The Graduation Day guide

Girl at graduation
Friday 7 December 2018

The day you have been desperately waiting for is finally near! You have survived those challenging engineering and computing classes, and are about to graduate from the Australian National University.

As exciting as it is, we know it can be a bit stressful too. What do you wear, where do you register, where do you go after the ceremony?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Be prepared and be early

You don’t want to be underprepared or late on one of the most important days of your university life.

Hire your academic regalia online, collect your guest tickets on 10 December (Hayden Allen G040, 9 am – 5 pm), and make sure you arrive early! You don’t want to be driving around frantically searching for a parking spot.

There is generally a long queue to collect and be dressed in your academic regalia (Band Room, Peter Karmel Building 121), and then to register.

This helpful checklist is a great tool to ensure you haven’t missed anything. Oh, and don’t forget your student card!

Dress to impress

We know how important it is to find the perfect outfit for your big day! It’s your day, and you must dress like it. Make sure your clothing is comfortable, as you will be in it for a long time, and trust us, it will get quite hot with the gown on. You might want to match your dress with the colour of your hood: a beautiful claret (dark red) for the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS).

The one thing which will definitely be visible on stage are your shoes. Choose something beautiful, yet comfortable. You don’t want to worry about tripping on stage. The steps can be a bit slippery. If you are wearing new shoes, wear them around at home and get a feel of them before you wear them on the day. Also, carry a Band-Aid to help with any last-minute blisters.

Hat hair, do care!

Let’s face it, the biggest issue with the graduation cap is the hat hair you’re going to be left with. A simple, low hairstyle works best with the hat. Elegant, high hairdos do look gorgeous, but your hat won't fit well. No wonder everyone looks forward to tossing it in the air!

Own the stage

As you hear your name being announced, and you walk across the stage with your heart beating fast, know that this is your moment: be confident, smile, and wave to your cheer squad.

If your family or friends are unable to be there in person, you can send them the livestream link so they can watch and cheer for you from around the globe. You may want to check out the videos from last year to know where the camera will be.

Strike a pose

Pictures with family, friends, friends of friends, professors, classmates, near the School of Music, with the giant teddy bear outside Llewellyn Hall, in front of ‘fusion’ (the shrimp-like structure outside Ian Ross), at your favourite CECS hangout spot, slo-mos of tossing the cap, boomerangs for Instagram: the list never ends! Just don’t forget to tag the College on Instagram here.

Try and get as many pictures as you can to remind you of your time at ANU. And make sure you’re back in time to return your academic gown.

Don’t be a stranger

Head over to the ANU Alumni marquee (outside Llewellyn Hall) and sign up to stay connected through the Alumni portal. And don’t leave without Etta the rubber duck, the unofficial mascot of ANU.


Finally, this is your day to enjoy. Engineering and computing is no easy feat, and you have done yourself and your family proud. It is now time to celebrate. Make your way to the CECS Graduation Reception after the official ceremony to collect your gift and celebrate with your peers and professors.

See you there!

Reetika Vadgaonkar, ANU Alumna
Master of Nuclear Science 

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing