You’re celebrating one of the most important days of your life, but the temptation to do something dramatic is there. Graduation from high school means freedom, and in your heart, you want everyone to know just as happy you are.
On the outside, you’ll be wearing the mature robes of an honored high school graduate, but inside there’s still the immature imp who needs to do something childish. The little voice inside urges you to disrupt the solemn ceremonies.
However, instead of following your juvenile instincts, you should do your best to consider the feelings of faculty, other graduates and proud parents in the audience. Here are some things you should not do at a high school graduation.
1. Decorate your cap and gown: No one wants to be reminded of your rebellious attitude by seeing a big peace symbol on your cap or a picture of Lady Gaga or Che Guevera on the back of your gown.
2. Disrupt the ceremony: Suppress the hey-look-at-me urge to act up, to prove you’re a unique individual. What you’ll actually prove is that the high school education hasn’t given you enough maturity and common sense to behave properly.
3. Interrupt speakers: When the top students, valedictorian and salutatorian, give their speeches, have respect for their moment of pride. Just because they’re smarter than you and got better grades doesn’t give you the excuse to show why they’re up there and you’re not. Additionally, both their parents and yours will not appreciate any unwelcome input from you.
4. Make a silly gesture when receiving your diploma: Whether it’s meant to be defiance, anger, real cool or otherwise disruptive, take the diploma with dignity, smile and get off the stage quickly. Enjoy your moment in the spotlight, but don’t embarass yourself and your parents.
5. Hold grudges against teachers and/or other students: Accept the fact that your high school days are now over, and you can look forward to the rest of your life. If you have any gripes against people you may never see again, end the relationship in friendship.
Offer thanks to your teachers, including the tough ones. You’ll probably find out later that they were the most effective influences in getting you successfully through high school and ready for the outside world.
In addition to teachers, give a handshake or hug to all of your classmates, especially the ones who gave you the most trouble. They’ve also prepared you for facing tough people and even tougher times.