April 10, 2009 5:23am CST
I am not aware of how young men in high school and college prepare for their graduation day, but I am well aware of what young women do. And boy, how they prepare! First item on the list is, of course, the graduation dress. Despite most schools using togas as the official graduation get up, nevertheless, young ladies go to great lengths finding the “right” outfit for graduation, without considering the fact that this will be all covered up when they get up and down the stage. And the bag, shoes, and accessories have to match as well. Second is hair and make up. They have to make appointments with their favorite stylist for this special day, without even considering that they have to wear a cap to go with the toga. Their hair and make up need to be impeccable for their picture taking sessions afterwards. So despite the long lines at the salons during this day, it doesn’t matter. The point is to get there early and get your hair and face done first. Then there is manicure and pedicure. I had my nails done recently because I am too heavy with my first child that I could no longer do my own pedicure. Several college students came in to have their manicure and pedicure because they are preparing for graduation. There were several other girls who had hair treatments such as hot oil, hair relax or hair rebond in the hopes of having the straight hair that only TV commercials deliver. I also have an aunt who has a derm clinic and during the graduation months, her schedule is packed with young girls getting services such as bleaching, hair removal on the legs and underarms, facials, permanent eyebrows, eyelash curling, etc…all in preparation for graduation. Some have to come back several times for a number of sessions because their services could not be completed in one visit. And then there are also spa treatments. I have worked in a spa and so I have met many young women who are graduating from college who are getting relaxing massage treatments because they are so stressed during the practices and clearance signing. I had been a graduate three times in my life—elementary, high school, and college. Since I don’t have much choice when I was younger, my mother did prep me up for graduation. Well, she feels the need because in elementary and high school, I graduated Valedictorian and received numerous awards. So aside from my major award, I went up and down the stage several times for other extra-curricular awards, not to mention to deliver my valedictory address. Since the focus was on me, my mother thought of prepping me up. And well, during my elementary graduation, we didn’t have a toga, so my mother had a beautiful white lace dress made especially for me. But in college, while I was hurrying up to graduate because I was already in a hurry to get out of school, I just picked a blouse and skirt that fit and used an old pair of black shoes. I also did my hair and make up, which was not much anyway. No other special treatments there man! I didn’t want to waste precious money. Besides I had work the day before graduation and the day after. Despite already having a job and graduating with honors during college, I did not go through great lengths to look physically pretty during graduation day. Although there is nothing wrong with these treatments and the beauty industry is flourishing because of women wanting to always look pretty, I just hate it when these young women realize that all they have been preparing for is only one day in their lives—no, make that half a day—as graduation programs don’t last that long. Then afterwards, only the pictures remain. But the following day, they have to wake up to the fact that they are jobless and have to go through the daunting task of finding a job, as allowances may or may no longer come as freely as it used to. Sorry, but I am a realist, and despite having a full time job before graduation and graduating with honors, I have already thought of the things that mattered most, like earning after college. Well, I guess if your parents are affluent and you have money to spare, that is fine. But otherwise, please, let us prioritize our efforts and finances and be prepared, not just for graduation day but for life.
13 Apr 09
i didnt even attend my graduation.. i had studied abroad, and the graduation is set after we're already sent home and after my student visa would expire.. so totally no chance to wait for the 'big event'.. but things are done a bit different in japan - i was told.. only representative of each class would be called out to get their 'degree', so i didnt miss much after all.. it is good feeling to graduate / finish school.. for some it may be just a 'phase of their life', and they're ready to move on to things more important in life.. but for some it is a great deal... but i do agree with you.. no point wasting so much money preparing for wonderful dress etc..