Saturday, May 14, 2016

A List of 10 Things To Do Before Graduation Day

My son graduates from high school in just THREE weeks! There's a lot to be done before graduation!

A pre-graduation list for parents

This morning I made a list of things that need to be done, in order to celebrate this milestone. I'm sharing it here today, along with a few tips for how to get these preparations accomplished.

1.  The senior must still finish school!

Senioritis is a real thing. But colleges do look at those final grades, so encourage your kid to give it one last push.

2.  Be sure the senior has no outstanding debts with the school

Have your student check with the administrative office to be sure they have no outstanding fees,
library books, or sports equipment not turned in.  This could stand in the way of them receiving their diploma!

3.  Have your senior try on the graduation gown and be sure they have a cap and tassel. 
Exchange it right away, if it is the wrong color, or too big, or too small!

4.  Order, address, and mail graduation announcements and/or party invitations.

(According to one source I read, sending these out about three weeks before the event is optimal.)

5.  Remember to celebrate the other graduates in your life.

6.  Be sure you have enough graduation ceremony tickets for your invited guests.

Be aware that sometimes the number of guests allowed per student is limited.

7.  Prepare your home for guests. 

Don't leave decluttering the guest room, cleaning, getting out the outdoor furniture, etc. to the last minute. Start NOW! 

8.  Plan and prepare for the party.

  • Set a budget and decide on a menu.
  • Make lists of food ingredients, beverages, paper products, and decorations you will need. Estimate quantities based on your guest list.
  • Start shopping and cooking/baking anything that can be purchased/prepared ahead. 
  • Order cakes, flowers, meat or vegetable trays, etc. (if desired) and don't forget to pick them up!
  • If the party is to be outdoors, have an inclement weather backup plan. 
  • Even if you request "no gifts" people may still bring them. Have a table or basket where these can be placed. (After the party, it's important to keep a written list of all the gifts, so the senior doesn't miss sending any thank you notes!)
  • Be sure you have a plan for: 
  • providing guests with directions. 
  • parking.
  • music and / or entertainment (if desired)
  • tables and chairs.  
  •  a method for keeping buffet foods at the right temperature.
  • a good place for your pets during the party, if it is at your home. 
  •  any other aspects that could influence this event.
  • Prepare and plan as much as you can in advance, so you have time to mingle and enjoy the party!

9.  Gather some memorabilia about your senior to display at the party. 

Here are some ideas:
  • photos from baby through high school years (a trifold poster board is great for this.)
  • awards and recognitions.
  • high school sports jerseys, art projects, favorite childhood toy, etc. 
  • future college banners, posters, etc. 
  • a slideshow of memories to play during the party. Be sure to include pictures of friends!
  • Use colors (high school or future college) for balloons, streamers, table centerpieces, cake, etc. 


10. Stay calm and have fun. 

Enjoy these last few weeks of high school with your senior, and spend some quality time together!

There are probably things I forgot to add to this list.  
Do you have any other suggestions for parents of a graduate?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!


  1. No suggestions here. My kids didn't finish high school. All four found school boring and left halfway through year 12 and got themselves jobs instead. I didn't mind so much, there's no way I could have afforded college for even one of them, and they DID get jobs right away.

  2. As you point out, River - college is not the right choice for everyone. Glad to hear your kids managed to become employed so quickly. Good for them!

  3. Great list Susan - I need to print this out to use right away! I love the first one, because it's so true! I actually asked Thomas about his grades the other day, because we hadn't talked about it in months! Congratulations to you and your son!

    1. Congrats to your family as well, Lana! Hope the list helps!

  4. Ok so where were you when I needed you? Brilliant summation, Susan. I just wish I could press the rewind button and do it all again.

    1. I'm sure you did just fine, Kelly. As for that rewind button, can it start from the day they were born? Please?

  5. Such an informative post!! Thanks for sharing it. I will surely use this info as planning a graduation party for my daughter at venue New York. Now want to make the day really enjoyable for her and for all the guests there.


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