Ruben the university graduate


After getting yet more spam (in lieu of ham, which I don't even eat now), I got an email I’ve been waiting on for a decade.

Hi Ruben,

Congratulations on completing your courses! Your faculty has advised that you have met the academic requirements of your course, and that you may be eligible to graduate.

Essential information to ensure that you are eligible to graduate on time is included in this email.

Brace yourself, these are going be two long, boring, self-absorbed paragraphs.

I started studying Computer Science at UniSA in Adelaide in 2005; I even did one of the first Rubenerd Shows about it. Then family stuff (and the precursors to that) happened. Then we moved again, I returned to Malaysia to help out, did correspondence, moved back to Singapore again, family stuff, transferred back to Adelaide, more family stuff, moved back to Singapore, transferred, re-enrolled for correspondence, more family stuff. By 2010, I was understandably perturbed by their lack of flexibility in response to issues outside my or my family’s control.

Then to add insult to injury, when we moved back to Sydney in 2011, UTS didn’t recognise my prior studies on account of them being done more than two years prior. So! I started and finished from scratch. Then ran into issues with my professional practice diploma required for graduation due to work scheduling issues. I was faced with the prospect of having to re-enrol and take fully one third of the courses again (making that three times now?); something I wouldn’t have done. I thought I was destined to be another of those “he did okay, and he didn’t even graduate university!” guys. Fortunately, after a lengthy appeal process and emails to the head of the School of Information Technology I was approved for graduation.

It took more than 12 years, enough red tape and bureaucracy to encircle the sun at least nine times, duplicating two degrees worth of work, my beloved late mum dying in the process, five international moves, eight house moves and HECS debt to last a lifetime, but I’ve finally graduated.

People say closure is overrated, but as they say “I legit cried after this.”

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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