Make graduation day comfortable

Graduation day will arrive before many students have a chance to pause and reflect on their time as students. The pomp and circumstance are deeply rooted traditions passed down through academia. If only comfort was automatically built into the graduation equation.

Most graduation ceremonies occur at the end of the school year when temperatures tend to be rather warm. For schools with large student bodies, the distribution of diplomas might take place outdoors on a football field or under a tent. Some ceremonies may take place in poorly ventilated auditoriums. That can make conditions less than comfortable for graduates.

Attire also can make grads uncomfortable. Graduation caps and gowns can be cumbersome, especially the heavily robed and layered gowns that signify higher academia.

Finally, graduation ceremonies tend to be lengthy, which can only exacerbate any discomfort grads may feel.

Discomfort need not dominate come graduation day. In fact, students can take various steps to ensure graduation day is as comfortable as possible.

• Wear something lightweight. Layering a gown on top of heavy clothing can be a recipe for overheating. Dress accordingly for the weather that day and the venue. Remember, it’s always possible to add a layer.

• Stick to sensible shoes. That short trek across the stage to receive the diploma will be watched by hundreds in attendance and possibly recorded for posterity. Avoid slip-ups by wearing comfortable, flat shoes that are skid-resistant.

• Bring some tissues along. Reactions and emotions can run high on graduation day. This day is a milestone, and a few tears may be shed. Have tissues handy to catch stray tears.

• Leave ample time. Crowds will be descending on the school for the festivities. Traffic and parking issues are to be expected. Early birds will get the best parking spaces and will be around to hear their names called.

• Stay hydrated. Stuffy auditoriums or sun-baked bleachers can quickly make for an uncomfortable setting. While you shouldn’t bring along a bag, purse or too many accessories, tuck a small water bottle under your seat to help you stay refreshed throughout the ceremony.

Focus on comfort during a graduation ceremony, as the entire experience should be one to savor and enjoy.

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