College graduates are not always 22 year-olds who might still enjoy loud parties with big crowds. More and more older adults are attending college, and they might prefer a different kind of gathering. While we’re not suggesting a 4 PM dinner and an early bedtime, we are saying that there is more than one way to celebrate a graduation. Here are a few ways to plan a graduation party for the increasing nontraditional students.
Include Their Families
Many nontraditional students have husbands, children, and extended family who will want to be involved. For this reason, it’s important to consult with them about venues, drinks, and other factors you might need to include. If they have children attending, for example, they may wish to keep all the drinks non-alcoholic and serve kid-friendly snacks along with the others. Or their parents may want to host the party in their home. If you are not a member of the family, just keep them all in the loop to avoid any issues for the student.
Consider Hosting a Graduation Meal
Depending on the day and time of graduation, a nice meal after the ceremony could be the perfect event. This could be a meal you cook, have catered, or make reservations for. But it should be much nicer than the usual fare. You might consider reserving a nice room at a local venue and decorating it with the school’s colors. You can even ask the family if they’d like to bring dishes for a potluck type of meal.
Treat It As a Networking Event
Now that your graduate is about to conquer the real world, it’s a good idea to help him or her network. For example, did your student graduate from a court reporting school in Florida? You can decorate the venue with items that represent that profession such as a steno machine and legal items. And if your graduate interned or already has a job within the field, you might invite those Fort Lauderdale court reporters and other coworkers to the party. Not only is it a great way to help them network, but you’re celebrating their achievement on their own turf.
Host a Barbecue
If you’re throwing a student a party, you probably know them pretty well. Is their idea of a celebration hanging out in the backyard with a cold drink and the people they love? If so, it’s okay to keep their graduation party low-key, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it festive. Pick up some cool party gadgets and decor at a store like Premier Glow. And maybe even put together some fun party games that everyone will enjoy.
Split the Cost
If cost is an issue, consider inviting the families of several graduates to pitch in for the party. This can be as simple as asking each family to split the bill for the whole event. Or you could just ask everyone to pitch in and bring a different item to the party. This could be a helpful way to find a place to have the party or someone to cook the meal.
According to recent studies, nontraditional adult learners are an often neglected group of students. Even though the make up almost 40% of the college population in the US, most institutions still cater to the younger crowd. This makes it even more important to recognize these graduates once they complete their studies. They may not always enjoy the same types of parties as their younger counterparts. So it’s important to honor them in a way that suits their particular interests and families.