Anybody forego the option to walk the stage during college graduation ceremony?

Itisneverlupus

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Already threads about this, but I'd like some fresh input!

I'll be graduating this year, and have been contemplating whether or not I choose to actually partake in the ceremony and walk, or just finish up school and get my diplomas later.

By the way, I go to a small private school, so it's not like I will wait for an exaggerated amount of time during the ceremony, as opposed to a larger, state school.

Anybody choose to NOT walk?
 
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MrLogan13

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I didn't walk at my undergrad graduation. Didn't walk for my HS one either, and I probably won't walk at my grad school graduation. Personally, I don't find any meaning in it, and it's a waste of money.
 

Leslie_Knope

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I didn't walk. I went to India instead. Eight years later and I do not regret it. :)
 

gettheleadout

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I would have skipped it if I hadn't had relatives intent on coming to the ceremony.
 

Gurby

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Unless you have plans to actually do something and you don't just plan on sleeping in, I'd advocate for walking.

You only get a few chances to be recognized as a graduate in your life, and you'll remember it more than you'll remember how nice it was to sleep in instead. It's also nice to sit back and appreciate the work you've put in, as opposed to feeling like you're not working hard enough which I'm sure is how most of us feel most of the time. I didn't really think of graduation as a great accomplishment, but it's still fun to be in that atmosphere - everyone is happy and excited. Even if you're hungover and grouchy and don't want to be there, it's hard not to have some of that excitement rub off on you.

I guess I just think that, even if it's stupid and pointless, it's still a unique experience that you'll likely remember for a long time. May as well just go.
 

wuhsabee

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I was forced to walk because I was part of a program that gives a lil 2 min schpiel about each of their members. However, if I had the choice, I wouldn't have walked.

Here's why: it's a waste of time and money!

Waste of Money
- These graduation gowns and caps are ridiculously expensive! Yeah, I just spent a couple thousands on a piece of paper, and you want me to drop some more for something I will never, ever, EVER wear again????? (Except maybe for a Harry Potter-themed Halloween party...) No thanks.
- Graduation tickets are freakin' expensive too, esp. when all your relatives from across the world are begging to come see their little baby graduate.
- Graduation dinner: What the heck. Now I have to pay for everyone AND their families to eat??!! I haven't even gotten a full time job, yet!!!!!

Waste of Time
- You literally spend 3-4 hours waiting for your 2 seconds of glory on stage. 2 seconds. The photographer barely has time to get a good picture of you, because other people are already clogging up the line behind you.
- Throughout the 3-4 hours, you're falling asleep next to people you have never seen throughout your undergrad career, and perhaps entertained by that one person yelling YOLO and taking a selfie on stage. Whatever. I'd rather be at home watching netflix. You could have watched 4 episodes of Game of Thrones already, come onnnnn!
 

DoctorSynthesis

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I was forced to walk because I was part of a program that gives a lil 2 min schpiel about each of their members. However, if I had the choice, I wouldn't have walked.

Here's why: it's a waste of time and money!

Waste of Money
- These graduation gowns and caps are ridiculously expensive! Yeah, I just spent a couple thousands on a piece of paper, and you want me to drop some more for something I will never, ever, EVER wear again????? (Except maybe for a Harry Potter-themed Halloween party...) No thanks.
- Graduation tickets are freakin' expensive too, esp. when all your relatives from across the world are begging to come see their little baby graduate.
- Graduation dinner: What the heck. Now I have to pay for everyone AND their families to eat??!! I haven't even gotten a full time job, yet!!!!!

Waste of Time
- You literally spend 3-4 hours waiting for your 2 seconds of glory on stage. 2 seconds. The photographer barely has time to get a good picture of you, because other people are already clogging up the line behind you.
- Throughout the 3-4 hours, you're falling asleep next to people you have never seen throughout your undergrad career, and perhaps entertained by that one person yelling YOLO and taking a selfie on stage. Whatever. I'd rather be at home watching netflix. You could have watched 4 episodes of Game of Thrones already, come onnnnn!
There us a lot of ****ty moments in life so you should celebrate the good moments. You only get so many good moments don't miss them. Its not that time consuming or costly compared to the time and money spent getting that degree.
 

