GradNite is a “SadNite” for your wallet

Everytime I check my school loop mail, all I see is “Buy your Grad-Nite tickets NOW.” I shake my head in disappointment, wishing I could block all these messages. 

According to organizers, Grad-Nite is an annual event held right after graduation in which seniors “embark on a journey to southern California with their class and arrive at the heart warming, world famous Disneyland!” The schedule is as follows: 

  1. 11:00 PM – bus ride to Anaheim 
  2. 8:00 AM – arrive at Disneyland where you will be served fantastic breakfast (consisting mostly of nonvegetarian options like bacon and eggs)
  3. 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM: free to roam both Disney Parks 
  4. 2:00 AM (June 13) – depart 
  5. 10:00 AM – arrive at Washington High School   

I love the purpose of this event, which is to unite the senior class before everyone leaves for college, but despite the administration’s good intentions, this event is poorly organized. I strongly believe that seniors should not attend Grad-Nite, and here is why:

First, this event is improperly timed. Even though we leave at night, I doubt anyone will be able to sleep on a compact bus filled with 60 other students. There won’t be enough legroom or space to sleep properly, which will result in severe sleep loss (especially since I doubt anyone will be sleeping at Disney).  

Next, the cost. The $325 to $360 ticket only covers transportation, admission, and breakfast. Considering that many students will buy merch and eat at Disneyland, the additional cost will amount to at least $100. Not to mention, food at Disneyland isn’t cheap, and there are no other options, so students are practically forced to buy food at the park. So, now you have a trip which cumulatively costs you around $450 to $500. 

For those who are excited to go to Grad-Nite, I am not judging you. But personally, this event is useless and the money can be well spent elsewhere. 

You can plan a trip with your close friends to San Francisco to explore the city and shop. You can take a road trip to Oregon and go white water rafting, which will undoubtedly cost you less than $400. If you go to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, buy tickets to all the rides, and eat good food, and it will still cost you less. You can go to Great America. You can go to Santana Row or even Shasta Lake or Yosemite. You will most likely have more fun with your close friends out on a trip than you would waiting in line for hours at Disneyland sleep deprived. 

In the end, the choice is yours to make. If your purpose is to spend valuable time with your close friends before leaving for college, don’t pay for Grad-Nite! Plan a trip of your own and you will not only end up saving money, but you will also prioritize your health. 

This reporter graduated in 2020.
Lavanya Jain is a senior at Washington High School. She grew up in Fremont, CA for most of her life after moving from Delhi, India. As a first year in the WHS Hatchet, she has written multiple articles for opinions, health, and news. In her free time, she loves to paint, workout, and spend time with her family. After high school, she will be majoring in both business and bioengineering as part of the Management Entrepreneurship Technology (MET) program at UC Berkeley.

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