Hey, so you graduated! Congrats! Now it’s time for the fun part—inviting all of your extended family members over to celebrate with you!
If you just heard a loud record scratch in your head, we’re with you. And if you’re picturing a two-hour-long interrogation and a pile of corny “Con-GRAD-ulations!” cards, you’re probably not too far off the mark. But there are certain merits to throwing a graduation party: aunts will coo over your accomplishments (hopefully without leaving their stamp of approval via cheek-pinch/lipstick kiss), teenage cousins will look up to you as a true role model (not just as a bigger kid who’s allowed to drink), and there’s always a chance that some of those cards will contain some much-needed cash.
Basically, either you’re going to want to throw a graduation party, or your mom’s going to make you throw one, so we’ve provided you with all of the tools you’ll need to knock it out of the park:
A designated cameraperson
You’d think that with the progression of technology and time incessantly marching on, parents would’ve gotten better at taking photos by now. Nope. Our moms didn’t grow up in the Instagram era, and therefore, they don’t know or care about how to work the #angles. That’s fine, we can’t fault them for that, but when they post 50 slightly blurry Facebook photos that uncover a double chin you could’ve sworn you didn’t have, you’re going to be reaching for the stupid selfie stick. No! Bad! Drop it!
Instead, find a trusted sister or cousin, and make them promise that they’ll capture you in that perfect careless hat-tossing pose. The key is to keep those Instagram likes coming—they’ll serve as a good distraction down the road when you’re learning that potential employers don’t always answer your emails as quickly as you’d like them to. Who knew you’d so dearly treasure a photo of you in a glorified trash bag?
When Aunt Carol circles back around for the fiftieth time to ask about your post-college plans, you’re going to want a party-wide diversion. We’ve come up with a few fun graduation party-themed games to fill this specific purpose:
1. Musical Chairs
This game helps get you ready for office life, where everyone will be constantly stealing your chair…and your stapler…and your pens…you basically have no personal space. And you thought living in the dorms was bad.
2. Pin the Debt on the Graduate
Spoiler alert: this one’s painful, and it’ll make you start to wonder if you’ve been a real donkey all along.
3. Where’s Waldo’s Direction in Life?
In which you decide you’re not ready to face the corporate world, decide to take a “gap year” instead, then make grand plans to travel all over Europe, get really lost amidst the throngs of European tourists in Venice, and like, find yourself.
A classic board game that lets you experience fun, outlandish fantasies, like winning money at random, and owning a home.
This is just a game where your parents tell you that you need to start paying your own cell phone bill. Also, it’s not a game.
Don’t worry about buying fancy food. You may think postgrad life is going to open the doors to fine gourmet food, like fruits and vegetables and stuff, but we’ll let you in on a secret—eating on an entry-level salary isn’t all that different than eating college cafeteria food. So you should probably just get pizza. We’ve seen your future, and it includes a lot of pizza.
Oh yeah, yet another reason to save money on your food budget: you’re going to want alcohol in quantities you’ve never seen. What, you mean like gallons? No, more like bathtubs. A lot of big life changes are coming your way, and your family members are going to ask you about every single one of them—you’re going to want to drown your anxiety in cheap champagne, stat.
Okay, in all seriousness, don’t stress—you’re going to be fine, and not just in terms of throwing a great graduation party, but in tackling and conquering postgrad life. If you can get through living in the dorms, making a whole new host of friends, crushing upwards of eight to twelve finals weeks, and actually attending eight a.m. classes, all while dealing with the constant distraction of being surrounded by the most young and single people you’re ever going to encounter in your life, you’re going to be juuuuust fine in the “real world”…whatever that means. Party on, grads.