When you arrive at the graduation venue and it is time to be seated you will be separated from your guests and enter the venue along with your fellow graduands (people who are about to receive their degree).
The seating arrangements will have been organised by the ceremony planners to help make the day as organised and efficient as possible. This usually means sitting in the same order you will be called to the stage. There will be plenty of staff members on hand to help you find your seat if you are confused.
Where you sit can depend on how your university or college organises its graduation ceremonies, however, it is likely you will be sitting with people who were in the same course as you in alphabetical order, normally by your last name.
Similarly, your guests will have assigned seats to help get everyone seated quickly and easily. There will also be staff on hand to help them so you don’t need to worry.
At the start of your graduation ceremony, there will be an academic procession that usually lasts for between 15 and 20 minutes. During the academic procession, senior academics and staff dressed in academic attire will walk onto the stage. You might recognise some of your lecturers during this procession.
You will stand during the academic procession before being invited to sit again once the academic staff have taken their seats on stage. You will then be welcomed by the president, vice-chancellor or another senior member of the academic board.
After the welcome speech has finished the presentation of the awards will begin. Each graduand will be called on to the stage one by one. This process is very coordinated and staff members will be on hand to ensure nothing goes wrong.
Usually, you will be called by subject in the same order that you are seated. This can lead to a long wait for your turn or a long wait after you have walked across the stage, depending on where you are seated.
Your walk across the stage will be the following:
After the ceremony, you will leave the venue and have some more free time to take photos outside the venue with your friends and family. Depending on your college, there may be a post-ceremony celebration happening nearby.
All university graduation ceremonies will be different. Some will serve food and drinks, while others might have activities to help their graduates celebrate their recent academic success.
At the celebration, you will often have the opportunity to have your photo taken while wearing your graduation gown and cap by a professional photographer.
At the end of the celebration, you will need to return your hired graduation gown and cap to the gown hire company before heading out to celebrate with your family and friends.