Thomas Edison State University By Thomas Edison State University • September 27, 2013

Don't Forget These 7 Things on Graduation Day

After waiting 3, 4 or 20 years, the BIG DAY is finally here.


You are probably feeling a mix of emotions now: nervous, excited, relieved, worried, eager and, most likely, stressed. Stressed about arriving at commencement on time, stressed about the kids’ inability to sit still, stressed what the future will now hold…

But you don’t have to feel that way. The day should be a celebration filled with joy, laughs and tears - the good kind, of course. So relax, take a deep breath and remember these seven tips to ensure your graduation day is everything you dreamed it would be. 

1. Be prepared.

Ensure that you have everything necessary to make the day go smoothly for you and your guests. Have your tickets ready, understand the parking arrangements and keep a schedule of the day’s events on hand. But most importantly, get a good night sleep and eat a full and healthy breakfast – with the chaos of the day, planning rest and food may prove elusive.


2. Dress appropriately.

Consider everything you will be doing on commencement day; sitting for long periods of time, walking around the arena, going out to celebrate after with family, wearing a long robe and fitted cap – so keep your attire both nice and comfortable. Wear shoes that can accommodate all your activities, style hair simply to fit under your cap and wear something with pockets – you don’t want to juggle a phone when you accept your diploma on stage.

3. Understand this is your day.

Don’t let anyone ruin your mood or your day – commencement is all about you! Let the kids’ complaining slide, or tune out any traffic delays on your way to commencement. Remember, you did it, and this day is meant to celebrate your success.

4. Congratulate yourself.

Think about all you have accomplished in college, your career and your life. Everything you have done so far has brought you to this moment, so acknowledge yourself on a job wonderfully done.

5. Slow down.

Let go of tomorrow, and all the resume writing, family event scheduling or project managing that needs to be done. All your responsibilities, obligations and worries can wait. Simply enjoy the moment and appreciate the day you have been dreaming of for so long.

6. Say thank you.

While, yes, you achieved this milestone on your own, you did receive some support along the way. From your cooperative spouse to the uplifting coworker, or the patient child to the understanding best friend, thank whoever helped you get this far. Relationships, like your college degree, should be treasured, so let them know how grateful you are for their love and support. 

7. Take a photo.

You’re running here, there, and back again, or everyone is tired, hungry and ready to go. But no matter where you are, take the time to snap a few photos of your special day; it will be one of the most memorable of your life.

However you choose to look at commencement – the end of a significant accomplishment or the beginning of a new future – enjoy the day. Appreciate your loved ones, your successes and your brand new degree. You earned it. Be proud. Because you triumphed. You did it.

Thomas Edison State University

Written by Thomas Edison State University

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