How to calm graduation nerves

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This week over 2,600 Essex students will become Essex graduates.

Graduation is a big event in a student’s life, and therefore it can be an anxious experience. For me, avoiding anxiety is all about being organised and having a plan. If I know that I’ve planned and prepared for all aspects of an event then it helps me to calm my nerves (but never gets rid of them completely).

Here’s a quick list of tasks to run through for a seamless graduation experience:

Plan your gown and ticket collection

You will be able to collect your gown from LTB 7 up to two hours before your ceremony. To stay stress free I advise you not to leave it until the last minute and make sure you take your student ID card and any gown hire confirmation emails. There will be plenty of people from the gown hire team to help to fit your gown and hat so don’t worry about getting in a pickle!

You also need to collect any guest tickets 1 – 2 hours before your ceremony from LTB 6 and you will need your Student ID card and any ticket booking confirmation emails.

Remember, tickets and gowns must be collected no later than 45 minutes before the ceremony.

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Know how you and your guests will travel to campus

Whether you are driving, catching a bus or getting a taxi, you don’t want to be worrying about getting held up or going to the wrong car park. If you’re travelling from afar, plan your journey well in advance and check out the travel advice on the website.

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Follow the dress code

Choose a graduation outfit that fits with the dress code but is comfortable; it’s going to be a busy day!

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Know what to expect on the day

Graduation isn’t just about the formal ceremony – there is lots more to enjoy on campus, too! Stay stress free and know what time you need to be at your ceremony and departmental reception (and where they both are).

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Try to get your 8 hours

Getting a good night’s sleep before your graduation is important, especially if you are going to be travelling a long way. In order to get a good night’s sleep before your graduation I recommend having some time in the evening away from TV or phone screens. Instead, try reading a book or having a look through your graduation itinerary to familiarise yourself with your plan for the next day. A bath or a hot drink can also relax your nerves and help you to enter the land of nod a little more easily.

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Don’t go hungry

Before your graduation ceremony try and have some food; you don’t want to hold out on eating completely just because of there will be canapés at the departmental reception! 2 hours is a long time to wait through a graduation ceremony if you are hungry so why not stop off at one of the food outlets on campus beforehand for a bite to eat.

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Try not to worry and enjoy the experience!

If you’re nervous talk about it, I’m sure everyone else graduating is nervous at not knowing what the experience will be like. Try to remember that even though there may be a large crowd of people, most are there to support their family and won’t notice if you trip a little on your way up to the stage.

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University isn’t easy. Be proud of yourself for completing your degree.

So, take a deep breath and enjoy your day.

You deserve it!

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For more information on the 2015 graduation please visit http://www.essex.ac.uk/students/graduation/documents/gradguide.pdf

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