Proud parents as our girl graduates


Sophie graduates from university As I mentioned briefly in my last blog, it was Sophie's graduation from uni a few days ago. It's a bit of a miracle that she actually completed her course as she really didn't enjoy it and was all set to give up before her final year.

The problem was that she didn't know what she wanted to study, she just knew that she definitely wanted to go to Royal Holloway, which is part of the University of London.

It's a beautiful Victorian building complete with two quadrangles, which they made full use of after the graduation ceremony in the stunning chapel. The students were to walk down the central aisle through the pews to where friends and family were seated.

A large hat! We took our seats in the second row just before the ceremony started and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to see past the woman in front of me as she was wearing a rather large and unusual hat (see the picture on the right!), but I still ended up with a good view.

I had a tear in my eye as a triumphant or possibly relieved Sophie walked past clutching her scroll. The weather stayed dry for the champagne reception afterwards, then we decamped for a family lunch.

It's the end of an era now that both Sophie and Daniel have finished university, and they've achieved something I've never had – letters after their names. I hope it'll help them gain employment in this unpredictable job market, though I'm not entirely sure that a degree helps you to be a singer or a football manager 😉

Do let me know what aspirations your offspring have!

Till next time,
Julia. xx.


  1. Morag July 27, 2009 at 9:29 pm -  Reply

    Julia I know exactly how you are feeling – our daughter graduated two weeks ago in Aberdeen, in Applied Social Sciences, and she is starting a post grad course to be a primary teacher, so that’s the last of our 3 offspring having graduated. It is a very emotional occasion – it only seems such a short time ago that they were babies – and a very proud day.
    Wishing Sophie all the best with whatever she does – she will have lots of support and inspiration from you I am sure.

  2. Margaret July 27, 2009 at 11:40 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia , well done to your lovely Sophie , all exams are hard work for our children and they should be praised for their efforts , long time ago now for my two girls but you never loose the pride in them for what they achieve , Ive always been so proud of my two and they have never been unemployed even if some jobs didnt turn out what they wanted but its all lifes experiences . Good luck for the future to both your children .Best wishes Margaret.

  3. Viv July 29, 2009 at 7:44 am -  Reply

    Congratulations Julia on your lovely daughter’s achievement. My eldest son Tom will be leaving in September to go to uni in Norwich. I am in awe of him, as at the ripe old age of 24, he has already been through college, and has been working full time in adult education for the past 6 years. He is giving up his job and his flat to chase his dream…which these days is risky, but I admire him for having the courage, drive and passion in what he wants to achieve. Young adults can get a bad press these days,but like yours, and the other comments, I have nothing but pride and admiration for my hard working and determined children. Best wishes Viv.

  4. Joanna Downey July 29, 2009 at 4:04 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia, what a lovely photograph from such a wonderful occasion. Our older daughter graduated three years ago and we all remember it as one of our best family events. Rebecca also had many doubts during her time at university, however, she now has a job she loves; working in PR and communications for a childrens hospice charity so it was all worthwhile. I wish both your children (do I call them children?!) love, laughter AND jobs that they enjoy in the future. Jo x

  5. Ann July 29, 2009 at 5:51 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Congratulations all round. At least the weather held out for you, I don’t think that ladies hat would have tolerated today’s weather-in Wiltshire, it very wet and windy and outside our house a torrent is flowing down the country lane!
    Is Sophie going to have some time out before deciding her career path? My nephew (who is 7) has said he wants to be a scientist. He likes the idea of rockets and he also wanted to be the stig and drive a car, in red!!!! Am trying to imagine him collecting a scroll at passing the “Stig” course…..
    Ann x

  6. dorothy young July 29, 2009 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    congratulatoins to you and sophie its a emotional time as soon as i saw laura in her gown the tears were there that was 3 years ago but every time i look at her photo i am so proud. she is a teacher and loves it better her than me,She has just been made head of department so really doing well. good luck sophie you can do anything you put your mind too.
    love dorothy

