So suddenly it’s here, after 3 years (for most), of lectures, essays, exams and of course, parties – Congregation is just around the corner. It got us talking about our own ceremonies in the Local Support Office and with a sudden shock, I remembered that it was 6 years ago that I graduated myself! So with a nostalgic look back at that day – here are some suggested Do’s and Don’ts to help you prepare for and to enjoy your Congregation day.
DO plan your outfit ahead of time. Remember that they will pin your hood to your top/blouse so it’s best not to wear anything delicate, unless you don’t mind it getting ruined! Also, wear comfortable shoes – there will be an awful lot of posing and standing and those 5 inch heels won’t seem like a good idea for long.
DO take the time to talk to and thank your lecturers. They really are proud of you for doing so well and are genuinely interested in what you go on to do. LinkedIn is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your academics and you never know when you might want a reference from them, so do get connected.
DON’T worry if you didn’t get the result you were hoping for. I know it sounds cliché but some of the most successful people in life didn’t do amazingly well at University. Be proud of what you’ve achieved and remember that you are more than just a result on a piece of paper.
DO tell your friends that you will keep in touch and mean it. If you end up anything like my group of University
friends, you will be scattered around the country (and in some cases the globe) but they really are some of the best people you have ever met, so don’t lose them!
DON’T panic if you are still unsure of what you want to do next. It’s not about finding the perfect job straight away (or even the best paid one!) Just look for ways to get experience in any field; whether it’s a graduate scheme, an internship or volunteering – they will all look great on your CV and you will figure out where your passions lie along the way.
DO plan your journey head of time. You will need plenty of time to pick up your cap and gown so make sure you get here early enough
DO take LOTS of photos with your family and friends. You may never get around to framing that certificate but trust me; you will look back at these photos for years to come. And do get a formal portrait photo; the grandparents will go potty for it.
DON’T lose your certificate! This may sound like an obvious one but it’s easy to take it home after Congregation, put it somewhere ‘safe’ and then immediately forget where that was. After moving house three times in the interim, I needed my certificate for a job application and it was a slightly stressful procedure to turn the house upside down to find it. (Suffice to say I was mortified when it turned out my ‘safe place’ was at my parents’ house, not mine!)
DO have fun! Congregation is a celebration of all the hard work you’ve put in and you should feel proud! Make the most of your day, with family, friends, academics and support staff. And please keep in touch. Here at NBS we really want to know what you go on to do, who knows – one day we might be inviting you back to give an inspirational talk to current students! Connect with us on LinkedIn, follow us on twitter and like us on Facebook.
P.s My top tip of all? Get a Congregation photo with your University boyfriend/girlfriend. You never know…you might end up marrying them one day!