In the UK, most people graduate just once...unless you decide to do a Doctors Degree..or Masters Degree after University, in which case: I RATE YOU GUYS! I know all you Americans, and many others around the world, graduate from high school, college and grad school, which means you have plenty of gradu-practice to perfect it for the last, and final one. Us, on the other hand, do not get the chance to practice. We just have to kind of go with the flow, listen and rely on a bunch of undergraduates and 'helpers' who look about 16 to help us PUT ON OUR GOWNS and direct us to the right marquee/hall where the ceremony is held.
After just coming back from my graduation ceremony...I can officially say: it is a hell of a messy affair!
From attempting to leave your house with a family of six, with siblings who decide to get out of bed 30 minutes before you are about to leave the house, to squeezing into the family car which is forever shrinking as the familia is forever growing...all the way through to finding parking space...going backwards and forwards every hour to top-up the parking meter...then realising you ordered the rent-a-robe too big, which consequently results in the damn vampire cloak slipping of scrawny shoulders at every opportunity making one look like a messed-up hoochie, even though ones ensemble is smart and very presentable...but what does that matter when a giant cloak covers it all?!
And the worst part of the dramas? THE HAT! The stupid tasseled mortar board!!!!!!!!! Everyone will tell you I have a fairly large head, which I am proud of - I measured my head for the hat it was 59 cms. But this hat they presented to me..this cauldron they disguised as a graduation hat, was HUGE. IT WAS HUGE. And it kept slipping off my head. This hat would not sit on my head, and when I went up on stage it decided to slip once again, luckily it did not fall off entirely because that would have been an embarrassment.
Seen as I am the first of my friends to have my graduation ceremony, and to prevent a messy and stressful affair, I thought I would advise you to:
- Not wash hair the night before ceremony: Freshly washed hair = super soft = no chance of hat staying.
- Get the right size gown. It will swallow you. You will look like a vampire if rent-a-lobe is black.
- Paint your nails super bright, so when you are holding the scroll in the picture you can see them, you will look ghetto-fabulous...in the best way possible ;-). I opted for green and purple. Because that is just how I get down...
- BRING HAIR SLIDES - I failed: I had to ask lots of girls to borrow some. These will be usefull for the hat to stay on your head and not on the floor.
- BRING HAIRSPRAY - I failed hence why my hat would not sit on silky smooth hair ;-), but luckily my sisters found an elastic band to braid my hair, which allows for borrowed-hair slides to hold hat better.
- BRING SISTERS: if it wasn't for my sisters playing hairdresser/stylist, my robe would be knotted around my waist...and the hat would be a squashed piece of felt-covered-cardboard after being stamped on 100 times in a rage. There would be NO more tassel.
- Bring body spray: that robe is heavy and makes you super hot. Especially on a hot afternoon (like today).
- Bring a safety pin - the hood of the gown is huge, and it DOES NOT SIT.
- Bring make up - for photo touch ups :-D, you do not want to look a hot mess on that photo which will forever sit on the family mantle piece.
- Oh and if you are super OTT (like me)...and cannot do with wearing a hat that a hundred other students are wearing, you want that extra unique touch...BRING A HAT ACCESSORY!!! Don't do a Serena from Gossip Girls and wear the tassel in your hair, because it looks super-stupid. It could be anything! I brought this vintage pin from way back...I don't even know what it is used for...but its a fairly large gold pin, with an oriental pattern ball, diamante encrusted detailing with gold chains dangling between the pin and ball. I didn't intend on using it on my hat, I was supposed to use it to attach my robe hood to my top but it was too big! Anyway, I prefer it on my hat..because its gold and chained which means I still had my personal touch within my 'smart' look :-D
- And, finally, its bad, but must be done: LIE. Lie to family members to make sure you get to the ceremony on time, better still, lie to make sure you get to the ceremony early to allow for plenty of photo opportunities :-D
Happy, and stress free graduating to all Classes of 2009 around the world!