Programs for graduation ceremony spread out on table.

How to enjoy college graduation to the fullest

Sitka Campus graduation is today (May 3) at 7 PM. Follow these 15 tips to lower stress levels and really enjoy the celebration!

  1. Arrive early! Graduates must be on campus for commencement by 5 PM in Room 229. Seating is limited to first-come, first-serve. Standing room and wheelchair assistance will be available.
  2. Don’t forget the camera! Make sure cameras and phones are charged and ready to go! Double check that you have the storage on your phone or SD card too! Photo ideas: accepting your diploma, with your family and friends, with your favorite professor, and check out our photo booth (Room 202)!
  3. Congratulate yourself! Don’t let anything (e.g. crying kids, traffic) ruin your mood. This is your day; acknowledge it! Enjoy the moment with family, friends, and all your supporters. You earned it!
  4. Visit the restroom before the ceremony! Stay hydrated and take a bathroom break before the lineup.
  5. Make room for the mortarboard! Avoid hair styles that are too elaborate, and be ready to secure your cap with bobby pins.
    Mortarboard designs are welcome, but if you’re going 3D, try to keep the structure within a couple inches of the board. There will be guests and graduates sitting behind you!
  6. Regalia check: Make sure you’re dressed appropriately, both above and behind the gown. Before you walk, check that you have your cap, gown, tassel, cords, and stole.
    Dress up, but be comfortable. The gown may come off for socializing, photos, or because it’s just warm, so avoid wearing anything you wouldn’t want immortalized. Remember you’ll be sitting for long periods of time, and avoid shoes that are brand new or that you can’t walk in.
  7. Celebrate your culture! If you’d like to include your native name during the commencement ceremony, contact Native/Rural Specialist Crystal Duncan (907-747-7773; with the proper pronunciation and spelling.
  8. Actually pay attention to the commencement speaker! He or she has spent a lot of time finding the right words to encourage you before you’re set free into the “real world.” Take in the moment and soak up those words of wisdom.
  9. Shift the tassel! The tassel typically begins on the right front side of your cap. When you receive your diploma, you’ll shift it to the left side, but don’t be too hasty! This is usually done in unison with your fellow graduates. Wait for the cue!
  10. Include your friends and family! All the people who supported you along the way will want to get a photo with you. Do it. Express thanks for their patience, encouragement, cooperation, and even financial support. They’re proud of you and want to be part of your special day.
    Oh, and equip them with tissues.
  11. Be patient! Don’t leave after you cross the stage. Stay to continue supporting your peers, and the staff and faculty who worked behind the scenes to put on the ceremony.
  12. Connect with loved ones virtually! Follow UAS Sitka on Facebook and YouTube for a live streaming of the ceremony. Use our Facebook frames for your photos and follow #UASSitkaGrad.
  13. Join the after party! Graduation begins at 7 PM, with a reception to follow in the campus atrium for graduates and their guests.
  14. Don’t freak out! It’s okay if you have no job, no graduate school acceptance, and no plans for post-graduation. Enjoy some time off if you can, and be confident that you are equipped for whatever the future has in store.
  15. Never stop learning! Graduation doesn’t mean the end of your education. Don’t be afraid to pursue interests, learn new skills, switch career paths, develop connections, and continue improving yourself.