Grad­u­a­tion Eti­quette For Grads, Guests And More

Riverbank News - - NEWS -

Grad­u­a­tion is a cel­e­bra­tion that marks the cul­mi­na­tion of years of hard work and de­ter­mi­na­tion. It’s a piv­otal mo­ment in a stu­dent’s life when he or she will be fac­ing the next great ad­ven­ture, whether that in­volves ad­di­tional school­ing or ven­tur­ing into the work­force.

While grad­u­a­tion is a joy­ous oc­ca­sion, it is im­por­tant that both grad­u­ates and their guests ad­here to the es­tab­lished eti­quette that gov­erns grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies. Grad­u­a­tion may re­quire that grad­u­ates and their im­me­di­ate fam­i­lies deal with cer­tain chal­leng­ing is­sues, such as who to in­vite when faced with limited seat­ing, and un­ex­pected emo­tions that may arise when grads don their caps and gowns.

• Han­dle limited seats with cour­tesy. Many schools limit the num­ber of seats each stu­dent can re­serve for guests. This can make it tricky when there are a num­ber of peo­ple who are wor­thy of an in­vite. Ex­plain to friends and fam­ily who you can­not in­vite that you would love to have them there but are re­stricted by ticket al­lot­ments. Try to have both sides of the fam­ily rep­re­sented. Usu­ally an in­vite to the af­ter-party will thwart any hard feel­ings.

• Un­der­stand no two grad­u­a­tions are alike. Schools ad­here to dif­fer­ent poli­cies and pro­ce­dures regarding grad­u­a­tion. Keep in mind that grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies may run sev­eral hours, es­pe­cially for large grad­u­at­ing classes. If the cer­e­mony fig­ures to run long, leave young chil­dren at home. In ad­di­tion, be cour­te­ous to older guests who might not be able to sit or stand for too long.

• Stick to pa­per in­vi­ta­tions. Many schools pro­vide stu­dents with in­vi­ta­tions, but grad­u­ates and their fam­i­lies can choose to buy their own. Pa­per in­vi­ta­tions are more per­sonal than dig­i­tal al­ter­na­tives. Pa­per in­vi­ta­tions also give the im­pres­sion that the cer­e­mony will be for­mal.

• For­mal in­vites trans­late to gifts. Any­one who re­ceives an in­vi­ta­tion is ob­li­gated to give the grad­u­ate a gift. Give grads their gifts in per­son, even if you can­not at­tend the cer­e­mony. If you live far away and won’t be in at­ten­dance, ar­range for the gift to ar­rive as close to the cer­e­mony date as pos­si­ble.

• Grad­u­a­tion par­ties should be all-in­clu­sive. Grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies are of­ten fol­lowed by par­ties. If pos­si­ble, try to co­or­di­nate with other friends who are grad­u­at­ing so that par­ties are not on the same day or at least not at the same time. This way ev­ery­one who would like to at­tend can do so. If friends do at­tend, The Emily Post In­sti­tute sug­gests that grad­u­ates ex­plain to their friends that fam­ily will be at the party and that po­lite be­hav­ior is ex­pected.

Ad­her­ing to es­tab­lished eti­quette and dis­play­ing com­mon sense at grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies and par­ties can make for a more en­joy­able day.

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