Top Ten Things Not to Do at Graduation time

Unsplash photo by Vasily Koloda

 

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.

87 comments

  1. These are great, John! Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jill. Have a great start to the week. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” #7 probably scarred Marshawn Lynch for life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure it did. Gotta admit he was/is one heck of a player.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I still shake my head wondering why they didn’t give him the ball on those last plays before throwing an interception in the SB.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know, right? Might have been a coach’s way of trying to exercise control. Didn’t work

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your list has some very good advice. I would add one more, do not bring your pet dog. Cute, yes. Barking, yes. Therefore, the cute dog quickly became “not so cute.”
    The outdoor ceremony was at a small private high school of 10 graduates.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. A barking dog is not a ceremony enhancement. Thanks, Karen.

      Like

  4. These are all spot-on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Liz. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Good stuff. Maybe all that tailgating helped get the fast food career in motion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure it helped. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. All good advice. Especially #5.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charles.

      Like

  7. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    As a retired educator, I’ve attended countless graduations and your points are more real than fantasy. Good job, John. 😁 But … I still love the pomp and circumstance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed my graduations for sure. Thank you, Gwen

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Can’t say I’m sad those days are behind me!
    We had a gym teacher who gave a speech at the end (since it was also the end of his time at our our school, gave himself some permisisions…) He thanked the parents who, at one point, around 18 years ago had fogotten their contraceptive methods resulting in these wonderful kids he was able to teach.
    We were talking about it the other day and he was awfully glad that back then, there were no cell phones and no danger of going viral 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He would have been vilified today.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No kidding!!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. We got married on Saturday and the next day we attended my new wife’s (no, I never had an old wife prior to her) college graduation. Famed economist Milton Friedman was the speaker. The big smile on my face during his speech had nothing to do with his words of supply side economics, if I even heard them. I’m still laughing at your 10 points and your creative thinking. Great post, John. By the way, that was 53 yrs ago and we’re still at it, ‘smiling’, that is. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Listening to Milton Friedman on my honey moon would be lost lesson in economics. Thanks for sharing, Steve. Keep on smiling.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Man, the ceremony really doesn’t prepare you for the next chapter at all, does it?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great tips, John! I look forward to graduations with my grandchildren!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that will be fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Great list, John! It’s hard to believe graduations are behind us now. Time sure does fly. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does. All the kids are out of school so only the grandkids college graduations to go.

      Like

  13. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Fun and timely list, John 🙂 i might have broken a couple over the years. I get to attend a kindergarten graduation Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How fun. I didn’t know they had kindergarten graduations. All the best.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

        Preschool graduations too. My next one is 8th grade graduation:)

        Liked by 1 person

  14. haha, I like # 9. Do you think Tiny would have a hangover? I’ll willingly buy a tuba for the occasion!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you plan to wear that tuba for a while. Tiny with a hangover is very unpredictable.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It would already be wrapped around me – that’s why I chose it! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🤣 You are right. It would be a little tighter is all.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ouch ~~~

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Excuse me sir but that tuba mouthpiece doesn’t belong there.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oops, hadn’t thought about that. Tiny is quite capable of putting it there too!! 😲

        Liked by 1 person

  15. These are great and so true! I think you hit the nail on the head with these, John. Thanks for the memories! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, Diana

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Six is mine!!! Yes, so true! My kids are in their 30s, but I still parent all the time! (and not just cats)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kids are always kids.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hah so true

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Great list, John … and quite timely, too. I’ve probably been to enough graduations now that I’ve actually seen many of these no-nos in person, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, Debbie. Thanks for reading. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Great list, John! And you’re right, it’s still very relevant today. 🙂

    Like

  19. I love and so appreciate how you’re reblogging these essays since, I’ve read none of them. They’re always so clever and fleshed out, your writer in full sail. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw. Thank you, Susannah. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome John. Always a pleasure.

        Like

  20. #6 – so very true.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Love this list, John! How timely is number 10. It amazes me how, after all these years with social media, people are still surprised when their silly behavior goes viral 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? Thanks, Marie.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. All great tips, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joan.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Btw i got graduated this, last year🌹😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations. 🥂

      Like

  24. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    Graduation ceremonies used to fairly dignified affairs. Now, the over/under is about five minutes before one of the graduates does something cringeworthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. 😁 Thanks, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. […] Top Ten Things Not to Do at Graduation time […]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing my post today.

      Like

  26. I’m glad I have a number of years to go before the Grandsons graduate. Fun list, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is fun though.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Head over to the Fiction Favorites blog where author John Howell has put out a timely list titled: The TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO AT GRADUATION TIME

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you fro sharing, Don.

      Like

  28. I particularly like the one “do not think your parenting is over” – so darned true.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. So funny yet…. helpful! #1 made me laugh out loud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pamela. I’m glad you got a laugh.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😊

      Like

  30. Send this to recent college grads I am sure they will thank you for it haha good post !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea. Thank you. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  31. This was really funny, John. Thanks for the laughs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always welcome, Jennie. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  32. All valid and funny points, John. My oldest is graduating (grade 8), but the ceremony has been moved to August in hopes of the receding COVID restrictions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Probabily a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. 2015 was it? I suppose some things don’t change. Did you say graduation? I suppose nothing changes.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. At Harvard’s graduation ceremonies, a student delivers — in Latin and from memory — an address to an assemblage of approximately 32,000. How do you spell “the epitome of pomposity?”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah … what’s the use of giving a speech if no one can understand it? Well, I mean present company excepted.

        Like

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