Senior year of college can be stressful. You spend all of second semester trying desperately to get your work done while also stressing about finding a post-graduate job or getting your grad school applications in while also trying to spend as much time as possible with your friends because you’re only in college once, you know? We know. We also know that it only gets more stressful when, mere weeks before you’re done! with all! of college!, your parents call and say that they’ve booked their hotels and they’re so excited (as, of course, are Grandpa and Grammy and your little sister and your second cousin) and by the way, you’ve made a reservation for a post-graduation dinner, right?
This seems like a pretty good time to panic, but really, that’s not entirely necessary. Sure, it’s going to be a little bit trickier to find someplace for you and yours to eat this late in the game, but it can be done…as long as you follow the rules.
Rule #1: Expand your dining area. There are expected to be 20,000 attendees at the Boston University Commencement exercises on May 20, and that’s not even including the 2,000+ graduates themselves. The sheer numbers mean that if you haven’t already made reservations, it’s probably time to say goodbye to any dreams of eating in Kenmore Square or anywhere in Allston-Brighton. Newton’s a bit of a schlep, but that fact alone means it’s liable to be slightly less of a madhouse. 51 Lincoln has been winning rave reviews and we’ve always been big fans of the Newton branch of Sol Azteca. This advice isn’t just for BU kids. If you’re graduating from one of the eight colleges in the Fenway area, venture out to J.P. or even Roslindale. If you’re a senior at Emerson, Suffolk or UMass Boston, try one of the great new restaurants in Southie. Avoid the madness of the Cambridge squares by taking a trip to deep Somerville (we’re talking past Ball Square, here).
Rule #2: Think Off-Hours. Commencement ceremonies tend to start around 1:00, so commencement parties tend to eat early. Why not surprise your family with a bottle or two of champagne in your room (or, alternately, try to get them to go “see the sights” so you can get a much-needed few hours to yourself) and pass a few hours before arriving for a soigné late dinner (say, around 9 or 10). Alternately, why not celebrate before the ceremony with a pre-graduation brunch?
Rule #3: Stop Worrying. Listen. Your family is just happy that you’re done with college. They’ll be delighted even if you drag them to Little Stevie’s Pizza because it’s where you spent most of your time in college. Have fun, don’t let the reservation situation stress you out. Congratulations!