The Guide to Surviving Graduations

This week has been a nightmare of running around, caps, gowns, white dinner jackets and bowties. That’s right: it’s graduation season. Some close amigos graduated from college (cue the week of celebrating then years of cornering people at parties and telling them to “STAY IN COLLEGE AS LONG AS YOU CAN, THE REAL WORLD IS THE WORST.”) and my brother graduated from high school. So, I’ve been dressed fancy and listening to speeches for days on days on days. I now think myself somewhat of an expert on these ceremonies, so here’s a guide from me to you detailing survival strategies for people who aren’t graduating but have been forced to watch other people do it.


If you have gum at the ceremony: DO NOT TAKE IT OUT. Families and friends will see it from miles away and descend on you like pastel-covered vultures.



Don’t wear elaborate headdresses. You are for sure obstructing the views of everyone trying to watch their graduate. The woman in front of me at my brother’s graduation was wearing what appeared to be a giant headwrap made partially from tin foil. See below:



It’s an unspoken contest to see which graduate can elicit the loudest cheers. Do your part, but know this: cowbells and airhorns are cheating. And everyone will hate you. Clapping and the loud whistle should get the job done. No need to be a jerk.


This one is got the grad speakers out there: Read the room. Pumping your speech full of inside jokes and references to the local bar will get crickets. Also: IF YOU ARE SPEAKING AND YOU MENTION DRAKE, ALL OF YOUR PREVIOUS ADVICE IS VOID.


Graduates: Smile in your diploma picture. Even if it’s your college graduation and you’re convinced that the fun portion of your life is over, just smile. Because if you don’t, your mom will kill you.


Don’t drink wine out of a thermos during the ceremony. It seems like a good idea early on, but then you fall asleep and it’s 11 am on a scorching day, then you wake up with a monster sunburn and your friends make fun of you forever.


If you don’t tear up a little bit when tiny old grandparents confer their grandkids’ diploma, you have no soul.


Don’t wear jean shorts to a graduation. I really didn’t think I would have to say this ever in my life, but someone did it yesterday. Teh worst. You’re not Daisy Duke, someone’s Dad, go grab some chinos and take a lap.


Congrats graduates! The whole world is your oyster! Oh the places you’ll go! YOLO.

Posted on 05/24/2012, in Me and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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