Before You Arrive:
- Hydrate & Eat! It’s so important to remember to keep yourself well-fed and hydrated. It seems simple, but it’s easy to forget amid graduation pictures and parties. The key is to drink 16 oz or so a couple hours before the ceremony, but you should be keeping hydrated at all times. Stop drinking an hour before the ceremony to prevent having to go to the bathroom during it. The last thing you want is to be the one that fainted at graduation.
- Apply sunscreen if the ceremony has an outdoor portion. Even if it won’t be that sunny, you can still get sunburned.
- Charge batteries. Phone, camera, mom’s camera–teach mom how to use the camera if she doesn’t know already! You don’t want anything to get in the way of the memories.
- Be hygienic. Remember that you will be in close proximity with people, so don’t forget the deodorant.
- Go to the Bathroom: go right before you leave! Chances are you’re going to be nervous, so try to go as often as you can before you have to be in your spot for the ceremony.
Bring to the Ceremony:
- Cap/Gown/Honors Regalia. Make sure you don’t forget the most important part! If your school doesn’t supply you with these, make sure to purchase them well in advance. Find out things like if the tassels are supposed to be plain, or include the graduation year. If your organization is doing honor cords, be sure to get the right color. Encourage everyone to purchase from the same place to ensure continuity. Honors Graduation provides these for schools, organizations and students.
- Semi-formal comfortable clothes: you don’t want jeans and a t-shirt, but you also don’t want a 3-piece suit or evening gown. A happy medium is slacks and a button up, or a summer dress. Schools may have their own specifications, but this usually is the standard. I would recommend girls wearing something with pockets, for reasons further down the list.
- Comfortable shoes: you’ll be walking and standing for pictures, so be sure to wear practical shoes.
- Tide To-Go Pen. Need I remind you that besides a wedding day, this might be one of the most photographed events of your life?
- Gum. This might seem odd, but it’s especially helpful if you’re way down the list as far as the order for crossing the stage. If you get strong, minty gum, it will help keep you awake and the peppermint will help with nerves. Just make sure to spit it out before walking up to receive your diploma! That brings us to the next point:
- Everything must fit in your pockets. Chapstick, extra bobby pins, tissue pack, etc. Bringing purses or book bags is generally frowned upon. Sometimes you don’t go back to the same seat after receiving your diploma and you don’t want anything to get lost. Have your family carry anything you might want for later. Cell phones should stay untouched in the pocket until after the ceremony to locate your family/friends. Having it on and out during the ceremony is not respectful to the other graduates.
Good luck, and congratulations on this milestone achievement!
Featured Image: Sarah Starkweather