Top Ten Things Not to Do at Graduation Time

This post originally ran on June 8th, 2015. However, since there are still graduations, it will be okay to review them again.

Photo by Good Free Photos on Unsplash

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The inspiration for this list is the fact that it is graduation season. When you think of all the graduations 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. (Maybe you should have used five-letter words)

9 If you are a parent of a graduate, 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 well-trained guy in front of you is fighting a hangover and will help you stow your horn where you will not want it stored. (Don’t even try to think where that might be.)

8 If you are a speaker at a graduation, do not tell the graduates that the world is looking to them for salvation. If you do, at best, your clichΓ© 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 have heard the exact words throughout the millennium. (Maybe that Speeches for Dummies book wasn’t a good idea.)

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 β€œmy parents made me do this.” (You can expect the message to be broadcast worldwide.)

6 If your family is experiencing a 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 moves into what was your spare room. (Can’t last forever. Or can it?)

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 there is a long period when no one can hear the speaker. 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. (Call the SWAT team. They’ll know what to do.)

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 be looking for you to help fund the fire department, EMS, and SWAT team expenses incurred to break up the party and put out the fire destroying your and two neighbors’ houses. ( It’s just money, right?)

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. ( 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 team colors and jersey. At worst, you will get many people wanting to take the bratwurst you are grilling at your tailgate gathering. (The keg of beer is a nice touch.)

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 manifest in the longing for a career in fast food service as a grill person. ( You want fries with that?)

 

 

 

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71 comments

  1. Great ten things, John. Have a wonderful week πŸ’•πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You as well, Harmony. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These are great, John! Number nine cracked me up. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you got a laugh. 😊 Thanks, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wise advice, John.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Joan

      Like

  4. haha, I agree. Personally, I’ve never had a graduation go off as planned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think #8 is inevitable. Always weird hearing them talk as if a group of 18-year-olds are in a position to fix world problems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. 😊

      Like

  6. Our high school was under construction the entire time our class was in the building. They opened a few classrooms in the new (attached) building in the spring of our senior year. The superintendent proclaimed us to be the first class to graduate from the new building and thanked our parents for their support (school tax). Not the most well received speech.

    Great list, John.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Couldn’t have been as bad as the speaker at my high school graduation, who was drunk. (And the lieutenant governor of Vermont, no less.)

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Great way to send you off into adult life.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. With a reminder not to do as I do. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yep, disrespectful and pathetic.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Love drunk speakers. Love drunk politicians even more. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Speak for yourself. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ll bet. Thanks, Dan

      Liked by 1 person

  7. As faculty, I had to endure 8, 9, and 10. Every. Single. Year. Among the particularly memorable bad speeches was one by NH’s current Senator, who gave a campaign speech for her own reelection.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is all politicians can muster. A me, me, me thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a shameful performance, and we said very bad things about her afterwards.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. As a grandparent, I encourage ALL these things. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed. Thanks, Tom

      Like

  9. I tried to remember the last graduation I attended, and I can’t. On the other hand, we had a bang-up graduation when I completed sixth grade. There was cake, and little sugar scrolls with our names on them. No one forgets cake and sugar!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No one can forget cake and sugar. Thanks, Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Some posts are timeless.
    Well done again, John.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Hook.

      Like

  11. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    These are terrific, John. I never went to my own graduations, but when I worked at colleges, I loved attending. The graduates could barely sit still, but I’d always get teary over the pomp and circumstance. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I can understand that for sure. Commencement always had a bitter sweet connection. Thanks, Gwen

      Liked by 1 person

  12. A great list John. I have to admit, I enjoyed going to graduations as a parent much more than my own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. Thanks, Lauren.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah, good ones, John. Common sense helps all matters, I think. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And some bourbon, Tim.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. These are superb, John — and so timely. The last graduation I attended was Domer’s (high school and college), and sadly, I did see some of these things take place. No. 8 especially stands out — why put that kind of onus on kids’ shoulders?!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was blown away by the ND commencement. It was like a circus. This is when Father Hesberg was still there and he just sat and smiled.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was surprised by the hot coffee, pretzels, and other snacks in the stadium! It was like a circus or something. But high school was far worse — parents jostling for the best seats and hollering like crazy when their kid walked across the stage.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s where I got the horn no no.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  15. These are great, John, and so true. Especially the one about thinking your parenting role is done when your kid graduates … it has only begun!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems that way, Noelle. 😳

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great advice, John! Happy Monday! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Lauren. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  17. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    Good list, John πŸ™‚ Although I can’t promise I won’t bring a noise maker to my grandson’s graduation from Jr. High to High School in a few weeks πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Son #2 put his own weird, artsy spin on his mortar last year – it was totally him. And #6? Absolutely.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Wise words! Given the upcoming graduations in our house, I think I’ll heed them:). Thanks, John!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good idea. I have a grandaughter graduating from college. Will be fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I wish more people took your advice as far as not treating graduation ceremonies like football games. Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Balls and all.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I am laughing a dark, crazy sort of laugh from #6. Yeah, no kidding :/.
    Here’s another one for you: don’t invite yourself to the graduation and then make everything about you so that the family ends up fighting and you ruin someone else’s graduation. Yup, happened to us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your example sounds miserable,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh man. It was pretty bad.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing. 😁

      Like

  22. Great advices, John! Here graduation is as traditional as it was, short after the stone age. Lol I love the fun you have in the USA, and otherwhere. Thanks for sharing the impressions and have a great week! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. 😁

      Like

  23. Ha! Ha!! All too true!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. These gave me a chuckle, John, but the fact is, they’re all Right On! I started flashing onto my own high school graduation (oh, how thrilling to walk down that football field in cap and gown with my boyfriend holding my hand) and college graduation (same, but different boyfriend). Then the thrill at my son’s first graduation – from pre-school to kindergarten. Yup, and then it kept on going from there. In a month I’ll be attending my granddaughter’s graduation from 8th grade. Good god, where’d the time go?? πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be attending my granddaughter’s graduation from collegenet week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WOW!!! I’m sure you’ll follow your ten rules. πŸ™‚ (And congrats – that’s a beautiful milestone.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I will be. Need to shw the list to her parents though. Thanks, Pamela. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  25. What a great list. Thank goodness we didn’t let our house become the party graduation house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That never ends well.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Nothing to add this week. You nailed it without any help from me. But do not despair, I’ll be back next week if you do need some help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always look forward to your help. Thanks, Andrew

      Like

  27. It’s when they celebrate graduating from pre-k, from kindergarten, from grade 6… by the time they reach high school, it means a whole lotta nuthin!
    Sound advice here πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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