Graduation is one of the single worst experiences we subject ourselves to willingly, whether we are the graduates attending our own ceremony or there to support someone we care about. I haven’t been to a graduation ceremony since my own, seven years ago, except for my sister-in-law’s, and unless I have kids and they are smart enough to make it through school, which isn’t a given if they inherit my passion for school, I might not attend a graduation for the rest of my life. I was living in Florida while my two brothers graduated from high school in Arkansas, so I missed those, and when they graduate college, I don’t expect them to subject themselves to a multi hour ceremony of mostly other people’s names being called, so I won’t have to go to those either. My cousins who are graduating high school, at least so far have urged me not to attend the ceremony, whether it be because they don’t want me to waste my evening sitting there, or they are embarrassed by my presence, I’m not sure, but nonetheless I’m very grateful for them not wanting me there.
For some people I’m sure graduation is a big deal, and something they will remember forever, but I’m not one of those people. I don’t even really remember anything from my own graduation, not the speech that was given or how I felt walking across the stage, nothing at all, except for the purple robe that I wore which I only remember because of the pictures that were taken. In the very unlikely event that I’m ever asked to give the commencement speech at a graduation I’ll have to decline, because honestly I can’t think of much else that interests me any less than speaking to a group of strangers and pretending that I have some profound knowledge to impart on them throughout their life’s journey. If someone thinks I have any kind of useful advice to give a younger generation of graduates, I’ll write a blog that they can read, and my effort will stop there.
I’ve been to my fair share of graduations over the years, for family members, and I’m happy for them at having accomplished their goals, but the only thing I can remember about any of these ceremonies is how bored I was, and how thankful I was when they finally ended. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but it’s hard for me to believe that anyone actually enjoys the entirety of a graduation ceremony. Each person in attendance is there to show their support for a single person or a select few individuals, and every other name called is vastly ignored waiting for the graduation to end. Perhaps principals or teachers enjoy watching a class leave their school forever, but I bet that is probably because they see it as a celebration at never having to see this group of people in the same room again. Life can be pretty monotonous as it is, so there’s no reason to subject yourself to anymore than is absolutely necessary, hence my opinion why you should, at all costs, avoid going to a graduation ceremony.