everything that will happen at graduation

From falling to family arguments: All the things guaranteed to happen at your graduation

Graduand? No, graduATE


Instagram stories are in a constant chokehold. From December, seeing every person and their dog post their Spotify Wrapped on their story, to the consistent influx of graduation and degree posts during the summer months. The graduation posts may be from a range of universities across the UK but the vibes are the same.

How do you tell the world you got a first without telling the world you got a first? Shameless repost of your boyfriend’s story congratulating you for getting a first class degree – obviously. The punny Instagram captions to accompany the obligatory graduation post; anything from the “one prosexy, two prosexy, three prosexy, floor!” to “uni… you were a (first) class time ;)”, it seems that the graduates of today are all living the same graduate reality.

With this in mind, it is more than likely that you’ve experienced at least one of these relatable things during your graduation ceremony. Consider this as your drunk bingo card, where you can tick off the moments of madness you experienced on that otherwise mundanely chaotic day.

Someone stacks it

It’s horrible, but it’s true, in the words of lyricist Horrible Histories’ Ratus Ratus. At least one person will fall during the ceremony and it will be the talk of the town. You cannot expect hundreds of nervous students donned in their caps and gowns, potentially slightly tipsy from the pre-match nerves Proseccos to all ascend the stairs, shake the hand and graciously accept their degree without at least one fall.

Hell, if Madonna at the Brit Awards can stack it like that, God knows Dan from Surrey, graduating with a 2:1 in Golf Management can also fall. It’s peak, it will be recorded and be watched by hundreds on the university’s live stream and there will be Jeremy Kyle style groans and heckles from the audience as the graduate does what they swear they wouldn’t do – and fall. A fall from grace. A walk of shame back to their seat. And sorry, your friends will try and console you by saying nobody will remember. But we do.

Someone’s mum has one too many of the free Prosecco’s in the celebration tent

Someone’s mum has one too many of the free Prosecco’s in the celebration tent

You haven’t had a formal, celebratory lunch with the whole family since Uncle Dennis’ 60th last March. You manage a solid two hours before the arguments start building. The restaurant you booked for the celebration lunch has run out of vegan options leaving your sister no choice but to order a series of sides and starters: Roasted seasonal veg, chips and hummus and flatbread which came to £20.50, much to dad’s joy.

Your brother won’t talk to you because your 2:1 is showing up his 2:2, mum is getting on your tether because she’s sneaking one too many sips of your complimentary cocktail (it’s the Prosecco tent all over again) and dad’s pissed everyone off for being rude to the waiter. Or, if your grad is anything like mine was, the restaurant you booked ends up being in a retirement home. Vibey.

The speaker pronounces a name wrong

I don’t know what’s more awkward: The stutter and stumble as the speaker realises they’ve absolutely fumbled the name, or their attempt to re-do it and make it that much worse.

You get called a “graduand” and wonder what on earth is a graduand?

Entered as a graduand. Left as a graduate. Well, forgive me for calling myself a graduate when all that time I was a mere graduand. Graduand! At first you might think the speaker has made a mistake, a slip of the tongue if you will. But after speech after speech instil in you that you are indeed a graduand, you’ll start to believe it. However, the second you are handed that silly little scroll, you magically transform into a graduate. And leave no crumbs.

everything that will happen at graduation

Nothing says graduation like a family argument in the smokers

Someone will do something risqué on stage

The narcissist in all of us secretly eats up the five seconds of fame that comes with ascending the stairs, shaking the hand of the chancellor and taking our degree certificate. However, there’s always always one who needs to go above and beyond to really maximise their five seconds. There will be someone will takes their BeReal on stage, there will be at least one who purposely walks tediously slowly, jeering on the crowd applause (it’s giving the kid who clung onto the pass the parcel for a second too long during their go). We’ve seen proposals, corked champagne bottles and protest speeches. The limit does not exist babes.

everything that will happen at graduation

Wardrobe mishap

If you can get past a graduation without a nip slip, you get an instant full house. Everyone looks gorgeous during graduation but there are some who go the extra mile to really stand out. Some go so far that standing out is not the only thing that happens. Things slip out, things snap off (the amount of broken heels and barefoot girlies who were huffing and puffing all day long was rough). Hats fall off and get put back on the wrong way around. And then there are the brave few who wear a kilt. Enough said.

The uni brass band will play a Bruno Mars rendition

In my case, I had traipsed the best side of my family to hear a brass band rendition of Pharrell William’s Happy during my grad. You might get a bit of Bruno Mars or some Jess Glynne. Regardless of which of the Capital FM musical cannon your ears are subjected to, there will be the uni brass band who will play a family fave sickly sweet chart topper, it will be slightly cringe but it might just bring a tear to the eye.