I see it’s time to order caps and gowns, with graduation just two months away (gulp). But I won’t be suiting up…or attending my graduation ceremony at all (gasp).
As it happens, my son will be graduating from college the same day that ceremonies take place at UMA. And I’m just as glad, since it gives me a legitimate reason for opting out of my own graduation.
My friends and some family members are practically aghast that I wouldn’t want to walk. I can see their point, as it’s natural to want to honor your own commitment and achievement. I was thrilled to see my daughter walk across the stage and see that hard-earned diploma placed into her hands. And I’ll feel the same pride watching this happen with my son.
But for myself, I don’t really care. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll be sincerely thrilled to get my hands on my own diploma. I’m just not so keen on being part of the ceremony.
In fact, I didn’t go to my high school graduation, either. People are always shocked when they learn this, as it seems almost unthinkable to ignore your own graduation. But I had a unique situation. I had left home the summer before senior year and was living on my own. I was working full time, and had little time or thought for school. I had arranged with the school administration to withdraw from all my classes except for English. (I had taken high school Spanish and algebra in middle school, and had always taken a near-full load, so I had more than enough credits to graduate, except for the required 4th year English credit). I was basically taking just one class for the first semester in order to get my diploma. I finished up in January, and by the time June rolled around, high school seemed like a long-ago memory, and graduation seemed completely beside the point.
Boy, thinking about this now I’ve got to say, “Bless my little nontrad heart.” Even back then, I wasn’t doing things in the usual way.
But, no; no regrets. Not about skipping out on that first graduation, and not about missing this one. How about the other nontrads out there? Are you close to graduating? Are you going to walk?