Grad parties celebrate success, connect community


Picture used with permission of Noya Vattahara

Manya Phutela and Noya Vattahara celebrate their graduation with a themed party.

Rachel Lee, Staff Writer

Flashy banners and balloons, themed cupcakes and bittersweet tears. Many graduating seniors choose to commemorate their accomplishments by hosting graduation parties with close family and friends as they look back on high school experiences and celebrate a new chapter. 

“The thing that I’m most looking forward to for my party has definitely got to be just hanging out with my friends and being able to relax without the threat of schoolwork and any deadlines really,” senior Nisha Shankar said. 

With colleges often being far from home, these parties provide a space to spend final moments with friends and congratulate seniors on achieving a significant milestone. 

“I really like the idea of celebrating the fact that you’re graduating with all your friends and people that have been there the entire time through your high school journey,” Shankar said. “It’s the signal for the start of the summer and really signals the end of high school and the beginning of college life.” 

Graduation parties are staple traditions of the high school experience; whether hosting or attending, they require planning. Many students rely on social media platforms such as Pinterest for inspiration.

“I’ve had themes and potential decorations brainstormed for months now, “ senior Komal Shah said. “Since it’s an invaluable memory that can’t be repeated, I really want everything to be perfect. “

The estimated total cost for hosting a graduation party in Virginia is $1,103.32 according to FinanceBuzz, with many parents choosing to spend well into the thousands when it comes to celebrating their seniors. Costs include supplies, food, decorations, locations and entertainment; however, many families choose to spend extra on party favors, premium invitations and upscale venues with various amenities. Others opt to minimize costs through electronic invites, co-hosting and planning a more intimate affair with fewer guests.

Aside from socializing, many graduation parties feature diverse entertainment for guests such as photo booths, life-sized party games, superlatives and slideshows showcasing students over the years. 

“I’m definitely planning for some classic college trivia games because I absolutely love trivia,” Shankar said. “I know a lot of people going to Virginia Tech as well as UVA so there will probably be a nice rivalry game between the two schools, too.” 

Whether it be customized party favors or tables decorated with college gear and school spirit, graduation parties provide memories for graduating seniors as they close out on their last year of high school. 

“I’m most looking forward to having the people I care about all in one backyard so that we can all celebrate together as well as eat food and play games,” senior Amy Bippert said.