DI’s De-classified Graduation Survival Guide

By Natalie Stanowski, Assistant Special Sections Editor

Finally after what seems like forever, you’re about to walk across the finish line — stage. You’ve got the gown you’re renting out for an arm and a leg and the relatives you’ve never heard of all have their tickets ready; all that’s left is Commencement Day. Here’s some advice to make the big event go as smoothly as possible.

What you wear matters

Before you waste the evening trying on every half-presentable article of clothing in your closet, don’t forget your gown will be covering it. Commencement is an hours-long event, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors by dressing up underneath; you will have plenty of time afterward to change into photo-shoot worthy attire.

More importantly, mind your footwear. Your graduation ceremony is not the time to be breaking in a new pair of shoes. There will a lot of walking and standing around before the day is over, so maybe leave your three-inch heels at home. Your feet will thank you later.

Leave your bag at home

It may be nice to have somewhere to keep your cell and other miscellany, but trust me when I say the whole ceremony will go a lot smoother if you aren’t lugging a purse or bag around. If there is something you want to access before or after the ceremony, ask your parents to hold onto it during the ceremony itself. Other than a phone to get in touch and meet up with your family afterward, there shouldn’t be anything you need to take with you on stage.

Don’t forget to eat

Graduation is a long and tedious ceremony that will seem to stretch more and more as it goes on. Nothing would be more distracting than thinking about how hungry you are the entire time. What would be more embarrassing than a stomach growl during the ceremony? Plus you’ll get some much-needed strength to enjoy the occasion as much as you can.

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While a hearty breakfast will get you through the start of the day, your parents will surely want to celebrate the occasion by taking you out to eat afterward. Don’t forget, however, every one of the thousands of other families at graduation will be thinking the exact same thing. Unless you particularly enjoy standing in lines, consider making a reservation in advance to skip the rush.

Take your pictures early

How else will you remember graduation 10 years from now without a dedicated album? While there are plenty of places for a photo shoot on campus, spots like the Alma Mater will quickly turn into an hours-long wait. The worst time will be right before or after the graduation ceremony, so consider going early in the morning, or even a few days before commencement to beat the crowds.

Natalie is a sophomore in LAS.

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