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All things graduation

Graduation from high school marks a significant accomplishment and the completion of an important phase in life. It is a time for both looking forward to the future and reflecting on the past, and celebrating one last time with friends at graduation parties. Traditions differ from school to school, but typically, they involve a formal ceremony for the graduating students in which their achievements are honored by school officials, awards are bestowed on exceptional students and diplomas are distributed to the graduating class.

The Graduation Ceremony

In some places, the graduation ceremony is also called commencement. Students typically don a traditional cap and gown for the occasion, and each will have the chance to cross the stage to collect his or her diploma from the principal. This is a favorite moment to immortalize on film, ranking right up there with the prom as the most important moment in a student's high school career.

Graduation speeches occur during the ceremony; the principal or presiding school official will typically make one, and a famous alumnus of the institution may make another during the course of the ceremony. It is also common practice for a valedictorian to speak on behalf of the graduating class to offer his or her peers encouraging words as they move forward in life.

More Graduation Traditions

At the actual graduation ceremony, it is common for students to gather together once the formalities have come to an end to toss their grad caps in the air; this makes for a great stress release and a perfect photographic moment. Sometimes, girls will take photographs of themselves wading through fountains in their graduation dresses, though this particular tradition is more popular on American college campuses.

Many students receive graduation gifts from their parents and graduation cards from other family members. It's also common for graduation parties to be held so the students can get together socially one last time before life takes them all off in different directions. Dress for such parties can be casual or formal; if it's the latter, special graduation dresses or suits can be worn for the occasion.

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