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    Graduation season has started and so I thought it would be nice if people who have been through the process could share hints and tips with those about to take the walk across the stage.

    I'll start it off with a couple:

    - avoid low cut tops or if you do wear one bring some safety pins and normal pins to keep your hood in place

    - eat some food/snacks and stay hydrated (don't be the person who faints or falls over!)

    -go to the toilet at every opportunity!

    - listen to the ushers - especially if you're at the front. If you don't understand then ask!

    - don't take selfies on the stage

    - be prepared to clap A LOT!
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    Another one from today:

    If you're traveling a long way make sure you have contact details for the graduation team. If you get stuck in traffic then they might be able to help if you arrive late (graduand today legging it round the back to get robed and bundled in after the speeches started because we knew she was coming but running late! All worked out perfectly but only because she phoned ahead).
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    Be prepared for the serious amount of photos

    And also, the really long thesis titles of the PhD lot :P
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    Hold your mortarboard on your head, and dont throw it to high in the air otherwise you'll never get it back.
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    For the ladies:

    Shoes. If you're not used to wearing heels, a graduation ceremony is the wrong time to start. You're already going to be nervous and you may have to climb/descend steps to get on and off stage. Don't risk a pratfall. Classy flats look elegant when teamed with the right outfit.

    Blouses. The coloured/trimmed hood for your academic gown has a loop which is designed to hook over a blouse button to keep it in place. This pulls your blouse up a bit and can make it gape, so make sure it's long enough. Avoid unsightly midriffs by bringing a couple of safety pins and discreetly pinning it to the gown at the shoulders (especially important if wearing a button-free frock). The button loop will then just be keeping the point of the hood in the correct position on your front, rather than be weight bearing.

    Appropriate clothing. Please think about what you're going to look like in your graduation photos (forever, if my parents are anything to go by...) and dress appropriately. If you have an outgoing dress sense, it might be an idea to take it down a notch or two. When in doubt, you won't go far wrong with a Little Black Dress (just not too short). You'll have your moment in the spotlight as you cross the stage - make sure people notice you for the right reasons. Unlike the young lady at my ceremony, who turned up in see-through white trousers, a dark (and visible) thong and six inch turquoise stilettos. Of course it's always a useful distraction if you're disappointed in your grade and want to give onlookers something else to remember you by

    Handbag: You won't be able to carry one during the ceremony and most ladies' outfits won't have pockets. If you have a cold, securely safety pin a plastic sandwich bag inside your gown where it can't be seen, to carry clean (and used!) hankies and maybe a couple of cough sweets to soothe a cough. To be extra discreet, use black thread to sew it in, with some large stitches which can be easily removed before handing it back to the rental company.

    Ladies and gentleman:

    Toilet: Agree with the above poster - go as often as possible beforehand! Even if you don't want to, there's nothing like a combination of nerves and not being able to get to a loo, to make your bladder start complaining.

    Parents: They *will* inevitably embarrass you. Just get used to the idea. I introduced mine to the head of my department at the post-ceremony drinks reception. Within five minutes, he'd been informed that one of my uncles was probably a drug dealer who was serving a prison sentence. To this day, I have no recollection of how the conversation had gone so wrong, so fast, but my parents were thrilled and talk about "that nice professor" to this day. *cringe*

    Uni friends: Make the most of your time with them on the day, because it will be the last time you ever meet up with most of them in person. I was so nervous for the whole day, that I forgot to spend time with them and didn't properly say goodbye to anyone. I still regret that, nearly five years on.

    Significance: Amidst all of the parent-wrangling, clothes dilemmas and nerves, try to remember that this is *your* day. This is a public acknowledgement of what you've achieved with those years at uni. When you cross that stage, listen to the applause - that's for you and you deserve it. Bloody well done!
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    For the ladies:

    Shoes. If you're not used to wearing heels, a graduation ceremony is the wrong time to start. You're already going to be nervous and you may have to climb/descend steps to get on and off stage. Don't risk a pratfall. Classy flats look elegant when teamed with the right outfit.

    Blouses. The coloured/trimmed hood for your academic gown has a loop which is designed to hook over a blouse button to keep it in place. This pulls your blouse up a bit and can make it gape, so make sure it's long enough. Avoid unsightly midriffs by bringing a couple of safety pins and discreetly pinning it to the gown at the shoulders (especially important if wearing a button-free frock). The button loop will then just be keeping the point of the hood in the correct position on your front, rather than be weight bearing.

    Appropriate clothing. Please think about what you're going to look like in your graduation photos (forever, if my parents are anything to go by...) and dress appropriately. If you have an outgoing dress sense, it might be an idea to take it down a notch or two. When in doubt, you won't go far wrong with a Little Black Dress (just not too short). You'll have your moment in the spotlight as you cross the stage - make sure people notice you for the right reasons. Unlike the young lady at my ceremony, who turned up in see-through white trousers, a dark (and visible) thong and six inch turquoise stilettos. Of course it's always a useful distraction if you're disappointed in your grade and want to give onlookers something else to remember you by

    Handbag: You won't be able to carry one during the ceremony and most ladies' outfits won't have pockets. If you have a cold, securely safety pin a plastic sandwich bag inside your gown where it can't be seen, to carry clean (and used!) hankies and maybe a couple of cough sweets to soothe a cough. To be extra discreet, use black thread to sew it in, with some large stitches which can be easily removed before handing it back to the rental company.

    Ladies and gentleman:

    Toilet: Agree with the above poster - go as often as possible beforehand! Even if you don't want to, there's nothing like a combination of nerves and not being able to get to a loo, to make your bladder start complaining.

