Graduation is coming up, and there’s plenty to be done! With all of the excitement to come, there’s no better time to prepare than right now. So, what should you have on your graduation checklist? Here are 9+ things you will want to add to your graduation checklist ASAP!

Apply for Graduation

Some schools require you to apply to participate in commencement ceremonies. This is likely because they want to make the organization process easier on faculty. You’ll probably be asked to apply to graduate, and to be able to participate in commencement. Remember to apply sooner, rather than later. To apply, you may need a Photo ID and student ID number.

Official Transcript

You’ll want your official transcript to use for future education or career purposes. You can find official copies of your transcript in the Records Office or unofficial copies on your school’s student gateway. You will need your ID or your student information to access your transcript.

Ceremony Date & Time

The last thing you want is to miss your graduation ceremony! Be on time and ready by finding your ceremony’s information ahead of time. Look for a ceremony announcement to find the date and time of your graduation ceremony, or find this information when applying for graduation or purchasing tickets.

Cap & Gown

A cap and gown are mandatory for graduation. You can order your cap and gown online at a website specified by your school or find the correct size in your school’s bookstore. And make sure to get the right cords and accessories for your gown! Graduation cord colors signify your honors, clubs, societies, etc. If you’re unsure what colors to get, you can get more information from your institution.

Dress Clothes

Graduation is a formal or semi-formal event. You will want to wear dress clothes beneath your gown for photos and after-parties, as well as to have your hair and make-up done. The work is well worth it for the pictures you’ll keep as memories!

Graduation Photos

Whether you want to keep them as memories or use them for invites, don’t forget to take graduation photos! Hire a professional photographer to help you take memorable photos for Instagram and for sending to loved ones!


Some schools require family and friends to have tickets, in order to attend graduation. Make sure you purchase or obtain tickets for your guests. And if tickets are in limited supply, which is likely in this post-COVID era, be selective about who can come!

Graduation Playlist

A graduation playlist is essential for your big day! For students, it helps with long waits on graduation days like hair appointments and event setup. For introverts, in particular, it can be the key to surviving the crowds and attention of graduation day. And you’ll need music for your party!

Graduation Party

Graduating is an achievement worth celebrating! Hold a party for yourself, your friends, and your family! This can be a dinner, get-together or full-out rager!

When planning your party, think about:

  • Decorations
  • Food
  • Invitations and Evites
  • Party Favors
  • Venue

TIP: Want a step-by-step checklist to make your party a success? Check out ForYourParty.Com’s article, “Graduation Party Planning Checklist.”

Gifts for a College Grad (or what to ask for) 

New Clothes

Athleisure and pajamas might have been fine for life on campus, but grads can find themselves without “grown-up” or professional attire. A gift card to Stitch Fix can mend this issue! Stitch Fix provides personalized, customizable clothing packages. Users can get stylish, affordable clothing, and return anything they do not like with no hassle!

A Smart Home Device

A smart home device can make a great personal assistant for recent graduates. With new responsibilities and schedules, an Amazon Echo or Google Home can help you stay organized, on time, and on top of things!

A Weighted Blanket

After so many sleepless nights, rest is a welcome gift. Weighted blankets are known to be anxiety-reducing and comfortable, making them perfect for stressed-out grads.

Kitchenware & Appliances

While you’ve eaten your fair share of instant Ramen and cup noodles during your time as an overworked undergrad, you might want to consider a more balanced diet for the next stage of your life. While being an adult means you can make the decisions to have ice cream for breakfast, and scooby-doo fruit snacks for dinner, your kitchen should have options.. If you intend to have your own home or apartment with an actual kitchen, you’ll want the kitchenware necessary to actually use it. Consider asking for:

If you liked this post, check out our Adulting Series, including our Adulting Series Part 4 – Resume Writing,  to learn how to navigate life after graduation. And if you’re interested in more posts like this, subscribe to our weekly blog!

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