This isn’t a Catwalk, its Graduation

Graduation etiquette for the socially unaware

Caps off to graduating class of 2019. Via The Spruce

Caps off to graduating class of 2019. Via The Spruce

Wyatt Harris, Staff Writer

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We all know that graduation ceremonies are often thought of as some of the most meaningful and symbolic ceremonies people will experience in their lives, next to perhaps their wedding or getting first in Mario Kart and scoring a special trophy and parade. During the ceremony you get the opportunity to get your five seconds of fame with the famous graduation walk. This is great and all; however, some kids feel the need to make this five seconds their own personal runway or dance floor, and having been to at least five graduations, I can definitely say that people who do this are making a brutal mistake. With my experience in watching graduations, I have compiled a list of what to do and not to do both as a member of the crowd and as a person graduating.

As a member of the crowd:


  • Bring out the airhorns and play them loud and proud for the person that you are there for. They have worked their butts off for four years and they get only one graduation. The occasional air horn blast is never going to ruin one of these events.
  • Clap after every recipient. They will say to wait to the end, but this is simply nonsense and you should clap to your heart’s content.
  • Take pictures and videos; it is important to see this footage and hold on to this memory for the rest of time.



  • Let it get silent after the announcement of a name. Some kids simply won’t have as much family in town and they deserve just as much support from the crowd. Make sure that everyone is getting the same amount of support.
  • Make the event about yourself. It’s great and all that you want to be supportive, but at the end of the day, this is about the kids and there is little to gain from being the “center” of attention at one of these ceremonies. Don’t be one of those guys who screams some obscure inside joke that throws off the momentum for the rest of the night.

As a graduate:



  • Walk in a proper line that reflects a good posture and confidence. Shake everyone’s hand with a firm grip and look everyone in the eyes.
  • Smile wide, as this is the last time you will see a lot of people and this is the last impression that you will ever get to make on them.



  • Just do not do it. Dancing at graduations is like standing still at a party. You simply do not do these things. Dancing on stage is on a list of the top five things not to do in high school.
  • Make hand signals. Sometimes no one knows what they mean, and people will make snap judgments based on these signals.

All in all, it is important to remember to take the graduation ceremony seriously, but not too seriously. It is important to keep it as a dignified event, but at the end of the day this is a celebration of you and you shouldn’t feel afraid to let some energy out. If you’re a member of the audience, you need to remember to keep the event about the students, but to also bring the energy and bring the fire.


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