Every year during the month of November, Facebook feeds become entirely flooded with overjoyed people in togas. Around the same time, the already noisy streets of Malta are bombarded with crowded buses of recently-graduated (and mostly extremely drunk) adolescents in themed t-shirts and high spirits.
Parading in such a public environment, however, normally means being subjected to a wide variety of reactions, and here’s our rundown of the top ones:
1. The Proud Parents
Of course your parents are going to be proud. But maybe, calling up the entire family to remind them all that you’ve made it to final year and managed to get the certificate is a little bit of an overkill. While she’s at it, your mum will probably either share your Facebook Live Video with her friends, or innocently tag herself in a photo where you’re most probably drunk beyond basic communication skills.
2. The Overly-Proud Grandparents (Read: Nanna)
If you thought letting your whole family know about your graduation was a little bit too much, try the whole street. And the corner store. And the butcher. And the church group. And the entire village. Everyone. We repeat:
3. The Positive Bystanders
It’s not like they’re going to drop whatever they’re doing and join you in a whole afternoon of drinking beer; they’ve got a long day of being an adult ahead of them. But at least, they’ll honk their horn in appreciation and maybe even smile and wave as your bus drives by.
4. The Negative Bystanders
Of course they’re not going to calmly stand behind your bus stuck in traffic as you spend your whole afternoon drinking beer; they’ve got a long day of being an adult ahead of them dammit! And they’ll make sure to honk their horn in frustration and maybe even give you the finger as your bus drives by.
5. People Graduating Next Year
Well done, you’ve just given an entire group of possibly more than 100 people hope for the next year. Or you know, you’ve helped give them one last push over the cliff of sanity.
6. The Dropouts
Let them call you all the names they can think of. Don’t let them take this day away from you. You’ll probably join their company two years after them and end up becoming their boss anyway.
7. The Emeritus
“God, was I really that young and stupid when I graduated? Ugh, I’m well past that, adult life has taught me much about how I should behave in public. Besides, back in my day, we partied way harder. Wait…that was last year?! Shiiiiit.”
8. The Lecturers
When you think that there might come a time when you feel like you’d get too old for this shit, put yourself in your lecturers’ position. Sure, they might be smiling on the outside, but on the inside, they’re just counting down the seconds until they can be done with all the selfies and go back to teaching a fresh batch of hopefuls.
9. The Confused Foreigners
We’ve heard so many foreigners — especially the ones who work in companies in Gzira and Sliema (obvious targets for graduation buscades) — saying that the concept of Maltese graduation celebrations is one of the most confusing things ever to them. So you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re raising a couple of eyebrows as you whistle past to the tune of Gigi D’Agostino.
BONUS: The potential future employer
You are celebrating in the middle of the street after all, and Malta is tiny. For all you know, you might see that bystander who flipped you the bird again in an interview in a couple of weeks’ time. Good luck!