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Six Survival Tips for Graduation Day

Girls celebrating Griffith
4 min

Graduation… the final chapter in your story as an undergraduate. Also known as the day that your parents will not get that camera out of your face. 

I've had three graduations to date. My first one, my undergraduate, was a barrel of laughs. The president of the college had to run after a girl on crutches to give her an award, one of my friends constantly struggled with her graduation hat insisting that it went on the very back of her head and other hilarity that I can't remember.

It's a big day, and you'll no doubt forget something because you're too busy remembering to not fall while getting your degree. So I've a few tips to see you through from morning to night! 

Twas the night before graduation...

Get a good night's sleep. You'll be up from the crack of dawn until… well the crack of dawn. Future you will be thankful for the extra few hours in bed. When you wake up make sure to get a good, hearty breakfast because you won’t see food again until after the ceremony! 

Ladies, this is when you should get your bag ready including all the essentials like LOTS of hair clips (these are vital for the stability of your graduation hat), tissues, a mirror (for quick makeup touch ups), a snack and your usual things.

Getting dolled up

Picking the right outfit is tricky. You want something comfortable that isn’t too over the top and will see you through the night. Don’t dress like you're going on a night out because you’ll be in this outfit from 9am or earlier. Pick something comfortable; if it’s a new dress or suit, wear it around the house a bit beforehand to make sure you’re happy with it. Bonus points if it matches your robes!

Shoe choice is very important. Pick shoes that are comfortable, that you've already worn in and that, most importantly, you won't fall in. You'd be surprised how wobbly you get once the steps to the stage appear. It's like for a brief second you forget how to walk like a normal person. 


I loved my robes. If I could have brought them home with me I would have. Get your robes early to avoid a rush of the previous graduation coming to drop theirs off. It also means you get to wear them for longer and gives you more opportunities to pretend to be in Harry Potter. 

Your plus two 

Your parents will most likely be your guests at the graduation and they play an important role -  from giving you hugs to dropping off your robes and being your personal paparazzi for the day. Chances are they won't be familiar with the college so pick a place to meet them after the ceremony to make everyone's life easier. 

Get your pose on

If you're getting official photos taken get to college early, pick up your robes and get them taken before the ceremony. It saves so much time and means you're free to just have the lols and relax afterwards. 
Note: be ready for a sore face from smiling so much.

The much anticipated night out

For my graduation, my friends decided to ditch the official grad ball and we just went out in town and it was great! It was the night of the Obama re-election so there was a lot of checking Twitter and shouting out results and rolled into bed around 5am. Make the most of your night as your college friends will soon be scattered around the globe (my 3 best friends from college are now living in San Francisco, London and Melbourne).

Live stream for Graduation

It’s a great day so I hope you have an absolute amazing time and congratulations for surviving the rollercoaster that is college! In case you can't make this year's graduation in person, Griffith will be providing a live stream of each graduation online. Check your graduation time and follow the link below to be a part of the day along with your fellow classmates.

I’ll leave you with a few wise words from the fabulous Elle Woods on her graduation day -

“It is with passion, courage of conviction, and strong sense of self that we take our next steps into the world, remembering that first impressions are not always correct. You must always have faith in people. And most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”


This year’s graduation ceremonies will take place on 9th and 10th November.