Why attend your PhD Graduation?

So we have reached the final step in finishing your PhD!

The hand in, the viva, the corrections and now the question is:

Do you want to attend your Graduation?

I had considered not going to graduation as the ceremony was 9 months after I handed in so I thought I might have moved on in my life and it might feel a bit silly celebrating something that I have already had multiple celebrations for.

However I changed my mind as I looked back over the PhD journey, I don’t think you can really over do the celebrating after the amount of hard work that has gone into it.

Also I think graduation is a really useful event for giving you closure.

Until about a month before my graduation I still had boxes filled with the many drafts of my thesis, random notes and academic papers. I hadn’t felt able to throw them out even after the my corrections had been accepted as it just didn’t feel official or final enough.

But when I started to receive all the graduation information I felt it was time to let go. To do this we decided we needed to burn all the paper associated with my Thesis… For others thinking of doing this I would recommend symbolically burning some pages then putting the rest in the recycling! Burning all of it takes longer than you would imagine.


On the day of graduation, don’t feel surprised if you are a tiny bit nervous. I was surprised at myself but others I talked to felt it too. It was like we were all half expecting the PhD to be ripped away from us at the last minute or that we would stumble on that last leg of the PhD walking across the stage to accept our degree!

I am happy to report that in my ceremony there was no tripping or even wobbling so our worries were unfounded.

Also I had underestimated how good it would feel to finally have the official proof of my hard work in my hands, the swell of emotion I felt walking across the stage to receive it was really unexpected but it had finally sunk all the way in that I had successfully completed my PhD and that I didn’t have to worry about it anymore. 

I would fully recommend attending your PhD Graduation as it provides closure, its a fun day and you get to take lots of pictures in your bizarre gowns!

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