Commencement is right around the corner, which means your to-do list is probably bursting with end-of-the-year activities. But there’s one more thing you’ll need to think about before the big day – what you plan to wear to the graduation ceremony.
You might think what you wear to commencement isn’t a big deal – it’s just going to be covered up by a gown, right? But what you wear underneath your robe matters! Throughout the day, you’ll be taking numerous photos with friends, going out with family or attending parties after the ceremony, and you’ll want to look and feel your very best.
What should I wear?
As a general rule, graduates should dress up, but dress comfortably. Avoid t-shirts or jeans, and pick shoes that you can wear for an extended period of time. Whatever outfit you choose, remember these photos will be around for a while, so pick something you won’t mind seeing a few years down the road.
What can I bring with me?
Before you leave the house, make sure you have your cap, gown and tassel. For those of you who earned cords or a stole, remember to bring those items as well. There will not be extras available at the event, and you cannot walk without the proper attire.
Prior to your arrival at Hammons Student Center, give your personal belongings – bags, jacket, umbrella, etc. – to friends and family. You will not be allowed to bring them with you. Your keys and phone are fine to keep, just make sure you have pockets to put them in. You’ll also want to double and triple check that you turn your phone off for the ceremony.
Which way does my tassel hang?
At commencement, tassels are traditionally worn on the right side of the cap and then moved to the left once graduates receive their diplomas. This gesture symbolizes your transformation from a student to a graduate of OTC.
Can I decorate my mortar board?
Yes. You may decorate the top of your mortar board, but please refrain from using 3-D materials that protrude from your cap. You wouldn’t want to obstruct the view of anyone else during the ceremony, right?
There’s a lot to coordinate before your big day, so make sure you visit otc.edu/graduation for the latest information about commencement. We’ve included some additional tips below to help ensure a stress-free graduation experience.
Other commencement-related tips:
Stay hydrated and take a bathroom break before or during line-up. Once you’re on the floor, water and bathroom access will be limited. OTC’s commencement ceremony typically lasts two hours, so make sure you’re well-rested, fed and hydrated for the main event.
Plan in advance where you want to meet your family afterwards. Students are escorted out of JQH Arena following the ceremony, and it might feel a bit hectic if you can’t find your family once you’ve left the building. It helps to suggest a specific meeting spot to your family and friends beforehand, such as the bear statue in front of JQH or at the corner of Monroe Street and John Q. Hammons Parkway.
But most importantly, make sure you take a few moments throughout the day to reminisce on all you’ve achieved at OTC. Congratulations, graduates!