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Jun 05 2016
by Morgan Meyer

Why I Decided Not to Have a Grad Party

By Morgan Meyer - Jun 05 2016

Having a graduation party is common for everyone who has had the pleasure of surviving until their senior year. I mean, it’s expected of you to have a graduation party. When I told people I wasn’t having one, they looked at me like I had suddenly grown a third eye, most of the time followed by one question: “Why?”

I wanted to just shrug my shoulders and say I don’t know because honestly, I just didn’t care about having one. But the more I thought about it, I started finding the reasons why I subconsciously pushed away the idea of a graduation party.

I don’t like being the center of attention, and obviously a grad party is all about YOU. 

Photos of you from every age and big moment in your life, and all your school achievements are out on display for everyone to see. It's an easy way for your parents to show you off (trust me, that's probably half the reason they are planning the party or at least helping you do it). And then all the family starts to arrive and it’s filled with awkward small talk with people you haven’t seen in years or even know in some cases (at least this is how I feel at almost every family gathering). And filled with the cliche questions:

“Where are you going?”

“What are you going to major in?”

“You do realize that tattoo is permanent right?”

...OK, so maybe that last question is more personal to me, but you get the point. Every answer has to be exactly what they want to hear, and that can be kind of stressful. Because who wants to disappoint your great aunt Bertha or your cousin three times removed that you don’t even know the name of?

I didn’t want to mix friends and family – am I the only one who thinks that that would be awkward? 

I mean my closest friends have met my family before. (My best friend went on vacation with us and is in the family photo… not joking.) So it’s not like I’m trying to hide the kind of friends I have to my family, I just think it’s a bit weird. And on top of that there’s the stress of wondering which friends to invite. Do I invite people I actually consider friends? Do I invite anyone I talk to on a monthly basis? Or do I invite someone I used to be friends with? (I’ve been invited to graduation parties with all three of these scenarios.) Stuff like that stresses me out because I don’t want to do anything "wrong."

Lastly, graduation parties can become costly. 

Buying the party invites and the food and decorations, and the bigger the party, the more you’re spending obviously. Even if you make everything homemade, that stuff can still add up.

Plus it takes up a lot of time. Time spent planning it and setting it up, and then the actual party itself, grad parties can last for three to six hours. Instead of using six hours to mingle with 20+ different relatives, I was able to attend other people’s graduation parties and have fun with them. Watching them rush around trying to please and hang out with everybody made me grateful that I decided to NOT do that.

So just because everybody is having a graduation party, doesn’t mean you have to. That kind of thing isn’t for everybody, so you do what makes you comfortable, because trust me, there probably is someone else out there who feels the same.

Lead Image Credit: Gandydancer via Wikimedia Commons

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Morgan Meyer - Simpson College

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