Graduation: The Ugly Truth Behind the Happy Photos

It’s that time of year where our Instagram and Facebook feeds are filled with young hopefuls dressed in caps and gowns, feeling super excited yet equally as nervous about their increasingly uncertain future.

Yes, graduation is a great event and a right of passage for most university students but no one ever informed us of the ugly truths behind the flawless and happy photos we see on social media. Here are 3 things to expect when graduating.

  1. Don’t hold your breath.
    Graduation is actually one of the most anticlimactic days of your life. You’re likely to be sweating, hungry and ridiculously tired all day, not to mention the sore feet from wearing heels and the constant fear of tripping over on stage. Then there’s the constant clapping for a hour and a half. Yawn.Grad 1
  2. Throw Your Plans Out the Window.
    No matter how hard you try, there will always be hiccups during your day. Whilst you may have planned to get ready hours before the ceremony, traffic and slow parents mean you’ll most likely end up getting changed in a disabled toilet and frantically trying to curl your hair in the mirror of a hotel lobby. Likewise, if you planned on meeting certain friends during the day, chances are your encounter will consist of a quick ‘you look amazing’ or ‘congratulations’ as you bustle past each other to the nearest restaurant that has a free table. My advice? Don’t make any solid plans.
  3. Stop the Paparazzi.
    There are only so many photos you can take in a cap and gown. The official photo and the first half an hour of selfie-taking and posing are fun until your parents insist on getting the same angle or pose for the 50th time. Though their heart may be in the right place, attempting to pose in a crowd of hundreds of people does leave you feeling a little more fed up than full of joy.
  4. No One Cares.
    The amount of stress we put ourselves through to look good for a few hours really isn’t worth it. No one honestly looks at you during graduation. Everyone is wrapped up in their own affairs. Not that you could see an outfit and immaculate hairstyle under a cap and gown anyway…

At the end of the day, you’re left feeling deflated, achy and conned out of a ridiculous sum of money for a fleeting second of delight.

Graduation is not a day for graduates.

It is a day for the university to show off their gowns, fancy buildings and the fact that they can print ‘conGRADulations’ everywhere. It’s also for parents to show you off to other family members via Facebook and e-mail. At least we get a decent profile picture at the end of it…

… Right?


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