, and I had done that in the previous two years. This year is my year! Our group numbered to almost 40 people including 15ish graduates, and only two of us are Master’s degree graduates.
It was so hard to get good photos with everyone, but I managed to snag personal photos with a few of them, especially since some friends are going back to Hong Kong / Singapore, one is moving to JAPAN, and the rest are staying in New York. In other words, I won’t be able to see anyone.
I couldn’t wear the same dress two days in a row, so here’s my outfit for the commencement (and my friend pretending to be a graduate with my gown). This dress is a peach pattern instead and though it’s less school spirited, I actually like it more. It’s my mom’s too and because I liked it so much she gave it to me! Please ignore my shoes, since I had to change out of my heels to go partying with my friends.
By partying I mean getting ice cream, pigging out on family style dinner, and playing board games!!!
Unfortunately, I did get sicker that afternoon and almost passed out from the heat. I had to make the sad decision of cutting my trip short to have a day to recover for my flight. I spent one more day in the city to catch up and get dinner with friends, even though my body was in a lot of pain. I tried my hardest to make it through the day because I was so happy to just be with my friends. I really really wish I had more time with them. Not just more time on my trip, but more time to get to know them and bond with them. Most my friendships still feel really fresh – between a year to two years – and I miss them lots out here in California.
I’ve been back in San Francisco for two weeks now, and it has not been pretty because I was plagued by coughing fits and still can’t talk without coughing. I also fell down the stairs on my first day back and injured my leg. I’ve spent most of my time in bed apart from job interviews and church, so I entertained myself with Breath of the Wild since I couldn’t do anything else. The game is AMAZING!
I am feeling better now, and finally got around to purpling this blog! The new theme is called Wildberry Lavender and it was designed months ago as a personal celebration of graduation. I’ve tried to make it a more user-friendly design so I’m still designing and coding new features. A few things may be broken here and there, but I hope you enjoy it!