Archive for May, 2012

How to Handle Your Graduation Season

It’s funny how quickly time passes us by. Some colleges have already held their graduation ceremonies and many more will pass out each earned academic gown and walk their students across that ceremonial stage this weekend. By the end of the month just about every center for higher learning will have gently pushed their graduating class of 2012 into the “real world.”

In just a couple of weeks high schools will begin to host their graduations as well, and younger students around the country will come face to face with their chosen answer to that daunting question of “What to do next?” For countless students, this May and June represent a daunting, unforgettable, and unparalleled moment in their life.

And yet… while it’s clear graduation season is important, knowing how to handle graduation season is anything but obvious.

It’s easy to react cynically to graduation season. It’s easy to think the little rituals surrounding graduation (the shifting of the graduation tassel from one side of the cap to the other or the endless stressing over stumbling upon the perfect graduation gift ideas) make up the sum total of what this season is all about. It’s easy to believe graduation season is about nothing more than performing one ritual after another, living up to each cliché moment in turn, going through motions that can ring far more hollow than you imagined they would.

In other words, it’s easy to approach graduation season with cynicism.

Conversely, it’s just as easy to fixate on brainstorming graduation party ideas, to obsess endlessly over details such as graduation cap decoration, and to cling tenaciously to the memories of what you believe you’re leaving behind.

In other words, it’s also easy to approach graduation season sentimentally.

But just because something is “easy” doesn’t mean it’s “right,” an important note you need to keep in mind as you prepare to tackle the next suite of challenges heading your way. Neither doe-eyed sentiment nor shallow cynicism represents the best way to move through graduation season- or your future life for that matter.

Instead, you need to combine the positive elements of these two mindsets. You need to participate deeply in your graduation season without losing sight of the broader perspective. You need to go ahead and gather your graduation party supplies without falling into the ridiculous concern that anything less than the “perfect” set of cups represents your last chance at doing right by the friends you’re leaving behind. You need to go ahead and laugh at some of the pomp and circumstance of the graduation ceremony without forgetting that, beneath all the rituals, these ceremonies really do speak to something deep and powerful and important.

Decorating graduation caps may seem a little silly and frivolous but doing so draws you deeper into the recognition of your achievements. Your academic cap and gown may be nothing more than flimsy, unattractive garments you mercifully wear just the once, but without them you will never demonstrate how closely you belong to the little community you’ve traveled with these last few years.

So… how should you handle your graduation season?

Seriously, but not too seriously.

With a broad perspective that can still zero in on tender little moments.

With your beating heart, but also with your sense of humor intact.

And guess what?

The value of this difficult, seemingly contradictory, but entirely necessary approach might just extend well past May and June of 2012.

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Graduation Attire

One thing that is bound to give goose bumps to every graduating student is the academic dress. The graduating gown and the graduating caps are the traditional clothes worn on the day of graduation. To ensure that you look your best on this important day and don’t do a faux pas, it is essential to keep the following things in mind. The size of the graduation gown should of the proper size, neither big nor small. Also, make certain that all the accompanying accessories are also present. These include the graduation cap, tassels and honor chords or stoles. Next step is to decide what you will wear beneath your gown. This is important because a part of your leg will be visible below your gown. So, to play safe, a white shirt and a pair of trousers can never go wrong. This can be very helpful, especially when the gown is accompanied by a hood. Otherwise, people sometimes also resort to dresses, but do it at your own risk. On the D-day, iron the gown before wearing it as it is usually wrinkled. Put on your graduation gown in the same way as you would wear a jacket. Then use safety pins to attach the hood to the graduation gown. Finally, wear your honor chords and stoles by draping them around the neck. Place your graduation cap and the tassel as you feel comfortable and you are all set to make a statement.

Edited Copy:

One thing that is bound to give goose bumps to every graduating student is the academic cap and gown. The graduating gown and the graduating caps are the traditional clothes worn on the day of graduation. To ensure that you look your best on this important day and don’t do a faux pas, it is essential to keep the following things in mind. The size of the graduation gown should of the proper size, neither big nor small. Also, make certain that all the accompanying accessories are also present. These include the graduation cap, tassels and honor chords or stoles. Next step is to decide what you will wear beneath your gown. This is important because a part of your leg will be visible below your gown. So, to play safe, a white shirt and a pair of trousers can never go wrong. This can be very helpful, especially when the gown is accompanied by a hood. Otherwise, people sometimes also resort to dresses, but do it at your own risk. On the D-day, iron the gown before wearing it as it is usually wrinkled. Put on your graduation gown in the same way as you would wear a jacket. Then use safety pins to attach the hood to the graduation gown. Finally, wear your honor chords and stoles by draping them around the neck. Place your graduation cap and the tassel as you feel comfortable and you are all set to make a statement.