For most of us, the toughest part of graduation day is getting there, so why worry?
Yet with all the new (and most likely unrehearsed) events it can be a bit scary once the actual day comes. After all, you’re leaving high school behind for good and graduation day is what solidifies those ‘all-grown-up’ feelings. Just be glad you only have to shake hands with a few teachers and wear a silly hat…it’s a lot easier than fighting zombies.
So if you’re ready to take on graduation day like a champ, here’s what you’ll need to do.
• Know what you’re getting into – Ask alumni about the ceremony. Some schools take an hour to fork over your diploma, some take four. You and your family will much appreciate knowing whether it’s necessary to hit the bathrooms beforehand, or whether it’s safe to bring water bottle to the show.
• Brace yourself for ambivalence – Graduation brings up a whole host of bizarre feelings—you feel down because this is the last time you’ll see your classmates together in one place, giddy because the stress of high school rules and drama is over, and nostalgic for those pre-class chats, the notes passed to that guy you befriended simply because you both got a D on that test, and that one time your teacher said a swearword in class.
These feelings all combine into a whole bunch of weird that can be a little hard to take if you’re not expecting them.
• Bring a comb and mini deodorant – You want to look good for those grad pictures, but don’t forget you’ll be sitting in close contact with your peers too.
• Use graduation day as a last chance to connect with your classmates – The best way to deal with these weird feelings is to make plans for the summer—this doesn’t have to be the last time you see the friend you passed notes to, ask them to get ice cream with you over the summer! Always had a crush on your lab partner? Why not ask him/her out on a date? After all, you’ve got nothing to lose now that you’re not handling dangerous chemicals together.
If you went to a large school like me, this is especially since you probably didn’t spend as much time bonding with your classmates over the last four years. Heck, I didn’t even know half the people I graduated with!
• Don’t plan too much in one day – After graduation come the grad parties—usually starting right away. After all, families have come in from out of town and need to be entertained. As a result, you might find yourself invited to A LOT of parties the same day as graduation or the day after. If you’re invited to more than five that day, prioritize and make alternate plans. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself falling asleep on a picnic table after your tenth chicken wing and seventh slice of grad cake.
• Get all your supplies together a week before – Do you know where your cap and gown come from? Do you have to buy it or rent it? Is it delivered to school or do you have to pick it up somewhere else? These are questions you should be answering now in order to get your grad-wear early.
Why is this important? Some gowns are not entirely opaque and you’ll have to plan your under-outfit accordingly. Others have pockets in the sleeves to stash combs and mini deodorant, and some require you bring a snugly hidden bag to hide underneath. Above all, your gown is often just plain confusing put on, so it’s a good idea to try it on with parents in the room to explain how tab A fits in slit B, or how to throw the sash over your neck.
Got any tips for a killer grad day? Leave them in the comments.