How to Survive a College Graduation The Do's and Don'ts for Parents

Praise To All That Is Holy

You did it, you got your kid to the finish line. All of the hard work and dedication has paid off. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.... shall I go on???

What a special day, and unless you have done this before, you don't have a clue what to expect. This blog post is about the do's and don'ts for parents of a college graduate.

We didn't really know what to expect for this big day. We knew we would be excited, we knew we would be proud, but there were a few things I wish we would have know ahead of time.

My motto is take things day by day and don't sweat the little things. But... had I know some of these tips, we would have had a smoother day.

Don't get me wrong, this day was pretty perfect! After all we got to see our baby girl graduate from college! I hope this helps you for your big day!

Don't wait to book your hotel!

No AC all night long is a good reason to book ahead!

We booked our hotel one month before our daughters graduation and thought that would be fine. When we called our favorite hotel, they wanted almost double their normal price. So... we thought we would save money by going cheaper. OMG! Not a good idea.

We ended up in a 2.5 star hotel with no AC and barking dogs next to us. The room smelled like smoke and it was one of the worst nights ever at a hotel.

I would suggest to book at least three months ahead of the graduation, to prevent such an awful stay before an important event!

Do get up early!

The early bird really does get the worm... or at least a good seat at the graduation.

Make sure to wake up early, this is where having a good hotel comes in handy. If you have slept well, you will feel good in the morning.

DON'T hit the snooze button. We hit it a couple of times and didn't get our complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Which may have been a life saver because the hotel was so bad, so I imagine the food would not be good either.

Because we got up early, we were able to get really good seats. There's always time to sleep, but you only get one time to see your kid graduate from college.

Don't forget what this day is about!

You're in the home stretch! You have put a whole lot of work into raising this kid and getting them to this finish line!

DO stop along the way to take some pictures. Taking time to get random photos is important! You will be so happy you did. The photo on the left is one of my favorites, It was in the parking garage before our long walk to the Arena. I wouldn't trade this picture for all the money in the world! DON'T miss out on your priceless photo!

Our daughter Megan and her friend Amanda

Do bring a sweater or jacket!

We froze our butts off! DON'T make the mistake of thinking it's warm outside, why would I need a sweater?

This is where a lot of closeness comes in handy. I couldn't believe how cold it was in the Arena! If you have been in a disagreement with your spouse, DO make -up before seated! We were freezing the whole time and snuggling together like a couple of teenagers. It's a good thing I love my hubby and don't mind the closeness.. It was so cold, love or no love, I would have snuggled up anyway!

Don't freak out if you can't find your graduate!

DON'T freak out. It was just pure luck that we found ours. Even getting there early and getting a great seat does not mean you will find your grad is the sea of graduates.

This is where texting comes in handy. Yes... most of the grads had their phones. My kid put her's in a fanny pack underneath her gown. For a guy, having a shirt pocket would come in handy to keep the phone. While waiting for the ceremony, we communicated through texting and that's how we found her.

Do enjoy the moment

DON'T miss that moment, that moment you have been sitting in the freezing cold waiting for. That moment when your grad walks across the stage!

It is hard to enjoy a moment in time when you are trying to capture it on camera or video.

DO check ahead of time to see if the college is taking professional pictures and recording the ceremony. If this is the case, you don't have to worry about recording it. And, I can assure you, you will not get a good photo, no matter how good your seats are.

So, DO enjoy the moment! Order photos, and download the video later on. It is so much better to watch and not worry about holding a camera or phone.

So Basically...

This day can be stressful...I mean the shear amount of people present can give you a panic attack. So just remember, book your hotel early, arrive on time to get good seats, remember this day is about your kid, stay warm at all costs, and keep calm and enjoy! There's only one day where you kid graduates college (unless they go back of course), so prepare and cherish it!

Created By
Jessica Bellstedt


Created with images by Maggie Lorelle-"untitled image" • Claudia Soraya - "untitled image" • Olichel - "hotel room bed pillows" • Tim Foster - "Relax" • Maggie Lorelle- "untitled image"

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