Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Commencement Questions: All About Graduation

Hey y'all,

I have seen a few people ask about other's graduation experiences and since college graduations will be occurring over the next few weeks and high school graduations in the next month or so I thought I would share my two cents about all things graduation: dress, photos, etc.

High School
The bestie, aMl and I after graduating
Dress:I attended a public high school that had very strict dress code rules for graduation (and everything else for that matter...) and therefore there was not a whole lot of room for what to wear on graduation night. The dress code included closed toe, closed heel black shoes  so I found some ballet flats (we had to walk down escalators and other stairs before even entering the and for all the previous years leading up to 2008 the girls had to wear white dresses so of course when I was a junior marshal and had to buy a white dress we knew what I was going to wear to graduation but the policy changed a few weeks before my graduation so I stuck with the dress I already had.

Senior Pictures:In my school you took your Senior photos the summer before your Senior year so that took care of that.

Announcements: My parent's ordered the school announcements and then I labeled each one with the small photo of Senior Pictures.

Day Of: So of course the day of graduation it was expected to rain. My county does our graduations at the local expo center so our school always had the 8pm Thursday night graduation slot. So instead of doing anything with my hair it was natural crazy curly.
Carry: Nothing. My graduation was very formal and we had to walk in alphabetical order into a specified seat. We even had a practice run that took a few hours so I knew that I would not be carrying anything but my parents held on to my phone and extras.

Party: There will be lots of graduation parties to attend so my family and my bestie's had a joint neighborhood shindig since we are cul-de-sac potluck people.

Refer to the rules of your graduation, my school did not even allow for cheering or yelling at all during the ceremony so that all students' names could be heard when they were read. 

Dress: In college I actually had 3 graduation ceremonies. One was the large graduation for all students of Carolina and then I had one for my major department and one for my Women's Studies minor. My minor department had a small gathering on one of the reading days so the dress was casual and it was more like a party (yay for small departments). So for the departmental graduation for the English department was held in the theater on campus so since it was inside and required walking across the stage making it a bit more formal so I decided to opt for my J.Crew Carolina blue silk dress. For the larger graduation I knew was outside in Kenan Football Stadium so my cotton J.Crew Lorelei in white was the way to go. I wore Jack Rogers with both dresses since I knew I had to walk across a stage in my department and walk down some steps in the Tar Pit for the large graduation. 
English Department Graduation
Large Graduation Dress
If I was graduating this year from Carolina I would be debating between these dresses:

Senior Pictures: I had a friend take photos one Friday afternoon a few weeks before graduating since I knew then that I could spend some time at all of the major highlights of campus. As it gets closer to graduation the main points of your campus will get more crowded. It took a few hours for us between changing and viewing different locations (the Old Well, Bell Tower, Arboretum, Kenan Stadium, South Building/The Quad/The Seal, the Sundial, etc.) Be prepared that during graduation weekend the main attractions will be crowded with a line. My parent's took some photos with me after the English Graduation at the Paul Green Theater and then on the day of the large graduation we took some by the Bynum fountain.
Daddy's girl
My sorority also picked a day in which we took some photos together and then on the day of the large graduation we all met together so we could sit in the stands as one group(we don't walk across the stage or read names at the large graduation only speeches and symbolically awarding degrees). 
Before heading in to graduate
Announcements: Once again my parent's ordered the school designed announcements and since they were paying I wasn't going to argue.

Day Of: I carried nothing to my English Department graduation but during the main one I had pockets in my dress and carried my camera and phone. My parent's gave me a designated place to meet after the event since 4,000 graduates plus their families means chaos so we met over at the student stores before heading to lunch. Our large graduation is much more relaxed then the individual departments: think proposal, neon signs, balloons,etc. 

Our Graduation Address by Mayor Michael Bloomberg

To Decorate the Cap or not? I did! I knew that I wanted mine decorated and I still have my cap out in my room now. It is decor and a reminder of the last four years of hard work. It has my letters since my sisters are always with me from the beginning of my college journey to standing next to me on the day of graduation (a sister even drew my monogram). 

Party: My family and I had a small gathering at our house afterwards but we did not stay in the area long after my graduation but I had some celebration at home.

What are your graduation questions? Anything I forgot?

Peace and Blessings (and Congrats Grads!),

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Thanks for the sweet note!