  7. Julie July 30, 2009 at 12:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Just reading your blog regarding Sophie nearly giving up uni before her final year. My daughter did exactly that! She’d been studying Law for 2 years and just decided uni wasn’t for her! I think her problem was that she also didn’t know what she wanted to do and was afraid of all the debt afterwards! She’s now working full time in an office and talks about going back to uni eventually but I don’t think so, she now knows what it’s like to be earning and I don’t think she could give that up. It’s such a shame as she’s very bright 11 GCSE’s and 3 A’s. I can only advise her not live her life for her!

  8. VIOLET SCHOFIELD July 30, 2009 at 10:39 pm -  Reply

    HI julia, A very proud moment indeed!!
    we felt exactly the same when our daughter Ruth graduated..
    She becaame pregnant doing her GCSE’s you can imagine how we felt?
    she took her exams walking around as the baby had her head engaged..poor girl exactly…she passed all her Exams and had her baby in the July..her baby was born with a heart defect and needed heart surgery at Birmingham Childrens Hospital (we were there for 3 weeks) she was only 17..her results came through and she went to Manchester University
    I of course looked after Danielle who is perfect and needs no further surgery she is now 15 and I am sure you had the 15’s??
    I want to tell you the rest because I am so very proud of her she couldnt go full time as she had a child and needed money, so she worked in a solicitors office and spent many more yrs at uni until it was time for her to graduate twice and is now a Solicitor..
    Another sad detail I would like to mention with tears in my eyes..she married and had another daughter Daisy, she had a terrible pregnancy and poor Daisy had major abdominal surgery at 6 hrs old…she too is now 100% fixed and normal 7 yrs between her and Danielle..this year as things are going well financially etc., she tries for the little boy she always dreamt of and became pregnant..sure enough a little boy!!!!
    another 7yrs after Daisy…
    last Friday the 24th July Dylan was born at 28 weeks and Ruth almost died from Toxaemia poisoning…she came home today and little Dylan 2.5lbs is doing well in the prem unit…
    Here is a lovely girl my daughter against all odds had 3 babies all in intensive care and it all started all those yrs ago…I AM SO VERY PROUD OF HER STRENGTH AND HER TENACITY TO CARRY ON AGAINST ALL ODDS…I HOPE YOU AGREE…

  9. julia roberts August 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm -  Reply

    Hello Morag and Margaret – there were so many posts about Sophie’s Graduation I’m breaking the replies down into different dates received, so you guys are first.
    Congratulations to your daughter Morag – you’re right, I can’t believe all those years have flown by! Sophie has just joined a new girl band and I went to watch them for the first time last Tuesday …… they were very good ( even if the sound system was playing up!!!!!!! ). I’ll keep you posted on their progress.
    Hi Margaret, thanks for the congratulations for Sophie. You are spot on when you say some jobs might not be all you expect. Like your girls I’ve always worked and I can honestly say I’ve done some ‘interesting’ jobs …. tealady for a T.V. company in London, temping for the Law Society ( that was so boring ), sorting mail. I didn’t really want to do any of them but they were certainly ‘character building’. Daniel has just finished the first part of his Level 3 Football Coaching Course – he aspires to be a Premiership Manager one day – always good to aim high!
    Speak soon

  10. julia roberts August 2, 2009 at 2:58 pm -  Reply

    Hello Viv and Jo, we are such a proud bunch of parents aren’t we?!?
    Viv you are rightly pride of your Tom, it must be particularly daunting to go to Uni when you’ve had the financial freedom of working for 6 years. Also he will be older than most of the students, although that could be a bonus in the girlfriens stakes. I hope he achieves his dream.
    Hi Jo, yes it was a lovely family occasion as Daniel and Sophie’s boyfriend also came. I think if Sophie doesn’t ‘make it’ as a singer she may well go into PR – she is very gregarious and a good organiser. Thanks for the good wishes and same to your family
    Julia xx

