Do’s and Don’ts of Open Houses

Louisa Hall and Kayla Myers

It’s almost the end of May! Summer is almost here, and graduation season is upon us! That means there are many seniors hosting open houses, many invites being sent out to attend, and many opportunities for guests to make mistakes.  

  Seniors look forward to having an open house as they celebrate the past 13 years of school. Lots of time and energy is spent organizing these celebrations, the least you can do is not mess up your part as the guest.

  We’ve all been to at least one open house before and there is a lot to learn about the etiquette of attending such an event. Choosing to ignore common etiquette can easily ruin the party and the mood of the grad and guests. Do you really want to be that person?

  Need some pointers? Think of this as a guide of what to do and what not to do at open houses.

 Let’s keep it positive! Here are some excellent suggestions on what you should do at open houses.

  1. Respond to the invite

If given a direct invite, respond to it; even if you can’t go. If the grad cares enough to directly give an invite to you, the least you can do is show a little respect back.  Responding is also really helpful to the host of the open house. It lets them know a general amount of guests that are coming. With that, they can plan out just how much food they need to prepare and how many chairs and tables to set up.

     2) Start a conversation

Talk with the graduate, as well as others. However, be courteous of other guests, they want a chance to talk as well! Chances are there will be at least one other person you know so you don’t have to hog the grad from their party and guests. Mingle with other guests! Many are family and have great stories about your friend!

     3) Keep the conversation positive

The grad has the open house to celebrate, they don’t want nor need negative comments. Keep the conversation light. They don’t care nor want to hear your complaints and/or disapproval of their decisions. Ask them how their day went, what they’re looking forward to in college, if they plan on playing any sports, and what they have planned for the summer.

     4) Congratulate them!

  After all, they are having a party to celebrate their graduation and accomplishments of school. Be kind and give recognition to them for all their hard work. And don’t worry about a gift so much, your presence and acknowledgment go a long way! If you want to bring a gift, a simple card and gift card would be great! Don’t worry about getting the largest and greatest gift for them. Most grads would appreciate gifts that will benefit them in college as well so keep that in mind if you’re giving a gift.

   Now that you have insight as to what to do at open houses, here is some advice that should be kept in mind.

  1. Don’t show up to an open house you weren’t invited to

  The party is for the grad, not you. They can invite whoever they want to have there and if it’s not you, don’t go. “Personally, the biggest thing about showing up at open houses you weren’t invited to is that people plan for a specific number, and not only is showing up without being invited a little rude, it also messes with the count,” Alumni Mikaelah Snoap said. So, if you don’t receive an invitation, don’t show up unless told otherwise by the grad.

         2) Don’t eat all the food

  Chances are they spent a lot of time preparing for the open house making sure they had enough. Don’t be rude and eat all of it. Don’t go straight for the food either. It’s polite to wait until it is offered by the host. You are there for them, not the food. Food should not be the reason for your presence.

          3) Don’t ignore or avoid the grad

  They invited you for a reason and It’s rude to stop by and not say anything. A lot of times they will approach you too so be open to conversation with them, they want you there!  Also, when talking to the grad, don’t just blow them off. The entire point of going to the party is to help the grad celebrate their achievements.

4) Don’t ask about grades or finances

   They’re having the party to celebrate the end of their school career, not to worry about the stress that lies ahead of them. The last thing the grad needs to worry about is what grades they’re going to receive or dwell on and just how they’re going to pay for their education. College is not cheap, they know that! There is no need to remind them, especially not at their celebration.

  As the graduation season rolls around, don’t forget to follow these simple pointers to make yours as well as everyone else’s time wonderful. The grad wants you there to help celebrate their achievements. Show them that you want to be there and are there for them.

  Congrats to those who are seniors! You have come a long way! Throw an amazing grad party! Have an amazing summer and we wish you the best of luck as you continue on in the next chapter of your life.