8 Graduation Tips For The Class Of 2018

8 Graduation Tips For The Class Of 2018

6. Let your parents take as many pictures as they want.
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It is almost graduation time. High school seniors are itching with senioritis and dying to spread their wings. They just have to get through one little step first: graduation.

In lieu of the big event, I have compiled a list of 8 things that I think are super helpful to keep in mind for graduation.

1. BUY A WHITE DRESS.

Whether it has to be white or not, you will not regret it when picture time comes and you don't have to worry about funky colors or see-through gowns.

2. Make your graduation party the same weekend as graduation.

If you are having a party and you are able to do this, DO IT. This was sooooo wonderful when I graduated. It is easier for the family to come for one weekend if they live far away than to try to make it for two weekends. And who doesn't love a party with the most people possible?!

3. Practice walking in your shoes.

I am not normally a heel or wedge wearer but for graduation, I decided to spice things up a bit. If you are not comfortable in the shoes you are wearing practice! I did not fall, but I was so concentrated on not falling that I couldn't enjoy the moment of getting my diploma. And you really don't want to fall in front of a huge crowd, do you?

4. Prepare for heat.

If your school is like mine, your graduation will be held in a packed gymnasium in 80-degree weather with no air conditioning. Accept the fact that weather could be an issue and plan accordingly!

5. Prepare for wind.

If your school has graduation outside, prepare for windy days. You don't want to be chasing your graduation cap around during the ceremony or trying to keep your hair in one place. Bring lots of bobby pins and bring a hair tie. Keep your hair and cap under control for the ceremony and then for pictures you can let it all down.

6. Let your parents take as many pictures as they want.

It might get annoying after the millionth picture, but understand that you are GRADUATING. This is a HUGE milestone and it only happens once (high school graduation, that is). Let them capture the moment because years from now you'll be grateful.

7. Talk to as many classmates as you can.

You may not realize it then, but graduation day might be the last time you see some of those people. Summer will begin and you and your close friends will be hanging out, but the normal everyday people from school won't be there.

8. Enjoy the moment.

This is the last time you will probably be at your high school. This is the last time for a lot of things. You need to enjoy this moment and not just wish it away. It is important to take it all in because soon enough you will be in college and it will all be over. Don't let this moment pass you by. This is your moment.

To all those graduating this year from an almost-sophomore in college: good luck and congratulations. You did it! Take it all in because it goes by fast. Embrace every moment you have and live it up with everyone from home while you can. You don't get these moments back!

Cover Image Credit: Caitlin Johnston

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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Being Different Is Not OK

The dangers of the lessons we're taught as kids.

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So I've been working in childcare since the year 2000. Through this field I've witnessed A LOT of worldly experiences. Perhaps the common and forsaken experience I've had in this field is seeing the lessons and things that I wished were never taught to me being taught those coming up now.

I always knew that being introverted was a personality trait that people hated. I wasn't aware of why it was hated so much. It was just something society has always pushed against. Anything to make kids more sociable was okay, damn how the kid felt about it. If the kids are seen playing alone or reading or just minding their own business, we make them interact. Make them share toys. Make them move to a part of the room where more kids are. Go over and play with the child ourselves so they're not alone.

Now, don't get me wrong, bullying could be the reason the child isn't interacting with others. Then maybe I could see trying to connect the child with others to help them see that not all kids are bullies. However, if they don't want to interact, why make them?

One of the teachers had some of the kids stay at her house one weekend for a play date. She described how one of the girls hid under a table and read the whole weekend. They all thought she was really strange. The other girls won't invite her to their house anymore. The other teachers all agreed and shared their own stories of the girl not interacting with anyone. She is branded a strange child with nothing to be done for her. I felt so bad for the girl who was just happy enjoying what she wanted to enjoy. The fact that others don't share the girl's interests and don't want to take the time to try to take an interest in her has nothing to do with her.

Then there's the ever present fear of children "turning gay". Boys are not allowed to play with anything that are "for girls." Girls are not allowed to play with anything that is "for boys." Whenever we watch television, it has to be a program thats for both boys and girls. With the smaller kids that's easy. With the schoolagers being directly impacted by gender stereotypes, it's much harder. Bullying becomes an issue when boys like shows “meant for girls" or vice versa. The saddest part is that other teachers support when the girls question why a boy likes a certain show or likes certain music or vice versa for the girls!

It doesn't just happen in childcare settings. These kids are getting these same messages at home and at school when they become school age. Being alone is not okay. Be around people. Talk about something, anything, as long as other people like that thing too. If you're a boy and you like to play with Barbies, there's something wrong. If you're a girl and you like to build with blocks, there's something wrong.

Girls should only talk to other girls and boys should only talk to other boys. There's no reason boys and girls should be talking to each other.

I don't know how many times I was that same little girl hiding somewhere reading. How many times I still am that little girl. My mother tried desperately to get me to interact with other kids. My teachers always made me interact with my classmates. I couldn't get away from anyone growing up. My mom always forced me to wear dresses and stockings. She tried to make me wear make up. It's not that I didn't want to be a girly girl, I just always wished I could be a girly girl without all that fanfare. My mother didn't want to hear that. Afterall, thats how she learned to be a lady, so why didn't I want that? I had an absolutely terrible childhood.

All I had were my books and Barbies, and my mother HATED that I had both. She hated that I stayed in my room. That I didn't have friends. When I got to Junior High and finally started making friends, they were all just like me. She hated that. The kids in school hated that I wasn't like them.

Even in a performing arts high school it was strange and unacceptable to be quiet. It was unacceptable to not adhere to gender norms. You were looked at as a lost cause, and your parents were considered failures for you not falling in line.

I see these same godforsaken values being placed on kids today. Recently one afternoon, out the blue one of the schoolagers comes up to me and asked why I don't talk. He's already realized that people who don't talk are strange. Coworkers CONSTANTLY try to get me to go out with them on weekends or eat the foods they eat or try to get me to talk about my private life. Why don't I ever wear makeup or wear dresses or talk about guys?

It's disgusting. It's a tragedy that these lessons are drilled into us basically from birth and are what frame our experience of the world thereafter. This is one of the reasons I can't wait to leave this field.

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