Ace Khalifa

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I enjoyed my graduation from Wash U. All my friends and I (both premed and nonpremed) were excited to finally be done. We only had to rent our gowns for like $45, the caps were free and ours to keep. It felt good to walk across the stage and be recognized for making it through 4 years at one of the toughest undergraduate institutions in the country. We also had Senior Week right before graduation, which were fun activities planned for us (float trip, bar hopping, senior gala, lots of free food and alcohol) all for the low cost of ~$120. I'd say it was one of the best experiences of my life up to that point. I think people need to realize that life isn't all about getting into med school or grad school or whatever first job. One must enjoy the little things (and big things like graduating from college) as well. I think it is entirely worth it to walk because this is the only time you'll ever get to do it.
 

Dr. Retractor

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I really don't want to but I foresee being coerced into going by my relatives. I have better things to spend the money on *cough* secondaries *cough*
 

gettheleadout

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I enjoyed my graduation from Wash U. All my friends and I (both premed and nonpremed) were excited to finally be done. We only had to rent our gowns for like $45, the caps were free and ours to keep. It felt good to walk across the stage and be recognized for making it through 4 years at one of the toughest undergraduate institutions in the country. We also had Senior Week right before graduation, which were fun activities planned for us (float trip, bar hopping, senior gala, lots of free food and alcohol) all for the low cost of ~$120. I'd say it was one of the best experiences of my life up to that point. I think people need to realize that life isn't all about getting into med school or grad school or whatever first job. One must enjoy the little things (and big things like graduating from college) as well. I think it is entirely worth it to walk because this is the only time you'll ever get to do it.
I can totally understand how I would have looked forward to it as well if I actually felt proud of my degree/education.
 

wuhsabee

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There us a lot of ****ty moments in life so you should celebrate the good moments. You only get so many good moments don't miss them. Its not that time consuming or costly compared to the time and money spent getting that degree.
I can totally understand how I would have looked forward to it as well if I actually felt proud of my degree/education.
Agreed entirely with @gettheleadout! If I had graduated from a respected university or had more school pride, I would have gone to my graduation for sure. Without a doubt.

But I don't. It's a podunk state school that isn't even in the Top 1000 on any lists, lolol, and I barely had to try for my degree. So, I didn't see graduation as an accomplishment at all, and actually, a waste of $$ to celebrate nothing.
 

ciestar

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I guess my take is a bit different as I was personally recognized by my college. (huge state school, no small feat)
 

DoctorSynthesis

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I can totally understand how I would have looked forward to it as well if I actually felt proud of my degree/education.
Dude you have a lot to be proud of. Why would you say that?

Agreed entirely with @gettheleadout! If I had graduated from a respected university or had more school pride, I would have gone to my graduation for sure. Without a doubt.

But I don't. It's a podunk state school that isn't even in the Top 1000 on any lists, lolol, and I barely had to try for my degree. So, I didn't see graduation as an accomplishment at all, and actually, a waste of $$ to celebrate nothing.
You don't need to go to Harvard to be proud of what you did. You still did MCAT and what not and you should be proud. Its not easy getting into medical school no matter what.
 
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wuhsabee

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You don't need to go to Harvard to be proud of what you did. You still did MCAT and what not and you should be proud. Its not easy getting into medical school no matter what.
Gap year. Studying to take the MCAT now LOLOLOL. So yep, nothing to be proud of until I actually get in somewhere. But OP is a different story.
 
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I agree with the sentiment of the above poster that unless you have a good reason not to go (like a travel opportunity) then you should go.

I went to a state school that many considered a joke, but I still went and was proud of the work I did for my degree. Sitting with all of your friends (many who you will not see for long stretches of time thereafter) will be something you'll cherish. Everyone's excited and it feels great to be in the atmosphere. Consider it the finale to your education!!
 

gettheleadout

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Dude you have a lot to be proud of. Why would you say that?

You don't need to go to Harvard to be proud of what you did. You still did MCAT and what not and you should be proud. Its not easy getting into medical school no matter what.
I'm proud of a lot that I've accomplished. That doesn't mean I view my completion of college or the earning of my bachelor's as meaningful achievements.
 

MrLogan13

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Unless you have plans to actually do something and you don't just plan on sleeping in, I'd advocate for walking.

