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Grad Nite: Is it worth going?

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Senior year is where the fun of excessive spending begins. Seniors look forward to prom, senior portraits, and grad night. They also pay for college applications, SATs, and ACTs. Because of these costs, any tip in the balance may make us question its worth and for many seniors, there is a feeling of uncertainty on whether they should attend grad night due to recent changes.

This year, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) took over organizing grad night, previously hosted by the Associate Student Body (ASB), due to the San Diego Unified School District’s decision to make it a non-school activity. This change led to the withdrawal of grad night from the Student Activity Card (SAC), which is managed by ASB, that enabled students to save money on the event. Unlike ASB, the PTSA cannot provide discounts, which surged the price to $210 solely for grad night. The PTSA, however, is not fully to blame because Disneyland also raised their ticket prices. Similar to any other special event, the price is unavoidable. The fact that we get to spend time in both Disneyland and California Adventure is worth the $210, especially since we attend with our whole class. When will the whole class of 2018 be together again at such a large scale event other than graduation? This is a once in lifetime opportunity. Furthermore, prom and grad night are the only senior exclusive events this year, which narrows down our expenses to only two events.

However, the major change in this year’s grad night is the fact that it will be on May 11, a school day where seniors will have to attend their classes. Students will leave campus at around 3:30 p.m. then arrive in Disneyland at approximately 6:30 p.m.. This leaves a two hour slot for students to spend time in Disneyland before going to California Adventure at 9 p.m. for the actual grad night event, which ends at 2 a.m.. After nine, students and chaperones will not be able to leave California Adventure until the event is over. Being able to spend only two hours in Disneyland is the major deterrence against attendance. But truthfully, you don’t go there for Disneyland. You attend to experience “the happiest place on earth” with friends who will soon be in places beyond your immediate reach. Besides, there are still five hours worth of fun, laughter, and shenanigans in California Adventure.

Despite the price and the schedule change, every high school student has looked forward to senior activities, such as prom and grad night, since they were a freshman. They have heard stories and seen Instagram posts on grad night that have built the excitement around their senior year. But now that the time has come, they don’t want to attend because it will cost money and because they will only spend two hours in Disneyland. How come? They knew it was going to cost money and they still get to go to both parks. They are still able to have this experience. Rather than complaining about grad night, we should be happy that grad night exists at all.

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