7 top tips ahead of your graduation ceremony

For some the thought of graduating represents a dream come true. For others it resembles a living nightmare. Read our handy tips to ensure you emerge unscathed with your mortar board intact.

1. Choose the right outfit in advance

If you're buying something new, try it on in real life to make sure it fits as you’d hoped. And don’t leave it until the morning of your ceremony to get your clothes together – have it all laid out the night before. Do we need to mention the perils of stiletto heels or shoes that don't fit properly? Ok then...

2. Get a good night’s sleep

It can be a busy day (and an emotional one) so your prep really begins the night before. Get an early night if you can so you’re fresh for the following day. If you wake up at 3am worrying about graduation, remember: your brain magnifies bad thoughts when it’s in sleep mode so don’t go pillow pondering.

3. Have a proper breakfast

Yes, we all know a good breakfast starts the day right. Depending on the running order, you might have quite a gap between meals so make sure you’ve set yourself up for the long haul. If your ceremony is in the afternoon you might want to eat with friends or family in one of Brighton’s cafés or bars.

4. Leave plenty of time for travel (and know where you’re going)

There is nothing worse than rushing when time is against you. However long you think you’ll need, add an hour. Brighton sits in a valley and traffic bottlenecks towards the centre. Better still, use public transport but take into account its reliability and check for any disruption. And make sure you know where you’re going once you get to the venue.

5. Getting gowned up and appearing on stage

Once you’re in the venue there are plenty of Sussex staff with arguably better training than Navy Seals to make sure you’re properly dressed, looking good and in the right seat ahead of the ceremony. Basically, just do as they say and you’ll be fine.

6. Perfect your picture pose

You clutching a rolled-up certificate is the photograph that may well adorn your parents’/grandparents’/flatmate’s mantelpiece for the rest of your life. It can be taken before or after your ceremony so you may wish to practise that look of elation in advance. Whatever happens, we’re sure you'll look fabulous.

7. Smile

You’ve worked hard for three solid years ahead of this day (that’s what’s usually in the Vice-Chancellor’s speech to undergraduates anyway). So make sure you take a minute to look around, soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the occasion. You’ve earnt this moment.

All gifs via Giphy

If you need more advice, you can read our guide for on the day.