You only get a few chances to be recognized as a graduate in your life, and you'll remember it more than you'll remember how nice it was to sleep in instead. It's also nice to sit back and appreciate the work you've put in, as opposed to feeling like you're not working hard enough which I'm sure is how most of us feel most of the time. I didn't really think of graduation as a great accomplishment, but it's still fun to be in that atmosphere - everyone is happy and excited. Even if you're hungover and grouchy and don't want to be there, it's hard not to have some of that excitement rub off on you.

I guess I just think that, even if it's stupid and pointless, it's still a unique experience that you'll likely remember for a long time. May as well just go.
Coming from someone who is a non-trad in his 30's, I don't know anyone that I work with who even still cares about their college graduation. What seems unique and meaningful now seems pretty pointless later. Your accomplishments at work will be much more meaningful and rewarding, but of course, that's just my opinion and experience.
 

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If you have parents/relatives coming, then definitely go. If not, it's up to you. I went b/c it's a memory that I can only get once in a lifetime and I value unique memories pretty highly. I also went to a relatively small school, so it was nice celebrating with friends and being able to say goodbye to everyone else. If you don't want to go, then don't go. It's not going to harm you in the future if you don't go.
 

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Lol we don't even get to go on stage at my undergrad. It's a big graduation ceremony in the event center, with all the undergrads and grad students. I think grad students got to walk on the stage, but undergrads just stood up, turned our tassels, and sat back down. The whole thing was kind of dumb until the very end when a crap ton of confetti fell from the ceiling, they played our school's version of "Sweet Caroline," everyone put their arms around the people next to them, and the whole event center of ~15,000 people sang their hearts out. Those couple minutes made the whole thing worth it.

We had a smaller departmental breakfast and ceremony for everyone graduating from my major that morning, so that was nice.

I would go. Especially if you have family coming, if you will be able to sit with your friends, and/or if your school has a special tradition.
 

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I skipped my mine for the reasons @gettheleadout mentioned, and also for the fact that they placed alumni donation forms on all of the graduates' chairs. "We won't give you your useless degree until 8 months later, and you've already given us several thousand dollars but can you give us more?"
 
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DoctorSynthesis

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I'm proud of a lot that I've accomplished. That doesn't mean I view my completion of college or the earning of my bachelor's as meaningful achievements.
You should. Its an important milestone in your life and its only going to happen once.
 

gettheleadout

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You should. Its an important milestone in your life and its only going to happen once.
I'd rather not let others determine for me what is important in my life.
 

DoctorSynthesis

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I'd rather not let others determine for me what is important in my life.
I think when you look back its something that you will wished you went to. Certain things are just important. You worked hard and should celebrate your accomplishments.
 

Ace Khalifa

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I'd rather not let others determine for me what is important in my life.
May I ask why you are so adamantly opposed to attending your own graduation? You can PM me specific details, like the school you attend, if you want. Graduation ceremonies are for everyone who makes it, not just those of us at Wash U or institutions of equal or higher caliber.
 
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gettheleadout

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I think when you look back its something that you will wished you went to. Certain things are just important. You worked hard and should celebrate your accomplishments.
May I ask why you are so adamantly opposed to attending your own graduation? You can PM me specific details, like the school you attend, if you want. Graduation ceremonies are for everyone who makes it, not just those of us at Wash U or institutions of equal or higher caliber.
I think you've both misread my tense in my first post; I attended my graduation because I had family in town for it.

If you'd like to discuss my feelings about my school, @Ace Khalifa, we can certainly do that over PM. :)
 

Ace Khalifa

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I think you've both misread my tense in my first post; I attended my graduation because I had family in town for it.

If you'd like to discuss my feelings about my school, @Ace Khalifa, we can certainly do that over PM. :)
Oh, sorry. I'm intermittently commenting during my overnight ER shift and I didn't catch that. PM'ed you too.
 

Spydra

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I did not walk for my BA because I personally had no interest and it was expensive. I would have done it if my family was excited for me, but they were largely oblivious. In fact I didn't do anything to celebrate at all. A year or two later my mom started complaining about not getting to go to the ceremony and she has zero memory of not acting the least bit interested during that time.

Then for my MA I didn't walk because I was a combination of not interested, burnt out, and I knew I wasn't done yet because I decided to go for a doctorate. My mom is still very annoyed by this largely because she was a bit more interested in my experience this time. I didn't do anything to celebrate this accomplishment either, but it just happened in May so maybe its not to late.
 

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I adored my CC's graduation ceremony and was glad I went, but there were only 400 students in it... I can't imagine waiting in a ceremony with thousands of students like my new school..
 
