If you’ll be walking at the commencement ceremony, you’re going to be wearing the classic black gown that looks like a cheap Dementor costume. Beware, soon-to-be graduate, you must be strategic about where you take photos in your oversized midnight-colored poncho. Avoid these awful photo locations:
With the Goldy Statue
You know the bronze statue of Goldy in front of Coffman? Of course you do, literally everyone does. It’s one of the most prominent pieces of forced memorabilia at the U and everyone is taking pictures in front of it. Why? Well, what the fuck else are you supposed to do with it? Set some sort of sacrifice in front of it, Mayan style? Try to mate with it? We’ve already tried all that and nothing has worked.
In Front of the Mississippi
What’s a more symbolic testament of your time here than a murky body of water covered in filth? If you take a picture here, you need to make sure you reference the fact that you’ve done it at the Mississippi or else people will have no idea where you are. Also, enjoy the walk down to the water. It’s not like that gown is going to be so hot you’ll feel like a baked potato or anything.
Anywhere in Dinkytown
Dinkytown excludes most annoying underage students, so for the 21+ UMN graduates, it’s really a party paradise. There are restaurants and bars all over with homeless people in between. Are you going to take a pic in front of Tony’s Diner where you ritually went to cure hangovers? Or are you going to go to The Library where you got drunk the previous night? Keep in mind, if you take a picture here and send it to your family, they’ll think you majored in DUIs and molly.
Weisman Art Museum
The WAM is a cool building that should be photographed. But let’s be straight up, you’ve been inside it, like, three times in your whole undergraduate career. When people see you in front of it, they might ask you about it, and then you’ll either have to lie or admit that you know nothing about art. Also, if you take a picture in front of it just to seem cultured, you’re basically admitting that you’re a major tool. In layman’s terms, only take a picture here if you’re graduating from CLA.
You’re not going to be the only one doing this when you graduate. There’s going to be an entire line of future leaders behind you attempting to take a picture there. And while it seems like the perfect post-graduation photo op, you need to think about what’s going to be in the background. It isn’t going to be the prestigious institution behind you at Scholars Walk; it’ll be some sorority girl tanning on the lawn or a bunch of bros playing ultimate, not particularly scenic.
Now, these are only a few places that you should avoid, and there are many more. Photos that involve maroon or gold, or rodent-themed mascots will be met with scorn and cynicism. So be vigilant on where you may take that last and final college photo, because when you graduate you won’t be a Golden Gopher anymore, you’ll be a worthwhile human being. And that’s something to celebrate.