Today, I just finished the first week of my last quarter of school, and I could not be more excited. I am so close to having a degree that represents all the work I have done over the past three years. I am even more excited to start my next step: law school. Since I was in high school, going to law school has been my long term goal, and now I’m the closest I’ve ever been. Come June 13th, all of the exams, term papers, and late night studying will be done, at least until August when I start all over again.
In addition to the coveted diploma, the graduation ceremony is the final part of an academic journey that signals that you truly made it. But, like last year, my graduation ceremony will be entirely virtual. Instead of getting all dressed up in a cap, gown, sash, and tassels to walk across a stage, shake hands with the chancellor, and be handed a piece of paper that isn’t actually my diploma, my family and I will be at home, watching a recorded zoom until we see my name and picture pop up on the slideshow. But to be honest, I’m not that mad about it.
I have never really understood the point of graduation ceremonies. To me, they were always way too long, mostly because of all the speeches made by faculty and administrators that I had never even seen or heard of before. Not only are they long, graduations are expensive. I have a huge family, which would mean buying more than a few extra tickets. Then you have to buy all your graduation regalia, which could be hundreds of dollars if you get a cap, gown, tassels, sash, diploma frame, class ring, and whatever else the university offers.
Obviously, no graduation ceremony makes the end of my undergraduate career feel a bit anticlimactic, and knowing my mom will be sad to not see her firstborn walk across the stage makes me a little upset. But at the end of the day, I’m just really proud of myself for making it to the end after completing almost half of my education online, and I don’t need a ceremony to make me feel proud.