This post originally ran on June 8th, 2015. Although COVID has replaced physical ceremonies with virtual, it still seems relevant.
The inspiration for this list is the fact that it is graduation season. When you think of all the graduations that are being held in the US alone, you realize the potential exists that these ten things occur with similar results. I hope you enjoy the list and can manage to avoid them.
Top Ten Things Not to Do at Graduation Time
10 If you are a graduate, do not put something dumb on your mortar. If you do, at best, even if your family sees you, they will not want to admit you belong to them. At worst, the picture taken of your message will go viral and will show up every time someone searches your name on Google, including prospective employers.
9 If you are a graduate parent, do not blow any type of horn when your child receives their diploma. If you do, at best, you will cause your kid to want to find another home. At worst, that big over trained guy in front of you is fighting a hangover and will help you stow your horn where you will not want it stored.
8 If you are a speaker at graduation, do not tell the graduates that the world is looking to them for salvation. If you do, at best, your cliché will remind everyone just how out of it you are. At worst, your words will be quoted in some satirical publications that will point out just how many times graduating classes heard the same words throughout the millennium.
7 If your graduate has decided to skip the ceremony, do not fight the decision. If you do, at best, your child will make attending the ceremony sound like parental abuse. At worst, the child will attend with something dumb written on the mortar to the tune of “my parents made me do this,” and you can expect the message broadcasted worldwide.
6 If your family is experiencing graduation, do not think this indicates your job as a parent is complete. If you do, at best, you will be surprised by requests for help as life commences. At worst, you will need counseling to overcome the feeling of failure as your child asks to move into your spare room.
5 If you are the graduation ceremony organizer, do not think everything will run smoothly because of your careful planning. If you do at best, you will be unprepared when something goes wrong. At worst, you will not know what to do with a thousand champaign corks bouncing off the facility and school officials even though you banned the presence of alcohol at the ceremony.
4 If you are holding a graduation party, do not leave your house even though you trust your loving child to be trustworthy and in control. If you do, at best, a few more guests who were not expected will attend with little consequence. At worst, the state police will look for you to help fund the fire department, EMS, and SWAT team expenses that were incurred to break up the party and put out the fire destroying yours and two neighbor houses
3 If you have a graduate, do not overdo the gift. If you do, at best, your child will expect a similar prize for other accomplishments. At worst, someday, it will need to be replaced, and the words about the child being on their own when you gave the gift are forgotten.
2 If you are attending a graduation ceremony, do not treat the event as if it is a football game. If you do, at best, you will get strange looks when you enter the stand with the school colors and jersey and that giant foam # 1 hand. At worst, you will get many interested police and firefighters responding to the school complaint regarding the bratwurst you are grilling at your tailgate gathering.
1 If you have a graduate, do not keep telling them how amazed you are that they made it through school. If you do, at best, they will think you did not have faith in their abilities. At worst, you will give the child a complex that will be manifest in the longing for a career in fast food service as a grill person.