Illustration by Trevor Robertson
Graduation ceremonies bore me to tears. I have sat through my two older brothers’ college graduations, my oldest brother twice for his Bachelors and Masters degrees. Every single time I would promise myself, and my poor family, that I would not walk at graduation.
I’m not much for tradition. Most of the time I feel like we humans just do things because we’re “supposed” to and that’s just not a good enough reason for me. Whether I sit through graduation or not I still receive the same piece of paper as those who did.
I don’t have to rent the cap and gown, buy graduation announcements, sit and listen to a speech by some person I’ve never met and listen to the announcer butcher my last name. It’s pronounced Plo-tho by the way, silent w.
Last fall I sat in my brother’s second graduation ceremony as he got his MBA from UVU. I couldn’t really hear what the speaker was saying and honestly I didn’t really care. The seats were uncomfortable. I couldn’t even see my brother in the sea of graduates all wearing the exact same thing.
It took forever and a day to finally get to my brother, the curse of having a last name towards the end of the alphabet. When they did, they murder our last name as my brother took the 30-second walk across the stage.
And that was it. All that hurry-up-and-wait for those 30 seconds. Talk about an epic let down. I looked over at my dad and said, “I will not be walking, don’t worry.” He looked incredibly relieved.
I understand that some have the need to have a formal and final celebration of their four or more years of academia. That is just not a desire I have.
When I realized I would be graduating this semester, I took a poll of my family members. Would they be mortally offended if I chose not to walk? No one cared. Not even my grandpa.
I promised them a party because who doesn’t love a party? Instead of putting all the money into the formality of a traditional graduation, I would throw a casual, fun shindig at my apartment for my family, friends, and coworkers.
I hand wrote invitations, which felt much more personal than handing them a pre-packaged and serious looking graduation announcement. Those who know me well would have been taken aback by a traditional and formal event. That’s just not who I am.
The day that little paper with my name on it arrives in my mailbox will be a very happy one. Just like my walking counterparts, it was a bittersweet feeling to graduate and move on from higher education.
I want to end that journey on my own terms and in my own way. I’m keeping it real and walking away. It’s been real UVU.
Brittany is the Opinion Editor at UVU Review. She is a passionate little soul of a person. She is a senior at Utah Valley University and will graduate in spring 2014. With a background in addiction recovery and journalism, she is planning a career in non-profits. She can be found on Saturday nights hanging out with her cat Ringo Starr and watching Netflix. She probably tweets too much.