As the graduating class of 2013 gears up for graduation day and all of its celebratory grandeur, TNL went behind the scenes to find out what graduates are up to after the ceremony.
And according to most, bigger is not better.
“My party will be small, probably around 20 people, mostly close friends and family,” English major Shanna Allen said.
“We are going to kick back, enjoy each other and have a barbecue,” she said.
High school grad parties are all about celebrating that you made it.
Graduates made it through the required four years of suffering and are now free to run his or her own life.
For many, with the passing of high school comes the passing of birthday number 18 — and the achievement of adulthood, at least by legal standards.
High school grad parties are often loud, festive and full of congratulatory cards — usually from relatives, parents and teachers, often containing well-wishes and money to fund one’s next big adventure.
But college is a different story. Many students travel away from home to pursue higher education.
Because of this, a graduation celebration is quite important.
It is a nice commemoration of one’s journey for graduates and loved ones, even if it is small.
“I have family coming up to see me walk. This is a nice chance for all of us to get together,” Allen said. “Even if money was no object, I would do something small or just take my family on a vacation.”
The consensus among the graduating class is in favor of smaller grad parties, and for most it is not necessarily a financial decision.
English major Elizabeth Carmichael said graduating from a university is a moment of pride and relief, and the after party is a happy and comfortable reflection of that.
“I think that it’s important to have a celebration to remember this. It’s an important day,” Carmichael said.
“It’s also very important to my parents. They have supported me through this whole thing. Honestly it’s more of a celebration for them than it even is for me. I’m relieved, and they are just so excited,” she said.
In fact, many students say the days of gigantic graduation celebrations are gone.
After their diploma is in hand they look forward to a relaxing celebration experience, including close friends and family, good food and a lot more sleep.
“When I graduate, I definitely want something small,” sophomore and pre-bachelor’s of fine arts student Rachel Coe said. “Just me, my close friends and family. Somewhere with a good atmosphere like the Glacier BrewHouse, just enjoying that moment.”
So there you have it.
Embrace the ones you love this graduation season because breaking the bank is so 2011.
And make no mistake, the graduating class of 2013 will be celebrating their accomplishments.
But they will be leaving the blowout, bank-account breaking parties to the high schoolers.