  11. julia roberts August 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ann and Dorothy, thanks for the congratulation for Sophie.
    Yes Ann we were extremely lucky with the weather – at least the weather people owned up this week that they had made a huge mistake when predicting that it was going to be a hot dry summer!! I think we had summer in May and June! Sophie is going to pursue her dream to be a singer with her new girlband ( everything crossed for her – it’s a hard business to be in ). I think they should definitely have a degree course in ‘being Stig’!!!!
    Hi Dorothy – sounds like your Laura is doing really well. I used to teach dancing at my Mum’s dancing school many moons ago, but that was when children had respect for their elders – I don’t envy her now, but a very necessary and worthwhile career choice. Sophie is very strong-willed, if it’s possible she will do it.
    love Julia xx

  12. julia roberts August 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julie, I think you said it all – we are here for help and advice, but ultimately they make their own decisions. I am eternally grateful to Sophie’s boyfriend as he played a huge part in her finishing her degree. He is in the Army and 10 years her senior and I’m pretty sure she ‘listened’ to him. Sophie’s best friend was studying law and only just managed to stay the course – it’s a really heavy subject. You never know she may choose to go back to Uni when she’s ready
    Julia xx

  13. julia roberts August 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm -  Reply

    Hello Violet, I have a strong belief in the saying ‘ that which does not kill you makes you stronger ‘ after my own early history. I could feel your enormous sense of pride as I read your story. I hope Dylan is or will soon be out of hospital and that he will grow to be a strong healthy boy. I think I had the 16’s rather than the 15’s and put my mum and dad through quite a bit of anguish for a while. They were very patient with me and I have tried to be the same with daniel and Sophie – it’s a difficult world they are growing up in. Love to your family
    Julia x

  14. violet schofield August 4, 2009 at 12:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia…just to let you all know Dylan is breathing our air and is in and out of his incubater and drinking his milk with gusto!!,
    is only 2lb 9oz and has a strong mind of his own (like Sophie)and is truly a great fighter…could this be the Leo in him???
    onwards and upwards!! thanks for your kind words ….love violet xx

  15. julia roberts August 10, 2009 at 12:23 am -  Reply

    Hello Violet,
    Thankyou for keeping me updated on Dylan and so pleased to hear he is doing well – must be the name. I had a cat called Dylan – he pre-dated my children and I absolutely ADORED him. He lived to the ripe old age of 23, which for a cat is pretty amazing. Give your Dylan a big hug and kiss from me.
    Julia x

  16. Heather August 12, 2009 at 6:36 am -  Reply

    Dear Julia,As a family who are always very early for any event and who have so far attended seven degree ceremonies I was very impressed that you got seats on the second row with minutes to spare!! Is this because you are famous!!!! Love Heather

  17. julia roberts August 17, 2009 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Heather
    Congratulations on attending 7 degree ceremonies!! We were there quite early queueing outside, so the ‘minutes to spare’ was when we got into the chapel, and although the 2nd row sounds impressive, there were only 4 rows on either side of the central aisle. Me ……… famous…………. I don’t think so!
    Julia x

  18. Helen August 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia
    Congratulations to Sophie – I know you must be very proud of her! My son Chris will be going to Royal Holloway this September, like Sophie, he fell in love with the place as did we and I hope that he continues to love it when he studies Computer Science (with Artificial Intelligence!) Depsite living in Halls, he’s not that far away, we’re in Coulsdon (just down the road from you really!) so I’m expecting him home with the washing!

  19. julia roberts August 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm -  Reply

    Hi Helen,
    That is an absolute given – the washing that is!! I hope he has a fantastic time at Royal Holloway (studying of course) but Sophie did mention ‘Medicine’ and the ‘Stumble Inn’, as well as ‘Liquid’ in Windsor, where she used to have a part-time job to help finance her studies, as ‘places of interest’!!!!!
    Julia x

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