All Your Friends Are Graduating…Now What?

Maybe you’re like me and accidentally became friends with only folks in the class above you. Come May 8, all of my people will become “adults” with “jobs” and will have to eternally wear business casual attire.


While I’m immensely proud and excited for them, I still have to make this about myself somehow. So, how does one cope with all of their friends graduating?

Treat Finals Week Like Sylly Week

Final exams come and go, but memories last forever. It’s easy to get caught up studying for exams every waking second during finals week, but you’re allowed to have some fun, too.

It’s easier said than done, but if you wake up early and study for finals efficiently, you can still make it to the bars with your graduating friends at night. Use their impending doom as a reason to celebrate.

Benefit From Their Parents Coming To Town

If you’re running out of groceries, there’s no reason to fret. Hordes of proud parents are coming to town, and they love nothing more than treating their lovely kids’ friends to dinner. It’s a great way to get to know their families better, but most of all, it’s a wonderful way to secure a free meal.

Additionally, quite a few graduates will host graduation parties. There’s nothing better than a burger straight off the grill with a side of Berkey Creamery ice cream. If you’re lucky, you’ll get invited to a pre-graduation brunch with Irving’s bagels and mimosas.

Plan Trips To Visit

At the very least, you’re about to have quite a few free places to stay in various cities across the country. It’s not like you’ll have friends to hang out with next school year anyway, so you might as well secure a few dates to go visit your pals. Plus, they’ll have an actual income, so you won’t have to drink boxed Franzia when you link up next.

Download Tinder

If you won’t have friends next year, you might as well find a significant other. Swallow your pride and give the old dating app a go. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet the love of your life just in time for senior year.

Be Sentimental For Once

Tapping into your emotions can be lowkey cringy sometimes, but every once in a while, it’s normal to tell your friends how much you love them. Graduation is an opportunity to write your friends a letter, grab dinner at your favorite spot together, buy them a special Penn State-related novelty item, or even treat them to drinks somewhere nice like Central Reservation. Your friends will be happy to hear about how much of an influence they are on you and how proud you are of them.

Exploit Them For Instagram Clout

I don’t know what it is, but if you post a picture with someone in a cap and gown, your Instagram followers will eat that shit up. You might as well take advantage of their accomplishment and use it to your benefit.

As the Instagram biddies say: ~It’s not a “goodbye,” it’s a “see you later.”~

Listen To The Cool Commencement Speakers

My friends might think I’m going to the College of Communications’ commencement ceremony to support them, but the reality is that I want to listen to Don Roy King speak. The former “Saturday Night Live” director and 11-time Emmy Award winner is cool as hell, and I’m excited to gain some wisdom from him (in addition to celebrating my friends’ accomplishments, of course).

If one of your friends is in the College of Education, you can listen to former Penn State offensive lineman and two-time Super Bowl champion Stefen Wisniewski speak, too.

Celebrate Senior Week

A majority of seniors stay in State College for an additional week following graduation weekend. This week of freedom and no responsibility allows them to check the final items off their bucket list and go to Gaffeoke without worrying about class in the morning. Who says you can’t get in on the fun, too? It’s a free country, and it will probably feel like a vacation.

Gaslight Your Friends Into Pursuing A Master’s Degree

If your graduating friends haven’t landed a job yet, you might as well convince them to pursue a Master’s degree. This way, they won’t actually leave State College and you’ll have a friend next year. Those Smeal kids never shut the hell up about the Master of Accounting program at Penn State, and it must be for a reason, right?


If all else fails, you can cry. It’s OK to be sad and realize that your best friends won’t be a block away from you anymore.

Colleen is a junior biology major from York, Pa and is one of Onward State’s associate editors. She overuses the ~tilde~ and aspires to be no other than the great Guy Fieri. You can find Colleen filling up her gas tank at Rutter’s, the ~superior~ Pennsylvania gas station. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected] For the hijinks, always.


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