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Friday 14 November 2014

Graduation How To

Graduation is a big moment in any student’s life – a chance to celebrate academic achievements in the company of friends, family and colleagues. Below are some of our top tips to help you make the most of the your special day.

  • Wear light clothes. – The gowns are heavy, and you don’t really want to be bright red or sweaty in your photos!
  • Break in your shoes. – The shoes you just brought may be perfect, but without a thorough road test you could find yourself hobbling across the stage to collect your award.

Think comfy, but not too comfy...


  • Take all the free stuff that you can. – Students get more freebies than most, but that won’t last long after graduation. Make the most of it while you can by grabbing any free refreshments, nibbles or marketing trinkets that you can get your hands on.
  • Bring safety pins – and lots of them. The graduation hoods are designed to attach to a shirt button, but safety pins will make the whole process much less of a hassle.
  • Wear your cap with pride. – Balancing your graduation cap on the back of your head might help to preserve your hairstyle , but this isn’t how it is traditionally worn. Those of you who are looking for a ‘classic’ look should pop it straight on top.

Mortar board caps are traditionally positioned so that the point faces the middle of the forehead.

  • …Or don’t. – Although the traditional “directly on top look” is going to be your parents’ favourite, you might disagree. If you are going to wear it at the back, secure it safely with multiple hair grips.

  • Don’t be a cynic. – It’s easy to dismiss graduation speech clichés, but the speaker telling you to “dream big, seek challenges and seize the day” has got where they are today by doing exactly that.

  • Try not to rush across the stage – you’re more likely to take a fall, and it’s a sure giveaway that you are nervous. Walk slower than usual, acknowledge the person giving you your award, and be yourself.

Be yourself… but not like this

  • Gowns don’t have pockets. – you should think about wearing something underneath your gown that has space for your phone, lipstick, breath mints, or whatever else you feel you might need.

  • It’s live online. – The ceremony is being streamed live online, so be sure to share the link with anyone in your family who isn’t able to attend.

  • Everyone looks the same in a cap and gown – so don’t assume that your family will be able to find you easily after the ceremony! Make it easy for yourself by arranging to meet at a nearby landmark.

Between 200 and 300 students graduate at each ceremony

  • Going out for a meal after the ceremony? – Everyone else is too. If you want to get into your favourite restaurant, make sure you book a table.

  • Bring contact cards – and hand them out to people you are eager to keep in touch with; you might not have another chance to swap details.

Congratulations to all of you who will be graduating next week. Everyone here at Southampton Solent University is wishing you the best of luck with all of your future endeavours.

To find out more about Solent's graduation ceremonies, be sure to visit the graduation homepage.