The University Star’s guide to navigating graduation

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Congratulations, seniors. Four years (or maybe more) of dragging yourselves up and down stairs and hills, shotgunning Red Bulls during all-nighters at Alkek and sitting through Friday lectures the morning after Thirsty Thursday at The Square has all lead up to this—graduation. Earning a college degree is a huge accomplishment, but don’t get too excited—you’re not out of the woods yet. The commencement ceremony is a trial in itself. The University Star has compiled a comprehensive guide to help you survive your last hours as a Texas State student.

BEFORE THE BIG EVENT

Develop a parking contingency plan

This is your moment to demonstrate the expert navigation and parking skills you picked up while living in San Marcos. The areas around Strahan Coliseum will be either be gridlocked with lost family members or shut down completely, so be prepared to sit in traffic and take alternate routes. If you are lucky enough to live within walking distance of Strahan, make the journey on foot and let your family worry about parking. If this is not an option, give yourself at least 45 minutes to get to Strahan.

Make reservations

If you want to go out to lunch or dinner with your friends and family to celebrate, you need to make a reservation. Don’t have your heart set on drinking mojitos in the courtyard at Palmer’s if you haven’t called ahead. That goes for most nice restaurants in town—if you haven’t made a reservation by now, your chances of getting a table are slim. Ordering a $20 plate of food and an $8 drink is critical to observing this milestone, so get on the phone once you’re done reading this if you don’t already have a reservation.

Pick an appropriate outfit

Ladies, we understand the pressure of finding the perfect pair of shoes for graduation. It’s the only part of your outfit that people will be able to see, and you literally want to put your best foot forward. However, save the 5-inch heels for The Square later on in the night. They won’t be worth the risk of tripping, and no one wants to hear you whine about how bad your feet hurt.  
While your clothing is going to be covered during the ceremony, it’s still important on graduation day to look like a young adult who is ready to enter the professional world. Also, your mother will kill you if she pulls out her camera to take photos and you’re wearing an oversized T-shirt and Nike running shorts.  

 
DURING THE CEREMONY

Be positive and polite

Depending on what time your college’s commencement ceremony begins, you may have to check in as early as 8 a.m. No one wants to be awake that early, let alone sit through a graduation ceremony for two hours, but try to stay positive. While the ceremony will be long and mind-numbing, don’t complain about how bored, tired or hungover you are to whoever is sitting next to you. Graduating college is an achievement to be excited and happy about, so at least make an attempt to brush away any feelings of irritability.

Additionally, we can guarantee that a sorority girl with a Swarovski-encrusted cap will be sitting nearby, and you don’t want to be anywhere near that thing after she tosses it into the air. That being said, if you have an ornate cap, be courteous to the people around you and try not to block (or damage) their vision with it.

POST-GRADUATION

Celebrate — appropriately

Jumping in the river in your cap and gown after graduation is a tradition that many Texas State students have looked forward to their entire college careers. If jumping in the river is something you want to do, try not to be obnoxious about it. Don’t push anyone in who does not wish to participate, jump on top of anyone or break any bones in the process. Take your cell phone out of your pocket before jumping in, and make sure your designated photographer is in place before you take the plunge.

The editorial board congratulates all of the seniors graduating this year, and encourages them to celebrate the milestone. Whether you plan on jumping into the San Marcos River one last time, spending time with family or taking a celebratory trip to The Square after graduation, be sure to use caution.