Dec 102010
Authors: Anna Baldwin

The first rule of graduation party hopping is that you don’t talk about graduation party hopping.

The sheer act of party hopping is likely to be considered rude. After four or more (likely more) years of hard, dedicated work, a graduate won’t feel loved if their closest friends can’t make an appearance. And not doing so is just rude.

As the fall semester graduation looms closer, it’s an undeniable fact that there will be more parties celebrating the triumph of a degree than can be counted. As everyone knows, the real fun is in the after party and not the actual graduation in the hot gymnasium surrounded by hundreds of bored people that you don’t know.

Fortunately, there is a possible and effective way to go about hitting all of the dozens of graduation parties without seeming like a bad friend.

First, it’s important to have reliable transportation.

Most likely each party will be in a very different place, so it’s important to be able to travel to each location safely and quickly. Additionally, reliable transportation makes it so you can spend more time at each place because travel time is quick.

The more time you can stay at one location, the better the chances are that the graduate will see you and get the impression that you have been hanging out for a while.

This leads us to the next guideline, which is to try to stay in direct vision of the graduate for the majority of the time you are present at the gathering. This will also imply that you are a dedicated partygoer.

This strategy is especially effective if you are engaged in a conversation with someone in a place where the person of the hour can see you. Or especially if you are engaged in a very animated conversation with someone. The bigger and more ridiculous, the better.

Maybe try starting a conversation with a relative of the graduate about something that everyone at the party is privy to and can discuss.

It’s also always a good idea to talk to the graduate at their party for at least five to 10 minutes. If you can, try to do this while enjoying some of the delightful feast the graduate’s parents or caterers are sure to provide. Eating food at a party suggests that you are not just passing through.

A final guideline to pull off your incredible graduation-hopping heist is to make a big show of presenting your gift or card to the graduate. Stress their great achievement or their years of dedicated work. If the graduate was a poor student or barely graduated, maybe stick to compliments about their attire while handing over the goods.

Just remember: It’s all about the person who is getting his or her degree. It really is a time for everyone to celebrate. Plus, graduation parties usually have great cake.

Staff writer Anna Baldwin can be reached at

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