A Post about Why I Hate Graduation Ceremonies

OK, so I realize that this year’s graduation season has already come and gone, but this is a topic that I have been stirring around in my brain for awhile and just had the opportunity to sit down and write. Now this may be a bit “controversial” to some, but I hate graduations and I want to tell you why.

Let me set the record straight. I am all for earning a degree and getting yourself educated. What I am not about is sitting through an hours-long ceremony to watch people get handed an empty diploma cover (no, there’s no actual diploma in those things during the ceremony) and have their names mispronounced, after listening to several speakers drone on about “seizing the day”!

I have never been a fan of graduation ceremonies. I have technically earned 4 degrees (high school diploma, Associates, Bachelors, and Masters) but have only participated in one ceremony, and that was the high school one, and only because all my friends were doing it. In fact, for my Bachelors ceremony, I decided to skip it and go on a trip out of town instead.

Ironically, I have landed myself in a career where I am now forced to attend a graduation ceremony ever single school year, like the movie Ground Hog’s Day of graduations. I am a High School Counselor. You see, all faculty at every high school must attend the graduation ceremonies. It’s mandatory!

And it’s not that I can just sit casually and take a nap, I mean, watch. I actually have to participate by marching in and wearing a God awful robe! The robes! I hate those robes!!! I am not the one graduating, why do I have to wear that stupid robe? This past year my robe rode around in the back of my car on the floor getting stepped on and spilled on, and when graduation time rolled around, I had to take that thing to get dry cleaned at the last minute, which cost me $14!! You better believe I hung it up immediately in my closet after this year’s ceremony! At least the good thing about being faculty is we don’t have to wear the stupid caps. Those caps are even worse than the robes!

This year I also had the role of having to read the names of my students as they walked on stage. Talk about the most stressful job at graduation! If you pronounce that kid’s name wrong, you have 50 of their closest relatives in the audience to witness it and get upset. Sorry Abcde Skzolzfski, no matter how many times I try to practice it, your name ain’t getting said right!

Honestly, the only people that care about graduation are the parents, and I totally get why. It takes a lot to get a kid through 18 years of school. The only graduation ceremony I will probably ever care about will be Nugget’s and Coco’s, just because those are my kids and they could graduate from Sunday School and I would be proud. Graduation is definitely for the parents. Meanwhile,  I will just keep attending each year, and one day, I will get my moment of excitement when it’s my kids’ turns.

Personally though, as an actual graduate, I would rather go on a vacation than attend a ceremony. The higher the degree, the better trip you get. PhD? All inclusive trip to Aruba! You earned it!

Much love, Mama Michelle




6 thoughts on “A Post about Why I Hate Graduation Ceremonies

  1. I feel your pain- as an academic robes are part of the gig as well as hats and academic award swag. I also called names for pinning not only the graduates but the names of their parents and or grandparents first and last name. So I can empathize about the stress of name calling.
    I can’t agree about ditching the ceremony though- I am the annoying friend telling people it’s important to take a pause and mark the occasion. There is something ancient about graduation and something powerful about your name being spoken. I think about the reverse punishment “and we will never say her name again”. Perhaps as an adaptation for survival I embrace the pomp and circumstance of graduation, the robes, and academic swag as a real life sort of hog warts attire. I try to absorb the positive proud energy of graduation day and know it’s an important day for so many. I feel this way about all ceremonies weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and funerals. Ceremony matters- it’s a lot but you do remember taking the pause.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I figured it would be “controversial” cause I am sure there are many graduates that actually enjoy participating in the ceremony and seeing the fruits of their labors, but I am not one of them. I just want to be able to add it to my resume and move on. I am not academic in that sense, so it’s highly ironic that I work in academia.


  2. I personally don’t understand the preschool, Kindergarten, elementary and middle school graduations-cap and gowns and all the hubub! When did that become a neccesary thing? And why? What purpose does it serve other than increase the costs to have children and cause more stress and planning for something that is just not important to celebrate with such grandness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hah, that could be the topic of a whole other post! I’ve seen arguments with my neighborhood HOA about adding a kindergartener to the graduation banner and I’ve seen yard signs for preschool “graduates”


  3. I know this wasn’t supposed to be comical bit I can definitely see your part and I chuckled throughout…you definitely have me thinking


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