The calendar’s marked, dinner reservations are made, and by now you’ve become intimately familiar with exactly how much coffee you can consume before you start to sympathize with those reality television shows focused on people battling with addiction.
Finally, graduation is right around the corner. But between wrapping up classes and a well-deserved sigh of relief—and hopefully a few good nights of sleep—there’s a rollercoaster of emotions leading to graduation. From turning in your final manuscript or giving that final presentation to finally walking across that stage, we know these are the five thoughts going through your head.
“It’s All Over. I Can Rest Now.”
You’ve made it. All of those hours of research and studying have led up to this moment and, after many a sleepless night, you’ve emerged victorious. The weight of the world has finally been lifted off of your shoulders. Enjoy the rest while you can, because the weeks around graduation have their own unique challenges, like…
“This Isn’t My Grandma’s Cap and Gown”
While everyone wears the same cap and gown when they graduate as an undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students wear unique pieces of regalia that further identify their achievement, their degree level, and their specific discipline. You’ll be the envy of every undergrad as you strut around in a hat that’s fluffier, a robe that’s bigger, and a fancy hood that is a breeze to put on.
“Seriously, How Does This Hood Work?!”
Have you ever looked at a piece of clothing and had no idea how you were supposed to wear it? If not, welcome to your hood, the only piece of graduation attire with its own YouTube videos dedicated to attaching it to the rest of your regalia. But, don’t worry! Graduation includes a quick crash course for both doctoral candidates and their chairs, the individual who is responsible for “hooding” you during Commencement.
How many advanced degrees does it take to put on perfectly? There’s only one way to find out.
“Don’t Trip. Don’t Trip. Please Don’t Trip.”
You’ve waited years for this day, and gravity—as well as your lack of coordination—know it. Wear something with style (but perhaps not with heels so high you’re on your tippy toes), walk carefully, and don’t try to be a showoff. Rug burns are momentary, but the pain and humiliation of becoming an internet sensation overnight for how clumsy you are never fades.
Degree in hand, future before you, and the stars in your eyes, that shiny graduate degree you hold opens a world of opportunity. Whether you’re heading off for another advanced degree, a new career, or still figuring that part out, savor this moment and appreciate how far you’ve come. You’ve earned it, and we couldn’t be more excited to see what’s to come for you!
To all of our graduates, from all of us here at the Graduate School, congratulations and best wishes. Wherever your journey takes you, your work and dedication are an inspiration to future generations of grad students. We’re incredibly honored to have been a part of it, and we are proud of you.
Speaking of, we’d love to be a part of your Commencement festivities! As you’re posting photos and celebrating your special day, don’t forget to tag @ulgradschool and use #ulgradlove so we can “ooh” and “ahh” at all the fun! (We promise not to be too jealous.)