How to Prepare for a Virtual Graduation Ceremony and What to Wear

Photo by Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash

Along with all the other things that covid has messed up since last year, graduations are pretty high on my list of things that shouldn’t have been ruined. The thought of having to graduate virtually makes me really sad. Like what even is that. I feel for all those students who have already had to endure it. I thought I might have to since I’m graduating this semester, but luckily, my university will be able to host an in-person graduation following the CDC guidelines starting this spring. However, I was fully prepared for a virtual ceremony and know that a lot of universities are still doing them, so I’ve put together a little checklist so you can still enjoy your graduation, even if it’s from your living room.

Make it an event.

Just because you’re not on campus and with your friends and family doesn’t mean you should just sit it out. Hopefully, the older folks in your family have been vaccinated, so you can totally host your event and celebrate with them. When I say event, I mean make it a huge event: decorate your living room, buy special food and drinks, and invite people (safely) in person as well as virtually. This is still your day, and it should still be celebrated.

Get yourself a gift.

Even though your family may send or give you a gift, make sure you also treat yourself to something within your budget. You know that part in Sex and the City: The Movie where Samantha explains that she wanted to buy the diamond flower ring for herself versus Smith buying it for her because she wanted to remind herself of how far she had come instead of thinking of him? That’s exactly what I mean. Graduating is a huge accomplishment no matter the circumstances, so mark the occasion with something special that you can take with you wherever you go next. This could be a piece of jewelry or item of clothing you’ve always wanted. Hell, I’m getting both.

Dress up, obviously. 

 I say obviously because it is a special occasion even though it may not feel as special as it should. One of things I most looked forward to in planning my graduation was picking out an outfit specific for the occasion. I bought a full outfit, including shoes and jewelry. I didn’t necessarily splurge, but I did buy new items specifically for the occasion with the intention of being able to wear it all again (gotta be sustainable where you can, am I right?).

What to Wear

Since graduation is a special occasion, even if you’re going to be celebrating at home, what you wear is important. You will take pictures and remember the occasion forever, so it’s important to look your best (I mean I always try to look my best regardless of an occasion, but I digress). 

There are two types of styles that are great options:

A Midi-length Dress. I specify “midi” because you have to factor in your cap and gown. If you wear a long formal dress, you’ll just look dumb. Sorry. So, keep the length of the dress just above the cap and gown, or shorter. Whatever floats your boat. Specific styles I like that are semi-formal but can still be re-worn are wrap dresses (this would be a great occasion to finally splurge on a legit DVF wrap dress), simple a-line dresses and even bodycon dresses (you can always throw a blazer over it).

A Tailored Romper. I am a huge fan of the romper, and that’s what I’ll be wearing for my graduation. There are so many cute rompers that can totally pass for semi-formal wear — you just have to do some digging. Make sure the romper fits you perfectly. With the right pair of heels and some basic styling, you can turn a nice romper into evening wear. 

So, there you have it. You only graduate once, so I intend to make it as special as possible, no matter what the actual ceremony looks like. And you should totally do the same.

Sally Espinosa

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