It’s graduation day – the most important day of your life, apart from your first holy communion (obviously).
It’s hard to believe that it’s been YEARS since you flew the nest and switched to your staple diet of pasta, Aldi vodka and bad decisions – so it’s only natural to feel a little nostalgic about leaving that life behind.
If, for some mad reason, you’re feeling ecstatic about entering the real world (the one full of unemployment and struggles to pay back your student loans) – don’t worry – your parents are going to be be nostalgic on your behalf. Expect tears in their eyes as they recall the day they dropped you off to move into that smelly, damp student accommodation all the way back in first year. And here they are again, all these years later, your Dad in the suit he hasn’t worn since your communion day, and Mammy sporting that dress she got on sale in Marks & Spencers after Christmas. The pair of them as proud as punch.
(Sidenote: we have no idea who Punch is, and what he had to be so proud about).
There has probably been a fairly big build up to your day – making sure your family book time off work to celebrate the four years of absolute craic you just had, trying to find a measuring tape at home to see what size gown you need, and wondering what way you will stand for the Snapchats and Instagrams on the day. And, along with all this hype, often comes STRESS.
So, here at oxygen.ie, because we are so sound, we’ve devised a simple and comprehensive graduation guide to help you along.
There are lots of stressful elements to graduation day. Getting there on time, organising a family meal, collecting your robes, wondering what the hell you are going to do with your life after you leave the bubble of college world. Please listen to us when we say it’s not worth the stress! It will all be GRAND. It’s a massive achievement to have gotten this far. If you have a degree, nobody can ever take that away from you. It’s a special day, so enjoy it!
We tried to come up with a fun way of saying “snap happy”, and snappy was it. (What do you think?!) The thing is that everybody at your graduation will become snap happy. As in, you’ll be standing around for HOURS having your photo taken. You’ll have to smile for your Mam, your friends Mam, your Mams friend, and her Mam. You will have an ache in your jaw, pains in your feet, and you’ll probably be staaarrvin. Just remember, it’s only one day! You’ll be glad of the photos in years to come- and you might even get a new profiler out of it.
3)WALKING ISN’T THAT HARD
It’s completely normal to feel a little anxious about that walk up to the stage to get your piece of paper. There’s a big crowd of your peers and their families, and you might be wearing six inch heals. Should you walk slowly, or quickly? Should you smile, or look serious because you’re an adult now? What if your hand is sweaty when you shake the presidents hand?
It’s scary. But you’ve been walking for a pretty long time now, it’s still just one foot in front of the other. You’ve managed to write a ten thousand word dissertation, and gone into labs after drinking until 6am for years. You can surely manage ten steps up to a stage! Also, nobody is really looking at you, they are all worried about the same things.
Don’t get insulted when the gown hiring company lady tells the other gown hiring company lady “we need a LARGE hat for this one”. You have a weird shaped head, but that’s just because it’s so full of brains after all those years of studying.
Don’t be surprised/upset by how much that hat ruins your groomed voluminous hair. The hat is actually called a mortarboard, because it’s particularly great for flattening your hair onto your head. (We may or may not have come up with this theory ourselves).
The moment when you throw that hat into the air is the best part of the day, simply because it’s so uncomfortable to wear. But, be warned, when you throw things in the air, they usually fall back down again. It’s science. (Mind your head).
5)TAKE IT EASY
Take it easy on the drink, that is! It’s tempting to get carried away, but graduation day is a LONG day. Pace yourself, because it is one you’ll want to remember.
When your family orders three bottles of wine with the meal, and then realises every one of them are driving except you, it does not mean you should drink the three bottles on your own.