The Do’s and Don’ts of Graduation Season

Graduation season is coming up for high school and college students across the nation. Commencement is a proud and joyous occasion that marks a turning point in a young person’s life. Both college and high school graduates are closing the door on one chapter of their lives and embarking on a new journey with new freedoms and responsibilities. Friends and family members cherish these celebrations with their loved ones and are often invited to both the commencement ceremony and a graduation party that celebrates the graduate. But along with this exciting time come many questions of etiquette: What are appropriate gifts to purchase? Do you have to attend both the ceremony AND the party? Here are some of the DOs and DON’Ts of graduation season.

DO RSVP if you have been invited to the commencement ceremony. Some schools limit the number of tickets available to students; let them know if you can’t make it so they can invite someone else.

DON’T make lots of noise when your graduate’s name is called during the ceremony. Other students will be named right after yours, and if you are yelling and ringing cowbells, that student’s parents won’t be able to have their own special moment.

DO dress appropriately for the occasion. College graduations are slightly more formal than high school graduations, but those in attendance at either event should take pride in the graduate and dress up a little bit. “Church clothes” or “dressy casual” are appropriate styles of dress for a graduation ceremony.

DON’T feel obligated to give a gift. If you feel moved to do so, then feel free to purchase something for the graduate. But don’t feel like you are required to buy them something.

DO send a card to the graduate. It does not have to include money or a gift card, but send a note of congratulations to the graduate and acknowledge their hard work and dedication. Many students save these cards for years and look at them as a source of inspiration. During tough times in college, I would read cards written for my high school graduation and regain confidence in my abilities.

DON’T worry about spending a lot of time at an open house. Many graduates schedule their open houses during the same few weekends, making it difficult to spend a great deal of time at each one. But don’t worry! Everyone understands that this is the case, and nobody will be hurt if you have to leave to attend another open house. That’s the nature of the event.

DO remember to congratulate the graduate on all of their hard work – college graduates especially. They have invested a lot of time and MONEY into their education, and although most people graduate from high school, not everyone graduates from college, so it is a significant accomplishment.

This post was written by a guest contributor for The Perfect Card Box, provider of card boxes for any special occasion!