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SURVIVING GRADUATION Surviving graduation

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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 7:23 am

Everything the Lodi grad, grandma, dad and Fido need to know about getting through graduation season.

1. Party time!

Well, that’s if you remembered to send out the invitations. Invitations, or graduation cards, usually include one of the grad’s wallet-sized senior pictures as well as information on their graduation and an invite to the party.

2. No reservations

Schedule parties before or after the day of the event, but make reservations for park space or restaurant space in advance. If you are hosting a party at home, be prepared with lots of party favors and a large enough space for all the family and friends.

3. K.I.T.

Saying goodbye is tough. Be prepared to say adios to friends in advance as you may not be able to find them on graduation day. Get pictures with those friends beforehand as well. They may not be going far, but life takes hold and friends move away or become busy.

4. Seriously, heels?!

Graduation day is always a high traffic occasion. Make sure you are wearing shoes that are comfortable and allow you to walk on grass easily. Remember ladies, stiletto heels are not made to walk the grass.

5. Dear Mom,

Don’t forget the camera.

Love, your grad

(Seriously, don’t forget it.)

6. Pack a paper fan for long, hot ceremonies

7. Get off your iPhone — for now

It’s rude to use your phone during graduation. But at the end, when generations of family are swarming to find their special grad, you’ll be glad you didn’t forget your cellphone in the hot car.

8. College is your choice, not your friends’

Remember that you are planning for your life — not your friend’s life. You are the one who will have to live with a school for (most-likely) five years. You may even be the one paying off those student loans for a decade. So choose wisely. Trust yourself to make strong friendships wherever you choose.

9. Bobby pins will be your best friend.

Keep a couple extra to  hold caps on tight.

10. Lodi High Graduates at University of the Pacific

With the City of Lodi refurbishing the Grape Bowl, city officials are not able to ensure the work will be completed in enough time for graduation. The new location for graduation will be the Alex G. Spanos Center at University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave.. in Stockton.

The ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 22 at 7 p.m.

11. Tokay does, too

Tokay High School graduation is ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Center at University of the Pacific,  3601 Pacific Ave. in Stockton. Tickets are required for admission.

12. No

sneakers, athletic shoes, flip-flops, shorts, tank tops, T-shirts allowed.

13. News flash:

Your cologne and perfume don’t smell as great as you think they do. Ditch the scents or be the one everyone talks about later.

14. That awkward moment

So grandma traveled, like, 843 miles to see you graduate. Your mom and dad have a special dinner planned. Cousin Jean is visiting for the first time, ever.

And while you really want to spend time with your beloved relatives, you are feeling all nostalgic and don’t want to miss the party with your friends who are moving away to college too soon.

Here’s how you handle it:

Talk to your parents — in advance. Tell them that this is a special time, and you want to spend your last evening as a student with your friends. Set up a family dinner or brunch for the following day. That way, everyone wins.

15. Patience is a virtue

Graduation, like all public events, may have a large security presence. Be patient with bag checks and other procedures.

16. All that stuff!

Balloons, flowers, and confetti are all nice to have for the graduate, but most locations will not allow them into the ceremony site. Leave them in the car for the graduate to enjoy at the after-party.

17. Lei me

All graduates want to feel special. Do it with a real-flower lei from a local florist.

18. HUNGRY? You should wait

A candy bar may be the perfect boost during a long graduation, but it’s hot outside and chocolate melts, so be careful if it is in your pocket.

19. Parents: Beware of the empty nest

After your child has graduated and you, the parents, have the house to yourselves there are many things you can do with your extra time that will also help take your mind off your baby who’s so far away in college.

  • The extra space can be your new craft room, a home office and a guest room all in one.
  • Remember that your child is still a part of your life, they are just learning how to be a productive member of society.
  • Create a recipe book. It may contain your and your child’s favorite meals.
  • Learn a musical instrument. Become the master musician you always wanted to be.
  • Travel. Now is the time.
  • Learn a new hobby. Have you ever wanted to knit, dance or or ski?

20. The most difficult question: What do I buy for the graduate?

According to the staff of Mark’s Hallmark in Stockton, the best gift ideas include :

  • A keepsake ornament.
  • A dated picture frame to complete that perfect memory.
  • A dated mug.
  • Autograph animals. The graduate can carry these with them and have friends sign them at the ceremony.
  • Card, of course. There are graduation cards and gift card holders, but you can also get an oversized graduation hat to put at your graduation party where all the gift cards can be placed.

And if you're still not sure, money and gift cards never go out of style.

21. To limo? Or not to limo?

Limousines are fun to have for graduation but think about the expense. Is it worth the money and time to wait for the limo to pick you up, or is it easier to ride with family to and from the celebration?

22. Ladies, TWO important words:

Waterproof mascara.

23. Ditch the beach balls

Gramps didn’t come all that way to see you show your maturity by pelting plastic beach balls at the back of your classmates’ updos. Just sayin’.

24. Have a good hair day

Make your hair appointments early and give the hairdresser time to complete your desired look before you are scheduled to show up at graduation. If you want a haircut, make sure you have it done in plenty of time. The day before is not enough time.

25. Just don’t do it.

Don’t take the dog to your son’s graduation

26. Don’t forget to take it in.

This is the only time you’ll have this exact experience. Take pictures. Instagram it. Don’t forget to say thank you. Smile in your pictures. Give lots of hugs.

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