Getting Ready to Graduate College: 5 Tips to Reduce Graduation Day Stress

A female college student is prepared for graduation day and is able to enjoy the ceremony.

Graduation day is coming quickly. As a senior, you may find yourself experiencing a variety of emotions. You may be looking forward to finishing your finals and walking across the stage, or maybe you’re sad about leaving your college life behind.

Whether you’re feeling excited, sad, relieved or nervous, know you’re not alone. Graduation is an exciting, busy time filled with changes and celebrations. However, there are things you can do to help you feel less stressed about graduation.

Here are five ways to reduce your stress about graduation day.

1. Get your regalia early.

With assignment due dates and finals, it can be easy to forget other deadlines, like ordering your graduation regalia. To reduce your stress for graduation day, order your cap and gown as soon as possible. When you get the notice yours has arrived, be sure to pick it up right away in case there are any problems. Having your regalia well in advance will help you feel less stressed and more prepared when graduation day arrives. 

2. Stay invested.

Once you’ve applied and been approved to graduate, it can be easy to lose interest or become less focused in the classroom. It may be tempting to let things slide or start to check out of your classes. It’s important to stay focused and engaged through the end of your last semester. Your final grades can impact your applications to grad school and your graduation status, so be sure to stay in the present and glean all that you can from your remaining time at the school. 

3. Move out slowly.

For many universities, move-out days happen quickly after graduation. With the stress of finals, project deadlines and the ceremony itself, moving out can become the last item on the agenda. Start moving out slowly in the weeks leading up to graduation. 

Pack up items that you no longer need and start a list of the bigger things, like your fridge or microwave, that will need to be moved. As time gets closer, pack up everything but the essentials. That way, after graduation, you’ll be ready to go and not have to rush to get everything done.

4. Attend rehearsal.

Many universities have rehearsals the day before or the day of graduation. While it may seem long or unnecessary, attending the graduation rehearsal is a great way to reduce your stress for the ceremony. 

Be sure to attend and make the most of your time there. Pay attention as they discuss key points like dress code, the order of events and what you’ll do once you’re on stage. You can even wear the shoes you’ll wear to the ceremony to practice walking across the stage.

5. Be in the moment.

Many seniors can feel overwhelmed if they don’t have their futures fully planned out or have a job lined up right after they graduate. As you approach graduation, try not to stress about the future. Instead, celebrate your accomplishments and enjoy this time with your friends and family. Allow yourself to be excited for this new chapter in your life, but don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out. 

As graduation approaches, take time to reflect on the memories you have made and all that you have accomplished. Remember to cherish this celebration with your friends and family. Don’t worry about the future. Instead, step confidently onto the stage and celebrate all you’ve accomplished, hopeful for the future. You’ve earned it!

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