If any of you have been following my twitter, it must have been clear that graduation has been stressing me out to the point where I wondered if I even want to attend. Graduation is stressful for a few reasons, like… what do I wear? and, will my divorced parents end up fighting or causing a scene? as well as… how do I act during graduation? (this might not seem like an obvious one, but if I have to do something that I have never done before I always worry about the right way to act). Additionally, in order to get to graduation, I had to sit in a car for two days.
I know I’m not the only one that might not have wanted to attend. Some people think it’s too expensive, or too much of a hassle or some people dislike ceremonies. However, now that I have graduated I am pleasantly surprised by how smoothly it went, and how beneficial it actually is to have attended. Yet, it is strange, because how do the many cons weight up to the pros? If graduation is so stressful, why is it a good thing to attend?
It isn’t as bad as my mind made it out to be
It wasn’t actually as bad as my mind made it out to be on beforehand. I am always aware that my mind does this and I take comfort in knowing that even though it feels dreadful right now, it will be slightly better on the actual day. In other words, I use my anticipated negativity to my advantage (which doesn’t lessen the stress on beforehand but helps me cope wonderfully well on the day). So by the time it was graduation day I felt semi-calm and had convinced myself to take the day step by step, which does wonders. (It’s like when you are overwhelmed because you have many things to do and you can take back control by making a simple list.)
Additionally, I finally felt semi-confident in my dress and heels. I had tried on different dresses and shoes in the past week and asked other people’s opinions. In fact, I had to redo it all on the night before with one of my best friends, which definitely helped. I know, I know. In an ideal world, I wouldn’t need other people’s opinions to feel confident about what I’m wearing. Still, small steps – plus I wanted to wear a dress and I did, so that also counts as a little victory, and I felt good about this little victory on the day.
Everyone is happy
Apparently, it must be quite rare for everyone to be happy because the fact that everyone was happy certainly stood out to me. I think every graduate had a smile on their face, and every family member and every friend. Everyone was happy because everyone was happy. I felt happier every time someone smiled at me. We were all celebrating and so it was a wonderful and happy day. (Perhaps we should always smile at everyone to inspire happiness?)
Having to dress up can be nice
So, a good thing about graduation day is that you get to dress up which feels good. Looking good equals feeling good. Even better yet, are the robes.
I did not expect this at all. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, but it definitely exceeded any potential expectations. Wearing the graduation robes feels soooo awesome. I don’t know why, especially because the hat looks kind of silly, but wearing graduation robes feels good. I suppose they literally show you (and the people around you) that you are graduating. And you are graduating from university, an institution that (sort of?) stands for intelligence, which is regarded highly.
Moreover, though, the robes helped me feel like I had accomplished something and it also made me feel like this accomplishment is special. Before, I was aware that I was graduating but I didn’t think it was special. It seemed rather normal. One starts a course and finishes it. Simple, right? But it is difficult to stick to a course for three years, successfully do the work and actually, you know, do it even if you’re technically supposed to. It does cost effort and therefore finishing a degree is something to be proud of. Therefore,
Graduation is a day to celebrate and to acknowledge one’s accomplishments.
Acknowledging your success and accomplishments is important because it will help you feel great, and reinforce your success. If you don’t acknowledge your successes, everything you do will become mundane. If everything is mundane, the excitement will die out and whatever work you’re doing will not feel worth it. In other words, you might lose the motivation to do the best that you can. While, if you celebrate your success, you are more likely wanting to continue this path of success and thus you will continue to put in the effort and do your best. Whatever you’re doing will feel worth it and this will help you succeed again.
Additionally, we are often quick to point out the bad things rather than the good. But we can only help others if we feel good ourselves. We can only succeed if we believe we can succeed and we can only believe that we can succeed if we feel good about ourselves. We need to celebrate more.
I got to see my friends
The university town is a university town. This means that once you and your friends graduate, you will all move to different places and are likely to never live in the same place again. This is an incredibly depressing thought and graduation week is one of the last times in which you will still be together.
Graduation week is also a perfect excuse to go out with said friends and honestly just a great way to positively complete the three years of your degree.
Attend your graduation
Now that I have graduated, I would advise anyone to attend their graduation. It will help you acknowledge and celebrate your success which will be beneficial for whatever you are going to do next. Sure, it’s all very ceremonial and made out to be such a big thing, but why not simply embrace it? You worked hard in order to graduate so celebrate that you have. You deserve it!
Posts in preparation for University:
Posts about what University was like in my first year:
Acitivies week and exploring
Nadolig Llawen! Merry Christmas!
My struggle at University
What freshers week was like
WE WON SUPERTEAMS!
Living in university accommodation
Summer Ball 2016
Goodbyes are not forever goodbye’s
Posts about what University was like in my second year:
Posts about what University was like in my third year: