Commencement Advice

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by engineer, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. engineer

    engineer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    I cannot believe how quickly the last four years flew by, and now we are looking forward to commencement in May. Does anyone have advice concerning the "don't miss this" events, "what to do/what not to do" the day of commencement, etc....? We have rented a house for the week and plan to be in town NLT than Monday.
     
  2. 2018midmom

    2018midmom Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    68
    Don't show up at the stadium later than 0700
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,502
    Likes Received:
    454
    It can be hot and humid (or not). You might bring a hat and wear sunscreen -- also, where permitted, bring water. My suggestion is to appoint someone else to take photos, video, etc. during the graduation ceremony. You want to enjoy/soak in the moment and that's tough to do behind the lens of a camera.

    It is a week of celebration and, even more so than the past four years, goes by so very quickly. USNA knows how to put on a show for the grads, their families and friends. Don't worry/stress about little things during the week -- just try to maximize your enjoyment and pride b/c before you know it, it's over.

    Congrats to you and your mid!
     
    SunshineMom likes this.
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,343
    Likes Received:
    1,810
    Sunscreen for exposed knees and back of neck on bright hot late May day - or - rain jacket with liner for chilly spring rain.
    Take advantage of Whole Foods, Graul's Grocery (store in lot across from stadium), Naval Bagels and other area favorites, for party trays during the week and tailgating in the stadium parking lot before and after the ceremony. You have to get there early - and wait. And you will be stuck in traffic after - and wait.
    Agree on a place to meet your mid at the Stadium afterwards - at the jet, under a specific battle name, stadium gate.
    If you don't have a military ID, your mid can make purchases in the Commissary (grocery store, has a deli) and Navy Exchange (adult beverages at tax-free prices) across the river at the Naval Support Activity. For Army and Air Force readers, the "Class VI" store is inside the NEX. Both NEX and Commissary are new.
    Download a copy of the Comm Week sked and discuss with your
    Mid when you want to have family time/events with them, and understand they will be worn to a frazzle with trying to jam every last minute with pre-comm must-do's and last-time social outings to DTA, DC, Fells Point with classmates, teammates, roommates, company mates. Don't be surprised when you're headed to bed and they are headed out.
    Their car will be overflowing with "stuff" from 4 years.
    If you want to have dinner at a special place, make reservations now. 1100+ mid families will be doing the same thing that week.
    Blue Angels, of course. The show is Wed, and will jam the town before and after, because of bridge closures. The exact same thing happens during the Tues practice show. Allow plenty of transit time.
    The Glee Club concert - great for entire family, and even mids enjoy it. I think the mid has to get tix, or check online at USNA.edu Music Dept.
    As so many have posted, just soak it all in.
    And - get your Mid Store runs in early.
     
  5. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    17
    If driving to the stadium, go the "back" way. Head to the West Street traffic circle, take Taylor Avenue towards the stadium and turn left onto Cedar Park Road to the stadium parking lot. Nowhere near as much traffic as taking the main route, i.e. Rowe Blvd.
     
  6. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,085
    Likes Received:
    2,441
    Good advice on here. As mentioned this is a crazy week for a family and even crazier for a graduating Mid. Ask your DS what events they would like to attend. The big ones are the Blue Angels, graduation, Supt's Garden Party. There could be additional things for academic awards, athletic awards, leadership awards, etc. Your DS can identify those. Marine graduates used to have an event also, not sure if they still do or not. They have a huge amount of stuff going on to include helping get families from point A to point B, moving out of Bancroft, moving to somewhere new, all of a sudden freedom, other friends graduation parties, etc. My room mate got married two days after we graduating and I was in 4 other sword arches 2 days after graduating. I had asked my family to come out on the earlier side of graduation and recommended they head the day after because I was so busy with wedding stuff.

    Weather is hit and miss in late May. Keep an eye on the schedule. If it looks bad for weather one day for the Blue Angels, recommend you pick the other. The first day is the practice day and tends to be longer as they do their check flights first and get familiar with the airspace and marking points. Once all the planes do this they will then do a full practice of their show. Traffic is bad that entire week, so plan for plenty of time to get anywhere. More than anythign, enjoy the week! Have fun and congrats to your DS as he completes this chapter and on to another.
     
  7. time2

    time2 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    265
    Agree with the above. Make sure you include your mid in the planning and allow them time to attend parties of other mids (some of these could be last minute invites). Do NOT plan every minute of the week. Leave time to relax or to allow for a change of plans. Weather can be an issue, the year we attended, it was VERY hot/humid, so take that into consideration for those planning to attend. It might be best to have your big celebration dinner the day before commencement, since by the time it was over with the heat/humidity/sun, we really just wanted to relax and do nothing that evening.

    Specific events may change from year to year so good to check the exact schedule for that year. Some events are only for the immediate family so good to let other friends/relatives know that ahead of time so they can also plan accordingly.
     
  8. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    864
    Likes Received:
    176
    Agree with NavyHoops on the main events that are a must see are Supts party (this is divided by battalion and ours was on the Sunday at the beginning of Commissioning week), the Blue Angels (we went to the "dress rehearsal" the day before the actual show, same show, no crowds), and of course graduation. Like all said, get there EARLY and claim your seat and relax until ceremony. We also rented our house until Sunday, so we could relax on the Saturday after Commissioning. Most rental homes will charge a flat rate and let you stay thru Sunday, even if change over day is Saturday. Just ask them about it.
     
  9. TheSavage44

    TheSavage44 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    32
    If your son/daughter has a favorite place to eat, maybe give them a call ahead of time and see if they do something for grads. My favorite place was the Boatyard Bar and Grill and after graduation, my family/sponsor family ate there and the staff surprised me with a free dessert with a congratulatory message written on the place as well as some of them expressing their congrats verbally. That, in itself, was quite a humbling experience for me
     
  10. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    17
    We got to the stadium at 8:30 a.m. There were only 4 of us, so we parked the car and found seats in the 1st row of the Navy side of the upper deck. We could see fine. We met our Ensign in the endzone away from the podium after the ceremony and then walked around with him to a couple of tailgates.
     
  11. pknguyen44

    pknguyen44 USNA '13, NAPS '09

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Messages:
    194
    Likes Received:
    24
    Definitely have a meet up location after the cover toss so that you're not scrambling to find your grad after everyone is dismissed. Bring your new grad's officer cover in the box and put the shoulder boards/2nd Lt bars in the box, sure fire way to not forget (unless you forget the box). Try to find a seat under the overhang, as mentioned before the weather is hit or miss. My graduation it was cold and raining (come on Annapolis!), while the year before you could practically see through my whites just from sweating. The overhang offers a good enough view to see your grad walk. Last, treasure the moment. It is the last time your grad will be with his/her classmates as a whole and a new challenge/adventure awaits.

    Congratulations!
     
  12. engineer

    engineer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you all for the advice. We received the graduation packet yesterday in the mail. It is still a little surreal....where did the last four years go?
     
  13. USNA13DAD

    USNA13DAD Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    16
    A lot of the advice already given is good stuff so I won't repeat it but will point out a couple things that caught us off guard that you may wish to think about. Having a meeting place afterward is a great idea, however unless their friends have the same meeting place that idea can get shot to you know what- as they want some pictures together. So we ended up going down on the football field to get pictures right there. Remember for many it is the last time they will all be in the same place so be flexible. Getting on the football field is difficult from some areas of the stands and took longer than we anticipated. If getting down there quick is important to you , you may wish to scope out the entry points and sit in the lower seats. It is a fun day and a fun week so enjoy and go with the flow.
     

Share This Page