Open house season is in full swing and for those of us who have gone through it, we know how stressful it can be, either as the graduate or friend and family of the grad. The planning, preparation, and event itself is a process. Here are a few thoughts that we have all had at some point when going to the numerous graduation parties this year (and in years past).

1. When should I show up?


I don`t want to get there too soon, and I don't want to show up too late.

2. What do I bring?


Deciding what to give to the graduate is always hard; whether it`s a card, money, or something more personal, it`s always hard to decide.

3. What do I wear?


Do you put on a dress? Slacks and a shirt? Jeans?

4. Who can I get to go with me?


With or without a friend I'll be going, but it's nice to have someone you know with you when walking up to a room/yard/area full of people of whom you know maybe two.

5. Who do I sit with?


If I don't end up getting someone to tag along, it`s a matter of scanning the crowd for a friendly face and hoping there's a chair close by.

6. What do I ask the grad?


I want to hopefully ask something besides the traditional "so what are you going to major in?" that they've heard at least 50 times already that day.

7. Who should I talk to?


After talking with the graduate for a few moments they have to move on to the next person who walks through the door, you have to quickly scan for someone else to converse with or find the closest exit.

8. What do I write in the memory book?


Something short and sweet or a longer, more sentimental note?

9. How long do you look at the pictures?


Sometimes there are so many you have to skim, but not too fast, you don't want it to seem as though you aren't interested in their memories.

10. How long do I stay?


You don't want to run out too soon but at the same time you don't want to overstay/miss the next open house...

11. How many more?


It seems never ending but seeing all the smiling faces of the people who put so much time and hard work into finishing their school career are worth the awkward encounters and parallel parking.