Your graduation is your biggest day as a university student. It’s a day where you get to celebrate your academic successes with friends, family and classmates. The fruits of your labour are evident when you’re in your gown and cap and it’s a chance to reminisce and to give yourself a pat on the back. So what do you need to prepare for and what happens at a graduation ceremony? Well, here at Unifresher we have compiled a small guide to ensure that your big day is one to remember.

What happens at a graduation ceremony?
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What happens at a graduation ceremony? 

You have graduated from university. It may not have seemed possible initially but here you are. Graduation truly is a lot to take in. In fact, many students confess that they didn’t believe they were done with education  until they were in their gowns.

So, what happens at a graduation ceremony? Usually a lot of crying. This is to be expected however, it’s been a long road. Be sure to embrace the experience, talk with other graduates, and say hi to your former tutors. This could be last time you see some people.

There’s no space for imposter syndrome here, you’ve earned the right to celebrate! All the countless hours of work you’ve put in were worth it. Don’t forget to take loads of pictures! One day in the not so distant future, you’ll look back fondly on this moment.

Many students worry about life after university, we’ve written an article to advise you on your step.

 Be organised!

These are the finer details students usually neglect until the last minute. There is a lot that goes into a graduation day that you need to be aware of. From picking the right outfit to ensuring that you’ve sorted accommodation if you are staying in your uni city for the evening.

choosing the right gown and cap, what happens at a graduation ceremony?
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Plan your graduation outfit

Want to be looking dapper for your big day? Plan our outfit early! We aren’t talking about your gown, wear something nice underneath to really cap off your look. A smart suit or dress is recommended. Remember you’ll likely have a dozen cameras and camcorders trained on you throughout the day.

Make sure you get the right gown and cap 

Now the fun part, putting on your gown and cap is sure to affect you emotionally. These clothes signifies your accomplishments at university – wear It with pride! It’s important to remember that different gown colours and styles have different meanings. Read our full guide to picking the right one here. 

Remember to get tickets!  (If necessary)

Graduation ceremonies often have limited spaces, this usually means having to purchase tickets for people coming to see you. Double check how many guests you are allowed to bring before you invite your whole extended family and then have to disappoint them.


Parking is chaotic at graduation ceremonies due to thousands of proud and excited parents battling for the closest spot. Be proactive and get to the venue early!  Otherwise having to walk 15 minutes to the car after the ceremony will be the worst part of the day.

graduation speeches, preparing for your graduation ceremony
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Enjoy the speeches! They’re about you.

Student can all attest to the horror of a lecturer transitioning into a monologue. However, you’ll be surprised at what happens when you’re at your graduation. This because for once their object of choice will be about someone you know very well – you. Hearing about your successes will fill you and your family with pride!

The dreaded graduation ceremony walk 

Lastly, the walk to receive your certificate has been touted by many students as nerve wrecking. Actually, you might find it incredibly relieving. The end of a chapter which was no doubt stressful and at times enjoyable, is concluded with a firm handshake and a certificate.

The anxiety of graduation welcomes an array of mixed emotions. The anticipation of getting your certificate in front of your peers and loved ones is palpable. When in doubt refer back to our first point, enjoy the moment because it is yours!

So, now you know what happens at a graduation ceremony. We hope these tips and tricks make your big day even bigger! For those of you that have yet to finish university, check out this survival guide for your final year! Likewise, if you feel like we missed anything out? Let us know in the comment section!