I Skipped My Graduation

I Skipped My Graduation

The mindset that came before and after my unpopular decision.
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Graduation day: the day where you and your class line up in caps and gowns to take turns walking across the stage to receive a diploma, the piece of paper that validates that the last four years of your life meant something. It is a day for friends and family to come out and support you and be there while you take that monumental step. It is a day for them to see how far you've come and what you've accomplished.

But it is also a day for you.


Before

When I first decided that I did not want to attend my graduation ceremony, it was the very beginning of senior year. It was just a thought in my head, one that I knew I would probably forget about or ignore all together.

There were a lot of reasons behind my mindset, all of them personal. To start, I hadn't gone to middle school with any of the people I would be graduating with. My graduating class didn't mean a whole lot to me as a whole. All of my best friends had moved to different schools or had graduated already, so there wouldn't be anybody there to squeal with me in the end over how excited we were to be out of high school. There were more reasons, but those were the ones that readily came to my mind every time I had to explain to an astonished peer that I wouldn't be at the ceremony with them. My school didn't really make graduation feel special either - they cranked out 620 students and all of the speeches in an hour and a half.

As time passed and it got closer to graduation, I started to really think about the topic. I asked myself if I would regret it, if it was worth it. Yeah it would suck having to go to the practice and then sit through an hour and a half, but was it worth the regret I may later feel in life? As I sat processing these thoughts over the months leading up to graduation, it hit me that it didn't matter to me. It was just a ceremony. I would be getting my diploma and graduating, regardless of where I was during the time of the actual graduation.


During

While 619 of my peers were sitting in chairs waiting for their names to be called on June 14, I was dancing in front of Cinderella's castle in Disney World having the time of my life. I threw my cap in the air, moved my tassel and smiled for pictures, just like I would have if I had been at the real ceremony. My friend sent me pictures of my name in the booklet they passed out, and told me when I had technically "graduated," trying to make me feel like I was there. I realized that she didn't have to though, because it didn't matter to me. I was perfectly happy right where I was. I didn't feel regret waking up that morning and glancing at my cap, registering in my mind what day it was. I didn't feel regret while reading her text messages. I didn't feel regret seeing all of the pictures posted on social media an hour later.

For me, realizing I didn't care was a breathe of relief. The whole time I had been sitting on edge, nervous that I would regret my decision. Realizing I didn't made me happy, and certain I had made the right choice.



After

I would be lying if I said that before graduation, I didn't think I would regret missing it. So I have been pleasantly surprised with the fact that I don't regret skipping graduation. I saw all the pictures on social media the day of and for weeks after, and still didn't feel any type of remorse. I was able to go to the school and pick up my diploma, which officially stated in writing that I, Alexis Gold, had in fact graduated. Maybe one day down the road I will look back on high school and feel some type of regret, but for now, I am happy with my decision.


Skipping graduation is an extremely personal choice. For me, one of the hardest parts was getting past the guilt trips from family, friends and teachers. Everyone told me I would regret it, and it was not a smart choice. If you are thinking about skipping your graduation ceremony, take into consideration every aspect, and think for a long time about it. You may decide it is not for you, but it also may be!

Cover Image Credit: www.programminglibrarian.org

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.

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In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

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