Graduation can certainly be a momentous event that is remembered for years to come. But some ceremonies are remembered for all the wrong reasons. Lengthy run-times and uncomfortable conditions can turn commencement celebrations into exercises in survival.

Nerves may run high, and boredom may set in. But there are ways to make the best of the situation.

* Get adequate rest before the ceremony. Soon-to-be graduates should go to bed early the night before the ceremony in preparation for their big day. Some commencement ceremonies begin early in the morning, and feeling rushed or exhausted from a poor night’s rest can only compound nerves and anxiety.

Graduation eve should be a low-key night when grads and their friends and family enjoy a quiet meal and some time to reflect on the last several years.

* Dress accordingly. Grads should watch the weather report and dress for the weather under the gown. Many schools opt to hold the preceedings outdoors because the open space can accommodate more people.

This subjects participants to the weather, whether that means blazing sun or wet and rainy conditions. Be sure to dress comfortably. If the ceremony is indoors, realize it may be hotter than normal in the auditorium or they may have the air conditioning turned up to overcompensate. Dressing in layers is may be your best option.

* Leave young kids at home. Graduation ceremonies can last for several hours, during which the audience is expected to remain quiet and attentive. Such expectations may prove challenging to youngsters.

Encourage family members to keep young children at home; they can always enjoy the post-ceremony party later on.

* Protect your skin when attending outdoor ceremonies. Even if the meteorologist warns of thunderstorms, play it safe and coat yourself in sunscreen.

This will protect your skin if you’re sitting out in the sun and afterward when standing outside as well-meaning family members insist on taking photos on campus.

* Eat before the ceremony and stay hydrated. Don’t skip breakfast on graduation morning. Eat a hearty meal that will hold you over until after the commencement.

Make sure to stay hydrated and bring a bottle of water with you to the ceremony. A graduation ceremony is a special event, but one that can be lengthy and tiresome. But there are ways to make it through the ceremony more manageable. 

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