    Parents: They *will* inevitably embarrass you. Just get used to the idea. I introduced mine to the head of my department at the post-ceremony drinks reception. Within five minutes, he'd been informed that one of my uncles was probably a drug dealer who was serving a prison sentence. To this day, I have no recollection of how the conversation had gone so wrong, so fast, but my parents were thrilled and talk about "that nice professor" to this day. *cringe*

    Uni friends: Make the most of your time with them on the day, because it will be the last time you ever meet up with most of them in person. I was so nervous for the whole day, that I forgot to spend time with them and didn't properly say goodbye to anyone. I still regret that, nearly five years on.

    Significance: Amidst all of the parent-wrangling, clothes dilemmas and nerves, try to remember that this is *your* day. This is a public acknowledgement of what you've achieved with those years at uni. When you cross that stage, listen to the applause - that's for you and you deserve it. Bloody well done!
    Having watched a graduate cross the stage in a onesie yesterday I'd say the advice on comfy shoes and thinking hard about your outfit applies to men and women

    For those considering a suit - YOU WILL GET HOT. Most ceremonies won't have aircon, you'll have a gown over the top too and a lot of ceremonies are in the summer. A smart shirt and tie without a jacket will probably be more comfortable in a stuffy hall than a suit jacket too (and don't get me started on waistcoats as well!).

    The man a few days ago graduating in a polkadot shirt might regret that too...

    I personally think light colour sleeves poking out from under a black robe look odd.

    Most universities will let you know the colours of the trim on your hood - a colour coordinated tie that matches your hood/robes with a dark navy/black/grey shirt will look extremely smart. Likely smarter than a suit that doesn't quite fit that makes you sweaty.

    (Obviously winter grads can go all out on a nice warm suit for under their robes).
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    I will be attending my graduation ceremony towards the end of this month. Do they offer champagne at graduation ceremonies? I just feel that it is a good opportunity to drink up for getting that First!!!
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    (Original post by samklipas0)
    I will be attending my graduation ceremony towards the end of this month. Do they offer champagne at graduation ceremonies? I just feel that it is a good opportunity to drink up for getting that First!!!
    It all depends really, at my graduation we had mulled cider (as I graduated in the winter), whereas I know people who had champagne :yep:
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    (Original post by samklipas0)
    I will be attending my graduation ceremony towards the end of this month. Do they offer champagne at graduation ceremonies? I just feel that it is a good opportunity to drink up for getting that First!!!
    Not actually champagne at mine, but red and white wine, Buck's Fizz (made with prosecco) and juice whilst the free supplies lasted, then a pay-as-you-go bar. Waiting staff circulated with buffet food, which was very tasty.

    Edit: That was my undergrad reception. My Masters ceremony was the last of four held that day. By the time our reception rolled round, there were a few battered leftover mince pies, the booze and coffee had run out, the remaining tea was stewed and lukewarm and there wasn't even a bar where you could buy your own. Plus there was one member of my department's staff who attended and they ignored everyone except their dissertation students.
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    (Original post by samklipas0)
    I will be attending my graduation ceremony towards the end of this month. Do they offer champagne at graduation ceremonies? I just feel that it is a good opportunity to drink up for getting that First!!!
    My graduation ceremony offered pimms and some orange juice.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    Graduation season has started and so I thought it would be nice if people who have been through the process could share hints and tips with those about to take the walk across the stage.
    Catering varies enormously from a sit down meal provided at your university's expense with copious free alcohol, to pizza and burgers to be paid for alongside overpriced prosecco together with a queue for tea and coffee of a length appropriate for a UKIP poster.

    Find out what is on offer and if dissatisfied book a table in a local pub or restaurant. Don't just expect to "drop in" somewhere. Even tourist traps like York, Chester and Lincoln will be swamped on graduation day,
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    Ceremonies are MUCH shorter these days - about an hour in many cases.

    Ladies might prefer to pin the loop of the hood to their bra rather than their blouse - it's a bit more secure.

    Book offiicial photos [if you want them] beforehand.

    If you can afford it, stay at a hotel/B&B the night before so traffic isn't an issue.

    Take an umbrella - your parents can look after it during the ceremony.

    Take something to keep your degree certificate flat and dry - some unis don't use cardboard 'holders' for them.

    The most recent one I attended [invited by ex student] we did have champagne!
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    They all vary so much that it is hard to say but as to the clothing advice, I agree

    It is more for your parents than you, so cave in a bit, it's only one day

    There are loads of stalls to wring out every last pound on souvenir type purchases.
    If your parents want photos and a DVD , agree. Who wants a DVD? But granny might like to see, and it will be fun in 10 years time to watch with your mates and copious wine.

    The food/drink issue is variable. One uni may give nothing in those terms, others give a free glass of champagne . One uni may have free food, another charge inflated prices for a basic cold aircraft style box meal do some research as to what is on offer. £30 on the day for a crap bottle of champagne is common . Bring your own if you want

    One thing that I have seen is a gowned up student and his dad arguing with an official. The student had ignored a bill, and was refused entry to the ceremony. His parents had travelled, booked a room, hired a gown and were livid at the student for failure to pay. The uni was unable to process a credit card on the day. You could hear the dad shouting at the student across a large lawn. Mum was in tears!

    Nothing looks more out of fashion in 2 years than "trendy" so conservative is the theme
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    There is a lot of variation time wise, from 45 mins to 180
    It depends on the size of the venue.

    Some unis have a sytem where the students sit in the hall and go up
    Some, the students queue outside and the last to enter is only inside for 20 mins

    You have to be there in plenty time to gown up and maybe have photos taken before.

    There are time limits on gown hire with penalties on late return
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    Don't go :qed:

    That's what I did. :-/
 
 
 
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