Let 'Gilmore Girls' Help You Graduate

by Rachel Simon

If you're one of the many students nearing the last days of your college career, the impending end of the semester probably has you feeling a whole lot of things: excitement, nervousness, and general cluelessness about what comes next. It's totally normal, of course — giving up free pizza, final exams, and friends who live right across the hall in order to start the next phase of your life is bound to stir up plenty of emotions. Yet, if you're feeling a bit too overwhelmed as of late, have no fear: Gilmore Girls has you covered.

Although many TV shows have covered graduation, few have done it as well, and as frequently, as Gilmore Girls did during its run. Not only did the show feature Rory's exit from college, but it also showed her high school graduation four years earlier, as well as Lorelai's completion of business school. The series knew a thing or two about how to graduate, and seniors of today could take note of the many lessons it taught on the matter.

Confused about what to wear under your robe? Unsure of whether to smile on-stage or stick out your tongue? Stop worrying, and let Gilmore Girls teach you how to graduate in style:

Lesson #1: Plan Ahead

This isn't just referring to your post-graduation job prospects — when it comes to the ceremony itself, plan for the unexpected to occur. That means bringing a camera (Lorelai didn't), picking out a good outfit for under the robe (Rory helped), and making sure whatever hairstyle you choose won't get crushed under a cap (Lorelai almost made that mistake). Minor things, yes, but you won't want to be halfway to the stadium before realizing you forgot your tickets at home, would you?

Lesson #2: Don't Act Like It Doesn't Matter

Whether you went to Harvard or community college, graduating school is a huge deal, and you should be incredibly proud of all you've accomplished. Pretending otherwise, like Lorelai did when graduating from business school, is doing yourself a disservice. Take pride in what you've achieved by inviting your loved ones to the event and sharing the news with all those you know, even if it feels silly or unnecessary.

Lesson #3: Leave Your Mark

Sure, Lorelai and Rory didn't actually carve their initials into the walls of Chilton after Rory's high school graduation, but it's the intention that matters. Maybe don't deface public property, but make your mark on the school you're leaving in some way or another.

Lesson #4: Write A Good Speech

If you've been chosen to give a speech at graduation, you're probably already hard at work at figuring out what you're going to say. Take inspiration from Rory's valedictorian speech at the Chilton ceremony, and make it a sweet, funny, and emotional mix of grade-wide memories and personal triumphs. Making the adults in the audience cry is just a bonus.

Lesson #5: Embrace Embarrassment

Yes, it's awkward if your parents want to film your speech, or if your grandparents sing you a song at your party, or if your entire town wants to come to the ceremony, but so what? It's sweet that they care so much, and you should be happy, not embarrassed, that the people you love want to support you. Try to convince them to leave the professional filmmakers at home, though.

Lesson #6: Don't Think Everything Has To Be Figured Out

Just because you're graduating doesn't mean you're supposed to know exactly what you're doing for the rest of your life. It's perfectly OK if you don't have a job yet, or if you're not sure where you want to live, or if you've just broken up with the boy you've been dating for the past three years — everything will work out eventually, but it doesn't have to be by graduation day.

Lesson #7: Be With Your Loved Ones

Graduation should be about honoring your accomplishments, something that should be done alongside the people you love. Whether that's getting dinner with your parents, drinking champagne with your friends, taking photos with your grandparents, or all of the above, find the people you care about most and let them celebrate with you.

Lesson #8: Don't Let Anyone Ruin Your Day

Yes, Lorelai was disappointed that Rory was in New York instead of at her business graduation, and Rory was annoyed by Paris' complaints about not being valedictorian — but did either of them let those issues get in the way of enjoying their big days? Of course not. Graduation is about you, and you shouldn't let anyone or anything ruin your happiness.

Lesson #9: Don't Take It Too Seriously

Sure, graduation is a huge deal, and it's filled with plenty of emotional moments. But if you want to stick your tongue out when you get on-stage, stick your tongue out. Who says adulthood has no room for silliness?

Images: Warner Bros. TV (9); Giphy