University students who have finished their degrees will have to wait even longer to walk across the stage with mortarboards and gowns on, after the Australian National University cancelled December graduation ceremonies.
The university recently announced the move to postpone the ceremonies due to coronavirus restrictions.
"The university has made the decision to postpone the December 2020 conferring of awards ceremonies for the health and wellbeing of our community," the university said in a message to students.
It's the second time graduation ceremonies had been cancelled this year due to COVID-19, with ceremonies planned for July postponed earlier this year.
While there will be no large-scale ceremony at the campus in December, students who have finished their courses will still have the opportunity to receive their degrees and academic transcripts before Christmas.
"If you are eligible to graduate this semester, you may do so in-absentia and you will receive a physical copy of your testamur via post," the university said.
"If you graduate in-absentia, you may attend a future ceremony to celebrate your conferral with the ANU community."
A university spokesman said graduation ceremonies meant a lot to students.
"That's why ANU is exploring a range of alternative options for our students to celebrate graduation, including a virtual ceremony that every student can be a part of, wherever they are, and a range of smaller celebrations across the university," the spokesman said.
"All students graduating in 2020 will be able to attend in-person graduation ceremonies at ANU when they are up and running again in the future."
In-person graduation ceremonies at all Canberra universities have been halted as a result of coronavirus restrictions.
While there won't be any large gatherings at the University of Canberra, the university announced those who missed out on graduation ceremonies would be able to book in socially-distanced photo sessions.
Graduates would also be able to use gowns and mortarboards for the photos.
One recent ANU PhD graduate, who declined to be named, told The Canberra Times she was supposed to have her graduation ceremony earlier this year.
She said she hoped the ceremony would take place later in the year, but the recent cancellation announcement has scuppered those plans.
"I saw the message on Thursday, and was extremely disappointed and disheartened again," she said.
"Graduation ceremonies are a rite of passage, but I understand this is a situation that is out of ANU's control."
The PhD student said she had opted to receive her testamur in the mail.
She said the thought of graduating and the ceremony that came with it kept her going during the more than four years she was undertaking the course.
"It's the small things that gets you through the hard times, and I was just imagining the celebrations that come with that," she said.
"Let's hope that things go well with COVID and that we can return to normal in the sense of that we can have rites of passage like graduations."