The DSEs are over and the summer holidays are on their way! But there's one more thing for graduating students before the search for a summer job begins: planning the one and only graduation dinner. So here are five things you need to enjoy your big night.
No one wants to be alone on this big night. This is the time to be with your besties and take selfies all night long. We girls usually stick together because almost everyone is dressing up for the first time. We need friends around us to tell us about smudged eyeshadow, or when to reapply lip gloss. Staying in packs can also help fill up the frame when you are taking photos and creating memories for when you look back on this special night 30 years later.
For boys, being in groups enhances the fun. Graduation dinner is literally the last time you can pull a prank on the girl you have a crush on, or pull a prank as a thank-you gift to a teacher. So spend quality time planning those fun pranks with your best guy friends. Or if you have outgrown your naughty ways, your guy friends can be your support group when you want to ask to have your picture taken with the girls in your class you liked most.
The right clothes
You think picking an outfit is easy? All girls envy guys when it comes to formal occasions, as all they have to do is put on a suit and wear a tie. But relax. Many stores sell party dresses catering to many tastes - check out Forever 21 and H&M. You can also check out online stores such as Zalora for more choices. But remember to double-check with your mates to make sure nobody bought the same dress. No one wants to show up as twinsies when it is supposed to be your night to shine.
Guys, you don't need to stick to a suit and tie for your look to be "formal" - include a bit of your personality in your outfit, and have fun with it
And guys! Consider being bold with colour. Who said black or blue are the only colours allowed at a formal occasion? Have you ever considered a pink or purple suit? Brightly coloured suits are more fun and age-appropriate - the regular boring choices might make you look like you're trying to be old before your time.
If you don't want to wear a full suit, a dress shirt with a cute bow tie and a pair of (ironed!) trousers will do the job. Don't be shy about asking for fashion advice from your classmates.
You think this is just a girl thing, don't you? But look at it this way: dancing, eating and sweating take their toll on anyone, and you may not look as sharp about an hour after the dinner has started.
So girls, to stay looking fresh the whole night, take a lip gloss and some wet wipes with you. Wipes can help when your make-up gets smudged while you're wolfing down your food or crying because you're moved by the emotional performances of your classmates.
And guys, wet wipes work just as well for you. Keep a pack in your pocket along with a small comb, and maybe mints to keep your breath fresh, because you never know, right?
The teacher factor
Although this is your night, teachers are the reason you're all gathered together. So organise something sweet for them to show your gratitude. It can be a home-made video or a song arranged by your musically talented classmates. You might even ask the teachers to dance on the stage with the students. There are many ways to get them involved, so let your imagination run wild.
Most graduation dinners end at 10pm or 11pm, but that doesn't mean the fun has to end. Plan an after-party with your friends to really have the most magical night of your life. Many spaces in industrial buildings are converted into party rooms to be rented by people like us. They're great for group activities like singing karaoke or board games, or just for staying up late and talking to your BFFs in an intimate environment.
Whatever you do, enjoy it. It's your night. Make it worth remembering.