How to Write a Graduation Scene


Part One

  1. What graduation is it? High school ceremonies are usually outside, while college ceremonies are in a big hall/building.
  2. »A.Usually, in the beginning (and end) the graduating seniors march in to their seats to music such as “Pomp and Circumstance.”

 I.     All the graduating students are there, as well as lots of their families and friends, and the principal, the guidance counselors and most of the teachers too. There may be a few guest speakers.

 II.   All graduating students wear graduation caps and gowns, and are seated in alphabetical order.

Example 1:  

I looked to the left, there I saw a huge crowd sitting on the bleachers. It was hard to spot my parents,at first, but after squinting my eyes and telling one of my classmates to move their noggin, I found them. They were on the fifth row. My dad had binoculars in on hand and a blow horn in the other. My mom ate popcorn as if she was at a baseball game. I shook my head; they were always this silly but I loved them. To my right were the principals, guidance counselors and all the other school faculty. They didn’t look they wanted to be here. Most of them had grumpy faces, especially my science teacher, Mr. Longlay.

Of course, I sat rat smack dab in the middle with my classmates. Class of 2015, the future engineers of this country. I smiled at the thought. But then I lost it when I got a glimpse of Chelsey, my college crush. Ever since high school I felt I had fallen in love. It wasn’t simply because she was beautiful, but because she was smart. So smart that she had a seat in the front row with the other honor students.


    »B.Then the seniors are called, one by one to get their diploma.

 I.      Ceremony staff will ask the graduates to stand, file out of their seating row and move towards the stage.

 II.     The character/student will take their graduate presentation card with them. This card should be handed to the presenter at the lectern. They will wait at the lectern until their name is announced and then walk across the stage.

Example 2:  

After the principal greeted everyone, we were asked to stand for our names to be called. I watched gleefully as Chelsey’s name was called and she went on stage.. Not knowing if this would be the last time I’d see her really made me want to cry. But I held it in like a man. I just turned 22 and I better start acting like it. Matter of fact, during the graduation party, I will bottle of the courage to ask her on a date. Why not?

Ten minutes later my name was called. My principal presented me with a temporary card. I walked across the stage, shaking hands with the school faculty, however my mind and eyes were glued on Chelsey in the front row. She spoke with Manuel, a handsome guy who was not only smart, but popular. Right then I just remembered why I never actually asked Chelsey out. How could I mean, how could I compete with Manuel?

    »C.Everything doesn’t always go as planned on the stage.

 I.      You can have someone trip on the way to the stage or have an authority figure mispronounces a name.

 II.    Next have the character shake hands with a couple of people who are handing out the diplomas (Gently shake hands with their right hand; take the cylinder in their left hand)

 III.    The character may get additional academic tassels that they’ve have earned, then they head back to their seats.

 IV.     Often the students graduating with honor will be called to come up and get something like a sash. Maybe that’s your character.

Example 3:  

As I made my way down the stage, my shoe got caught in between the steps and I fell to the ground, toppling over like a clumsy baboon. The crowd laughed, recorded my embarrassment and even mocked the fact that I was a loser. And to think this was my graduation. Now, I lay helpless on the ground, miserable, and desperate. When I decided to gather my dignity and get back up, I noticed Chelsey hitting on Manuel’s shoulder, trying to get him to stop laughing at me. I then looked back at the steps where I fell. I saw some kind of mechanism; apparently the thing tripped me…. I wasn’t clumsy after all.

     I walked back to my chair, holding my head down. The moment I planted my butt on the seat I realized something. Manuel must have put that mechanism there so I would fall. Dang it! I was pissed.


Part Two

  1. What everyone was waiting for finally happens.
  2. »A. They go through the alphabet until everyone is done.

 I.     Sometimes they have the student pose for a quick picture as they walk off the stage or when a student is shaking hands with the Chancellor.

 II.    Then when everyone has their diploma, they’ll officially move the tassels to the other side.

Example 4:  I had been deeply lost in my thoughts on how to get revenge, that I almost didn’t hear the principal tell us to move our tassels. My friend had to bump my shoulder in order for me to come back to reality. I officially moved my tassel, but still kept my angry eyes on Manuel.

    »B.People will give a speech or two. Don’t make them boring. Add humor.

 I.      The valedictorian and someone else will also give a couple of speeches at the end. Maybe the senior class president also makes a speech.

 II.     Every joke gets a huge laugh. Even if it’s lame.

 III.     Or, someone who is so emotional will have to stop talking for a moment to gather their words together.

 IV.    Maybe have a senior really isn’t impressed with the speech or graduating yawn their heads off.

Example 5:  

“Let’s give our valedictorian a warm welcome.” The crowd began to clap as the principal helped Chelsey on stage. I immediately forgot about revenge and the like, simply because of this angel’s face. She spoke about college and grades and tests. She mention teachers, students and how everyone got along so perfectly. Chelsey even made a few jokes, though no one laughed. Well, I did. And when her speech was over, I was the first to jump up and clap with all my might. She deserved it.

“Oh, and I almost forgot,” Chesley said when going back to the microphone.She looked directly at me, causing everyone else to look at me too. “Paul,” she began, “I apologize for what Manuel did. That was inappropriate.” Right then my mouth dropped open. I asked my neighbor to pinch me to know that I wasn’t dreaming.

“I also wanted to say that I love you too.” The crowd said “ah” at the same time while I nearly fell out of my chair. My friend waved a hand in my face to get me out of statue mode, but I just sat there, frozen.

“Say something, man,” my friend warned me. Shaking my head clear, I stood from my seat and shouted:

“I love you too Chelsey!” Though I wasn’t sure how she knew I loved her.



Part Three

  1. Finishing touches?
  2. »A.Lastly, the principal says something…

 I.      The Chancellor will then confer the awards by saying, “On the certification of the President of the Academic Board, I confer the respective degrees, diplomas and certificates on the candidates…On behalf of the Board, I offer my congratulations to you all.”

 II.     The character has now become a graduate of the University/High School of so-and-so. Many students will toss their mortar board hat into the air, hug their friends and the ceremony is usually complete.

 III.     To there is that music again, “Pomp and Circumstance”, and the graduates march out.

Example 6:  

“Uh, well… okay then,” the principal said, coming to drag Chelsey away from the microphone. Meanwhile the chancellor came on stage to congratulate us graduates.

As my friends and neighbors jumped in the air, threw their hats off and took pictures with each other, I ran through the throng to find Chelsey. I managed to see her with Manuel. I shouted her name, but she couldn’t hear over the crowd. Running through people and pushing bodies out the way, I arrived to where she was.

“Hey buddy,” Manuel said as if nothing had happened.

I pretended to smile but not a second later I punched this asshole in the face. He went falling to the ground in the same manner I did, while Chelsey screamed at the top of her lungs. Not caring who was looking, I grabbed my woman, tilted her and kissed her lips. The song “Pomp and Circumstance” came on soon after. From that moment I knew this was where I belong, right beside Chelsey Mackenya, the love of my life. And if it meant beating up a jerk who would probably have married her, knocked her up, later cheat on her and divorced her…. then so be it!


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