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Grad Parties Galore

As senior year ends grad parties begin
media by Ally Kelley
This graphic depicts an illustration with questions to introduce the story.

The smell of the latex balloons mixes with barbeque or chips and salsa. Black and gold streamers and 2024 graduate signs fill the entryway to the grad party– its time to celebrate four years of high school.

After four years of school dances, sports games, final exams and making memories the grad party is the last chance to highlight your high school experience.

The first step in the party process is the grad invitation. As the end of another school year approaches, mailboxes and email inboxes of friends and family fill with invitations for graduation parties, also known as grad parties. 

Grad party season typically extends from mid-May to early June, when guests attend celebrations hosted at homes, club houses or backyards. Most students will spend time attending multiple parties a day and hosting their own by themselves or together with friends.

“Grad party season gets busy because most people host them on either the 25th or 26th because it’s right after graduation when their families are still in town,” Mackenzie Sheldon ‘24 said. 

According to an @rcrockmedia Instagram poll earlier this month, 22% of Jags are sending email invites, 28% are sending paper copies and 50% are using social media or private stories. 

“My friends and I are mainly inviting people through our private stories on Instagram it was an easier and cheaper way to spread the word,” Sarah Davis ‘24 said.

Most parties are an open house style, and will last around four to five hours. Graduates will host their social gathering to spend time telling families and friends about their post-grad plans while guests munch on breakfast burritos and barbeque. 

A grad party’s charm often lies in being able to plan one last event for your family and friends while showing your personality. A graduate attending an SEC may have finger sandwiches and orders for their provided food.  

“We’re having a brunch sort of thing and there’s gonna be breakfast burritos and doughnuts, and since both of us are going to schools with the color purple and blue, we’re going to incorporate those,” Sarah Myers ‘24 said. 

“My grad party is gonna be in my backyard so I will have outdoor games and food trucks! The food trucks that we are having is a crepe bar and a pastry buffet with sandwiches and types of baked goods. The theme of the grad party is going to be floral and summer colors,” Ella Greenhow ‘24 said.

For graduation parties with themes or that are considered more casual there is often an expectation of how to dress and through a poll on @rcrockmedia students said that 44% are having in between casual and formal, while 40% have just casual and the other 16% plan on there grad party attire to be formal.

Jags reported on @rcrockmedia Instagram polls that 61% of students are having their graduation parties individually. 

“I think grad parties are really fun because they show your accomplishments and what you’ve done the past four years, it’s fun to see the memories and things you’ve done the past four years,” Sheldon said.  

On @rcrockmedia on Instagram, students were asked what their typical grad party gift is. A majority of students replied with either cash gift cards or something along those lines. 

“For a typical graduation party, I would make someone a ‘getting ready for college’ basket and sometimes like a body scrub or bath products,” Tatum Levering ‘27 said. 

Guest lists range from family members to teachers, siblings, coaches, administrators and friends.

Non-graduates such as freshmen, sophomores and juniors also attend these parties with their friends and family.

“Going to grad parties is super fun. I normally go with my family to my neighbor’s grad parties but for my friends, I go by myself.  I’m so excited to celebrate my friend’s accomplishments and give them a send-off into their futures,” Leah Downs ‘26 said.

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