How to Prepare for Graduation

Olivia PIther·28 July 2022·5 min read
How to Prepare for Graduation

Happy Graduation! It’s that time of year when people’s university experience is coming to a close (unless you’ve suddenly decided to complete a panic masters!) With the missed graduations from Covid as well as this year’s leavers, many people are celebrating their hard work and the end of an era. Having experienced my own graduation last week, I’m sharing my top 10 words of wisdom for how to best prepare for your graduation.

1. Prepare for lots of clapping. The ceremonies last a while, approximately an hour and a half to two hours generally; you will be clapping for everyone on the course! Luckily now a lot of universities are live streaming the service, so anyone unable to make it (or if your parents don’t manage to get a good video of you walking across the stage) you can watch it back on the recorded livestream.

2. Bring some bobby pins in case your cap isn’t secure. You don’t want it falling off on stage! You might be allowed to swap it for a smaller or bigger one if there’s any spare, but you should measure yourself when ordering the robes to make sure you get the correct size that fits.

3. Whilst on the topic of robes, make sure you wear it correctly. You can ask someone to help you style it or sometimes they do it for you when you collect it. It can get confusing with what way to wear the hat, which sleeves to put your arms through etc.!

4. Wear suitable shoes. You will probably be doing a lot of walking, so I advise small heels or comfortable shoes you feel confident walking in. Not only are a lot of campus’s uphill, you also don’t want to fall over on stage!

5. Figure out your transport to the venue in advance. Car parking may be available, but it could get booked up, and the same goes for taxis. Or assess if you’re in walking distance (in which case bring a spare pair of shoes if you’re in heels!)

6. Book your dinner and drinks reservations way in advance. I recommend that the moment you find out what day your graduation is on to book up your desired plans as I found that most places, especially the popular ones, get booked up immediately. Your local town will probably be aware of the graduations as well, so hotels tend to increase their prices, so again book this in advance.

7. Read your emails – all of the important information should be sent to you by your university including the time of your graduation (starting from 9am!) and ordering your robes in advance. If you miss the deadline for this, you may have to pay more. If you are interested in buying a professional photo, or booking extra guests, you may also have to book these in advance, so it is vital to organise everything in plenty of time.

8. For the summer graduations at the moment, chances are it’s going to get quite hot. I recommend bringing a paper fan with you and a water bottle to stay hydrated. It gets warm in the ceremony and whilst wearing black robes all day, you’re bound to get sweaty so deodorant could also be a good idea!

9. Be prepared for lots of photos – graduation is as much for the student as it is for your family. Find some nice locations and practise your poses! Throwing your hat up in the air is one of my favourites. This is also a nice opportunity to go around your campus for the last time and to show your family where you spent the past 3 years.

10. Spend some time choosing an outfit that is formal enough and that you won’t hate in all of the photos in 10 years’ time! But don’t worry too much about this - the robes will cover most of your outfit and the cap will cover your hair!

The most important thing to remember is to enjoy it! Don’t stress - this is your day so you should celebrate it and make your final university memories with your friends and family.