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Making the most of your OU degree ceremony

The date is booked and the graduation ceremony is looming. The hard work is done and you’re getting ready to cross the stage to cheers and applause as you pick up your degree. But what to expect?!

Fear not, because we asked our Instagram alumni community for their best tips on how to make the most of this incredible day. So take a little advice from those who have been there before you …

Make sure you share it with the people you love

“Whatever you do, share your Graduation Ceremony with the people who supported you through all the years of study. The day is a great celebration of your achievement but also the love and support you’ve had. My husband cried when he saw me ‘gowned up’ and roared his head off when I went onstage. His joy and pride made it even more special. Best day of my life!”  Moitrez

graduation ceremony

Stage set for a graduation ceremony

Enjoy it, you deserve it – you’ve worked so hard for this!

You made it to the finish line! Well done! The ceremony is one of the best things that could happen to anyone. A moment to be proud of. Have fun. jemz_jem

It’s a huge achievement. You’ve passed. Enjoy your special day with people you love. It’s never too late to stop learning! Iouheyspics

Enjoy and savour every second of it. When studying got tough, I was working full time and raising my son; my ultimate goal was to walk across the stage and collect my degree. I thought I’d be nervous but actually I was excited, 6 years of study and I’d done it!

Think about it – from the top to the bottom!

Wear realistic shoes! vickyisbrill

Get a fresh haircut – those pictures last! rhiannonshinner

Don’t worry about your gown and hood as you get ready for the procession – there is someone to make you look perfect! And the victory parade as you go back to your seat is awesome! kiriasher

Don’t worry – you’re among friends

I was really scared but honestly, I doubt you’ll ever be in an environment quite like that where everyone in the room is thrilled for you. At my graduation there were people crossing the stage on crutches, people crying, and even posthumous degrees being awarded. Everyone you see that day will have overcome something to be there. You’re amongst friends. Well done! redzep66

Take advantage of the support on offer for your day

If you are getting extra assistance for a health issue, take advantage of the support offered for your graduation. Get your portrait taken beforehand, use seating near facilities for your guests, etc. Most importantly, get a photo of your whole group on the day, taken by a helpful stranger. Enjoy every second! tiddleboo

It’s emotional – bring tissues!

Bring tissues. I was blasé about graduation but having finally (!!) done the degree I thought I may as well go. I sobbed through the entire thing. Big, ugly, snotty sobs of joy and relief and gratitude. I don’t think I’ll ever experience a day quite like my graduation ever again. Welcome to the best club in the world #OUalumni redzep66

It’s a difficult one to describe. A real melting pot of emotion with everybody in the room doing it for a multitude of reasons- that’s what makes it even more special. That feeling of achievement and the alien prospect of having weekends and the ability to actually do things that you want to again is unbelievably good- look forward to that and be happy with everything you’ve worked for! gary_mcintyre87

About Author

Christine is a manager in the Media Relations team within the Marcomms Unit at the OU. She is an experienced BBC journalist, sub-editor and news editor and has a background in regional newspapers. After moving to PR she worked as a press officer for the Zoological Society of London. She has a BSc in Social Sciences with Politics from The Open University; she focuses on STEM stories and widening access in HE. Chris swims regularly and has a pet Tortoise called Lightning.

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