How To Ace Your University Graduation Day

Your university graduation day will be an occasion you’ll remember for the rest of your life, it’s when all of the hard work you’ve put in during the duration of your course has come to an end, and it’s now time to celebrate all of those achievements. 

At your graduation ceremony, you’ll come together with other students on your degree course and collect your certificate in front of your proud family and friends. 

Whilst this is definitely an exciting time that you will have looked forward to throughout your student years, it can be daunting especially if you’re not sure what to expect. 

Here at Homes for Students, we’ve done our research and have compiled everything you need to know to ace your university graduation day within this handy guide! 

university graduation day

What Happens During A University Graduation Day? 

Summer graduation season is almost underway, and if you’re preparing to graduate this year then you’ll probably be curious as to what actually happens at one of your biggest life events. 

University graduation ceremonies in the UK usually take place in a large theatre space with a stage. 

Graduates are called up to the stage in order of bachelors degrees, then masters degrees, then doctorates, for each faculty in the ceremony in turn. You will be called up by subject, alphabetically by surname.

You will be sent your seat number in advance, so it’s important to check and ensure you sit in the correct seat. 

The ceremony consists of speeches and normally lasts for around an hour and a half, but this can vary by institution and it also depends on how many students are graduating. 

After the ceremony is finished you will have the opportunity to have professional photographs taken with your family or other guests. 

What Happens During A University Graduation Day? 

Tips To Ace Your University Graduation Day 

Your graduation is on the horizon!

For a stress-free, smooth sailing university graduation day take a read of our top tips below.

Tips To Ace Your University Graduation Day 

1. Plan In Advance 

As you would with any important event, you should ensure that you’re organised and plan in advance for your university graduation day. 

If you are due to graduate this year, your university will be in contact with details about your graduation so make sure to keep an eye on your emails so that you have all the necessary information. 

You should also plan in advance how you’re going to get to your graduation ceremony, leaving this until the last minute will be stressful.

Such as, if you’re struggling to order an Uber on the day, or if you discover you need to book a parking spot prior to the day! 

If you’re travelling from another city or town to your graduation, you should have a look at travel options and accommodation and book them far in advance. 

planning in advance university graduation day

2. Book Your Tickets 

For your graduation, you will need to let your university know you will be attending and book a ticket if necessary, you usually need to purchase guest tickets, gowning and photography too. 

As a graduate, there is no charge for you to attend a ceremony but you will need to pay for photography and gowning services, and sometimes guest tickets depending on the university.

It’s worth noting that there is normally a limit on how many guests you’re allowed to bring to your graduation ceremony (this is around 2-3 people), so you should check with your university how many guests each graduate can have before inviting multiple people. 

If you have any additional requirements for your graduation, we’d recommend getting in touch with your university as soon as possible during the booking process. 

booking your tickets for graduation

3. Dress Suitably 

Your university graduation day is a formal celebration so it’s important that you dress suitably, such as in a smart suit or dress with appropriate footwear. Do note, if you show up in jeans and trainers, it’s unlikely you’d be allowed into the ceremony. 

No matter what you choose to wear, you should make sure you’re comfortable, you don’t want to spend half of the time stressing over your pants being too tight, or your heels hurting your feet, you want to concentrate on having an unforgettable time! 

On that note, if you’re planning to wear new shoes to your graduation we’d recommend breaking them in beforehand, the last thing you want to do is be in agony whilst trying to walk on stage. 

Remember, your cap and gown will add another layer to your outfit, so you could get warm depending on your outfit of choice, especially if your graduation is taking place over summer. 

Dress Suitably graduate

4. Pick Up Your Hat & Gown 

Your University Graduation is a formal occasion, so you need to wear the appropriate gown and hat for your university, which you can either hire or buy. 

You will be sent information on hiring your academic dress when receiving your graduation invitation from your university, so make sure to fill out all of the necessary information in due course. 

If you’re wondering where to collect your hat and gown, an email will be sent ahead of your ceremony with where you need to go, and will be clearly signposted on the day.

On the day, pick up your hat and gown and make sure they fit properly and are in good shape, if you encounter any issues, make sure to speak to someone about getting a replacement. 

picking up your hat and gown university

5. Take Time To Breathe 

Your university graduation day is a big milestone in your life, it’s a time to be proud of yourself and celebrate all of the hard work you’ve done to complete your degree. 

Considering how important your graduation day is, it can definitely be nerve-wracking, as you’ll be walking up on stage in front of a lot of people with the spotlight on you. 

Thinking about this special day can be daunting, but don’t worry, everyone is in the same boat and will be feeling a little anxious and nervous too. 

The day before your graduation day, we’d suggest getting a full night’s sleep of between 7-9 hours so that you’re well rested and energised for the day ahead. 

If you’re feeling particularly nervous on the day, try to take some time to focus on taking a few deep breaths in and out – fingers crossed the excitement will beat the nerves! 

It’s also important to note that everything is not going to go to plan during the day, but just try to embrace it for what it is and have a good time. 

Take Time To Breathe university graduation day

6. Capture The Moment 

Our next top tip to ace your university graduation day is to take loads of photographs and videos, whilst you do get professional photography, it’s good to take your own photos that you can cherish, and post to your Insta! 

Whilst there are people you will stay in contact with from your student years, there may be some people like your course mates and lecturers which you won’t see again after your graduation, so snap some photos with them if you want to have something to look back on.

Just make sure your phone or camera battery is charged before the ceremony and you have enough storage to take as many photos and videos as you wish. 

capturing the moment students graduating

7. Think About Your Celebrations

Graduation ceremonies usually last for around 1.5 hours, so it’s worth having a think about how you’re going to celebrate afterwards. 

If you’re thinking about going for some nice food and drinks with your family, friends or course mates, take into account that a lot of places will require you to book in advance during graduation season, so to avoid disappointment you should sort out your table beforehand. 

You don’t want to spend half of your day walking around trying to get seated somewhere, you want to focus on graduating in style and making the most of your day! 

Or, if you’re planning on having a party with your course mates or university friends to celebrate the end of your student years then plan your get-together in advance too.

student graduating happy

8. Acknowledge Your Hard Work & Have Fun 

Getting a degree isn’t a walk in the park, you’ve dedicated a large amount of your time and effort into getting to this point so be sure to acknowledge all of your hard work.

It can be an overwhelming day and there’s sure to be plenty of tears, but all of your studying throughout your university years has paid off, so make sure to have fun and celebrate everything you’ve achieved at your graduation. 

Your graduation is also a time to get excited for the future, as one chapter closes, another one opens. 

Acknowledge Your Hard Work & Have Fun 

With all the tips we’ve mentioned within this handy guide, hopefully you’re feeling more prepared for this important life event and know how to ace your university graduation day. 

Congrats graduates, all of the team here at HFS hope you have the best day when the time comes!

Read next: Why The International Day Against Homophobia,Transphobia and Biphobia Is Celebrated. 

Table of Contents