So I recently graduated… YES! I got to go up on stage to collect a few certs and awards before. But this was something really special and important for both me and my family. It was truly an amazing event. In that one day of wonderful chaos, I learned a few things that I wish to pass on…
- Pack: Get all your items ready the night before, think about your hairstyle, lip colour, accessories etc.
- Be early: We had to rent our robes and it was available from 8am to 5(ish)pm. Highly recommend going early to take good shots with not much crowd behind you. It also allows time to go to pretty iconic places in that city to take some pictures. You feel a lot calmer too.
- Practice: Yes, I practiced my walk in the shoes that I was going on stage with. I get nervous and I rarely wear heels. I didn’t trip or fall – it was all good. Maybe you want to practice your handshake, your smile. It’s your day – feel good all around.
- Plan ahead: Try to make rough plans with your friends that you want to see and take photos with. It was a super hectic place with everyone with their loved ones, and you can lose your friends. Snap a few or a thousand with them before everyone rushes off.
- Basic necessities: For me – this was lip balm, lip colour, tissue, plasters. Think what are yours and keep them in your loved ones’ bags.
- ID, Emails, Tickets, Receipts: Keep them with you as these are the things that the uni first needs – to get your parchment, your robe, the hall tickets. If you take an official photograph, keep that receipt until your images get delivered to you.
- No bag needed: I brought my satchel and it was really unnecessary. My family ended up carrying it around or me awkwardly carrying it while taking pictures. My robe was already not staying in place and the bag made it painful.
- A fully charged phone and/or camera: This need no explanation.
- Remember: I missed taking a few pictures with my loved ones themselves – really upset about that. Don’t do that. Take with your family first before anything. Try to grab your favourite lecturers if you can too.
- Be proud: Of all your achievements, hurdles and everything in between – you did it! Embrace it and get empowered.