On July 4, HSE University graduates celebrated their graduation with Little Big, a vibrant punk rave band, - this was the University’s gift to the students. The concert drew students, graduates from previous years, and HSE University staff: over 5,000 people attended the event.
This was the sixth annual university-wide graduation party. Every year, the organizers think of something new: a 1980s-disco party with Mick Jagger and Madonna, a space show inspired by Star Wars with Jedi and imperial stormtroopers, a whimsical gathering in the style of Harry Potter… This year, organizers continued the tradition of choosing a musical theme.
Each year, HSE University and Lyceum students vote for their favourite musicians: the results of the vote determine the headliners of HSE Day, the graduation party, or other big university events.
‘This year, Little Big again found themselves at the top of the list,’ said Alexander Samokhin, HSE University graduate and one of the party organizers, ‘HSE has students and staff from different generations, with different views, and different musical tastes—it’s hard to please everyone. However, Little Big, with their explosive viral songs and dance flash-mobs, managed to get everyone dancing to Skibidi and Faradenza’.
The concert took place on the Main Stage. At the entrance, the graduates were given drawing tubes containing an HSE Crow badge, a cardholder, a bag, and a poster signed by Evgeny Yasin, Yaroslav Kuzminov, and Alexander Shokhin. Then, the day’s guests of honour proceeded to the hall to commune with their classmates, reminisce, and take pictures. There, they were welcomed by volunteers wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan of the day: ‘You think this is the end? It’s only the beginning!’
HSE University Rector emphasized this idea in his congratulatory speech: ‘HSE is you. And you will remain part of us forever. Many of you will go to other countries, other universities and companies; many of you will start businesses, but, above all, remember that you are always welcome here: an HSE University graduate gets a pass to the university with no expiration date, and an opportunity to be employed here’.
Amidst the dancing and the buzz of the party, we managed to talk to the graduates about their studies, exams, student life and the future.
I can’t say that my classes were that hard. Of course, the first exam period was terrifying, since it was an absolutely new experience: you don’t know how it works, you don’t know where to start or how to adjust to the new format. Once, my friend was late to an exam. He overslept and ran in at the last minute. But he got an 8! There were miracles like that. Speaking of good things, this year, our project ‘Research Battles’ won the Iron Egg as the Project of the Year. It was a huge achievement for me, and I am very proud of it.
One of the most memorable things was the Multidisciplinary Summer School, which I attended two years in a row. The students and organizers there are awesome; they really motivate you to push yourself and not just be satisfied with what you’ve already achieved. After that, I decided that I didn’t want to hold off on going to work any longer; a week later, I got an internship, and half a year later, I got a full-time job.
I’m not really into long-term planning; for now, I’ve decided to pursue a master’s. I really like the Centre for Student Academic Development, which is where I’m working now, so I’m not going to make any career changes just yet. For me, HSE University is its people, who motivate you to become better and live life to the fullest.
If I were to share a life hack with a freshman, I would say: you won’t have time for everything you will want to do here, so you’ll need to keep your values and priorities in mind, and think about what is most important for you at the given moment.
Photos by Mikhail Dmitriev and Nikina Krutenkov