10 Things to Avoid While Walking Across the Stage At Graduation

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Happy graduation season, graduates. As I’m sure your parents have reminded you, the big day is upon you. It’s day where all of your hard work is converted into a glorified piece of paper: your diploma. Earning your diploma is the easy part, but walking across stage and actually receiving it is a little trickier. Whiten your teeth for the photos, exercise those legs for the long walk, and avoid the following for the flawless walk across that graduation stage.

1. Walking slowly. There are HUNDREDS of graduates waiting to get their name read out loud to the THOUSANDS of friends and family members whose minds are at brunch. Graduation ceremonies, while an important lifetime milestone, make watching a PBS documentary look like fun. For the sake of the sanity of your classmates and audience, book it across the stage.
2. Tebowing. That is so 2012, graduates. The courtesy laughter you’ll get from the crowd will haunt you throughout your life as you test out horrible pick up lines at bars. It will stay with you as you grow up to tell horrible dad jokes that’ll make every little kid at your child’s birthday spit up his or her lemonade.
3. Flipping off the cameras. Trust me, you will hate yourself for this years down the road when your mother still won’t talk to you after ruining her pictures. She pulled out her elbows of steel to fight her way through a sea of helicopter parents to get a decent photo of her baby graduating from college and you proceeded to break her heart with your satanic gesture. Graduation isn’t for you – you don’t even get a real diploma at it. It’s for your parents who invested $100,000+ in 4 year blackout for you. Be respectful.
4. Adjusting your junk. Again, your mother does not want to frame photos of you putting your privates back into a comfortable position. Do it before walking on stage or suck it up and waddle.
5. Crying. I mean yeah, I get it, maybe you busted your ass through school and are so proud of everything you’ve accomplished that your body just subconsciously forces water out of your eyeballs. And I’m happy for you. But crying is so cliché and will make your skin look blotchy for your photos. You don’t want your kids to think you graduated a leper, do you?
6. Doing a cutesy, bouncy dance after your stand in diploma is handed to you. I direct this one mostly at the ladies because every female I’ve ever seen receive a diploma has done this. If I can be perfectly honest, it’s not adorable. It’s annoying. Instead, go with the solid fist-in-the-air or a classic high five to the dean of whatever.
7. Tripping. On purpose, at least. There’s always that one guy who carefully face plants for the full comedic effect and flawlessly recovers injury free. He’s a phony who will never be Jennifer Lawrence. Never.
8. Looking at your feet. It makes the entire audience feel second hand embarrassment when you walk straight into the podium trying to make your way 30 feet across stage. If you have anxiety about standing in front of that many people, here’s two pieces of advice: 1) The only people paying attention to you are the people you gave tickets to. 2) Take a shot or four before the ceremony. Pre-gaming is acceptable because you aren’t technically out of college yet.
9. Doing the worm. Unless you can ACTUALLY do the worm, please don’t make me sit through your weird half push up half stage humping dancing. If you do the worm like you are Usher in the early 2000s, by all means go right ahead and give the audience what they want.
10. Forgetting to soak it in. Yeah, the ceremony kind of sucks and you’re probably severely dehydrated from the excruciating sun, but this is a day you’ll never forget. You’re about to receive (in 3-4 weeks in the mail) the one piece of paper needed to land a decent job and start your life. Reflect on the fun you had these last four years and get ready to make the move from TFM to PGP. The working world isn’t as bad as we make it seem over here, but that’s no excuse to race through your last hoorah as a college student.

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Topanga is a contributing writer for Post Grad Problems. Lover of red wine, mediocre gossip, and Corey's whipped ass.

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