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Apr 20, 2015
Buying Guides

Graduation day is quickly approaching for many college seniors. Be prepared for the big day by keeping a shopping list of what you will need. Whether it is for commencement itself or for the days leading up to or following, here is a list of the five big essential items you should expect to purchase to prepare for graduation.

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1.   Diploma Display

On graduation day, you will walk away with a memento of a lifetime: your diploma. It serves as a testament of how far you have come and how hard you have worked to get to where you are today. Such an important item deserves a proper diploma display frame or case. With so many options to choose from (classic, school spirit, personalized, etc.), select one that matches your style and your pride.

2.   A Weather Friendly Graduation Outfit

Underneath your graduation gown, you will want an outfit that matches the importance of the day. Jeans and shorts are too casual for such a formal affair. Go for something comfortable (especially during longer ceremonies) and flattering. Keep weather in mind, since many graduations occur outside, and the heavy, dark-colored gowns and hoods can be uncomfortable. Pick light clothing that can withstand a little heat and sweat while still looking good. The same consideration should go for shoes that will match the occasion while still providing comfort and support for the long walk across the stage.

3.   Alumni and School Spirit Clothing and Accessories

Now that you’re an alumnus, you are going to want to replace your faded school t-shirt you purchased your freshman year. Upgrade to an alumni appropriate shirt, sweatshirt, or even car decal. Not only does new alumni clothing look great for graduation pictures, it will also serve as another way to display your accomplishments. After all, you’re not an underclassman anymore! You earned that “Class of 2015” recognition!

4.   A Way to Record the Big Moment

Some schools contract photographers to be on-hand while you receive your diploma, and the pictures are often posted online later. However, if you prefer to go the more personal route, be sure to have someone there to record your day. This may include purchasing a new camera for your parents to use or investing in a handheld camcorder. Some graduates even use micro recorders for a more personal touch.

5.   Moving Supplies and Storage

After four years of moving in and out of the dorm rooms, you are likely a packing pro at this point. However, you may also want to account for the uncertainty of where your items are going. If you are moving into your first apartment, you can most likely transfer your items. However, if you are unsure of your future living situations, invest in durable storage for your items such as trunks, bins, and packs for a long-term solution. Cardboard boxes will provide sufficient storage and transportation for a few hours, but not for months at a time.

6.   Any Additional Event Tickets

Most of your commencement should be free, but you should not skip out on precious memories such as an alumni reception or a graduating class outing. Keep a calendar handy so that you can track all of these fun festive events and set aside money to attend those you wish to be a part of. Always check ahead if tickets or an RSVP is required.


Your graduation shopping list is probably adding up as the days tick down until commencement. Preparing for graduation may seem like a daunting task, but with a little advanced thinking and planning, you can stay on top of all that needs to be done.Images 1, 2

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