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sunflower18

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Is it silly that I honestly didn't know people chose not to walk? This is really interesting! I flew across the country for my sibling's college graduation and it never once crossed my mind not to participate in my own. I seriously didn't even think of it as optional. But everyone here is making really good points that I didn't even consider! I'm supportive of the idea that one should spend time on money on something that they feel strongly about, and that is important to them. If walking at your graduation isn't one of those things, then so be it.
 

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I hated my HS so I never attended the graduation ceremony. I was so happy I was leaving that dull place! But undergrad was different. I was not proud about anything. I just genuinely loved my school, and since all my friends were gonna go to the event, I decided to be a part of it too! I agree with what others have already said- if you have friends/family who want to go, you should! If not, you aren't missing a whole lot.
 
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Soviet Poland

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I didn't walk during my college graduation. I don't place much value in these types of events. No local relatives other than a mother in another city who also shares my philosophy on these things. My high school graduation just bored me, sat out in the heat for hours for a (personally) contrived setting. My sense of pride and accomplishment comes from within, not external events.

I can understand how others would enjoy it and I don't look down upon that. Different strokes, different folks, etc.
 

baxt1412

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my ceremony didn't cost me any additional money. gowns and caps were rented free of charge and didn't have to pay for tickets (each graduate was allotted 4 free)..... small private school problems.
 

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My parents are immigrants who never finished high school. I was the first member of my family to graduate from college. There was no way I was missing the ceremony.
 

Dr. Retractor

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my ceremony didn't cost me any additional money. gowns and caps were rented free of charge and didn't have to pay for tickets (each graduate was allotted 4 free)..... small private school problems.
How is that even remotely a problem?
 
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My parents are immigrants who never finished high school. I was the first member of my family to graduate from college. There was no way I was missing the ceremony.
This. I will be the first in my family to graduate college this coming May. So not going is not an option. That, and being able to celebrate with my best friends? Priceless.
 
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I'm not walking because graduation ceremonies just aren't fun to me. I'd rather spend the money on having people over for a little celebration at home.
 
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I didn't care to go because I wasn't that proud of myself (wasn't happy at all with my GPA), I didn't really like my school, and I wasn't going to have any friends there because I graduated a year later than all of them. However, my mom was invested in it and wanted to go. Some family flew in and we all went to my graduation and then out to lunch and walked around the city. It turned out to be a great and memorable day. I even bought the picture the photographer took of me right before I went on stage (the cheapest version, of course, because they are way too expensive), and I really like it.

All in all, if your family wants to see you graduate, go for them and you may even enjoy it. After all, it's only a few hours of one day.
 
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There us a lot of ****ty moments in life so you should celebrate the good moments. You only get so many good moments don't miss them. Its not that time consuming or costly compared to the time and money spent getting that degree.
+1
 
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My dad didn't even attend high school, of course I won't forego the option. :)
 
OP
Itisneverlupus

Itisneverlupus

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Good responses!

Like I said, I go to a small private school, so for me, the length of the ceremony isn't really an issue. I guess I don't have a reason to not go, I was just curious as to whether or not it was normal to forego the option.
 

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I'll be the first in my family to graduate from college in the US, so I will certsinly be attending and I'm proud to go to the school I go to in the first place. I can respect not feeling like it's anything special or like it's not a very serious accomplishment. That's how I felt about high school graduation: Congratulations, you did what was expected of you! However, I am incredibly fortunate to be receiving any education at all compared to my family back home and other people abroad. Education is just too important to me in general. It's pretty sad that some of you hate your undergrad though. It's understandable because I hated high school (so much) but I love college (so much) that it's hard for me to imagine someone not having fond memories of their undergrad.

To answer the OP: Plenty of people seem to forego their graduation ceremony but I can't really understand why. Some people seem to be constitutionally against attending ceremonies. Some people don't even like their white coat ceremonies!
 
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I'm going the middle road. We have two ceremonies, one with speeches and fanfare in the morning and one later in the day for diploma handing out/walking across the stage. I'm going to the morning one, but not the afternoon one. My family will be in town for a very limited amount of time and it's worth more to all of us for me to be show them around and spend time together rather than sitting for 3-4 hours and waiting for my name to be called. I can't tell you right now if I'll end up regretting it, but I really don't think that I will.