Graduation season is upon us, and it can be both stressful and satisfying. But there are things you should, and should not, do to help graduation ceremonies go smoothly and be enjoyable by all.
Here are five do's, and five don't's, for enjoying high school graduation.
DO: Iron your gown
Nothing ruins a graduation photo quite like a wrinkly gown. It takes all of five minutes to iron — or steam, if you want to go that route — your gown for the day. And then, when you’re done wearing it for a few hours, THEN you can ball it up in a corner of your room.
DON’T: Go to Olive Garden or Applebee’s for a few weeks
Or any chain restaurant for that matter. They’re all going to be so crowded for the rest of the month as graduates and their families celebrate their big days. Instead, go to a locally-based restaurant where you can still get an affordable meal for cheap, like Oh Mai or Bruges and Frites.
DO: Bring a book
When there’s like 1,000 kids graduating and you’re there for just the one, graduation ceremonies can REALLY drone on. So bring a book to make the time pass; just keep your ears open for your kid’s name.
DON’T: Show up late
Traffic is already a nightmare around the county thanks to the millions of orange cones lining the streets. Compound that with hundreds of parents trying to go see their kid get their diploma, and it makes for a nightmare on the roads. And you don't want to add that stress! Show up early, get a good parking spot, and get a good seat to avoid all this drama.
DO: Set up a meeting place before the ceremony
It can be really stressful trying to find your family after a major event, like graduation. Figure out a place in advance so when your graduate is leaving the building with a smile plastered on their face, they won’t immediately frown when they can’t find their family.
DON’T: Try to use the bathroom during the procession
Take care of business before the procession so you can be ready when your kid crosses the stage and walks off with their diploma.
DO: Leave the small kids at home
Let’s be real; they don’t want to be there and they’re just going to fuss the entire time. Get a babysitter, leave the little ones at home, so you can focus entirely on your graduate.
DON’T: Give a boring speech if you’re asked to
We get it, you’re probably nervous you have to speak at your own graduation. But just because you’re nervous, doesn’t mean you should be boring. Liven things up with a few funny anecdotes or a subtle jab at your favorite professor. And please, don’t start your speech with “Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘graduation’ as…”
DO: Save your clapping for the end
I know we all want to applaud our specific graduate, but it just saves time if the presenter isn’t interrupted by every cheer and air horn when a name is read. Wait for the end and join in the tremendous applause.
DON'T: Not enjoy yourself
OK, this is technically a do, but we needed another don't. This is a fantastic day for graduates, their parents, their teachers and everyone involved in these kids’ education. Celebrate! Enjoy what this means and what new adventures these students will embark on, and take the chance to congratulate them as much as possible.