Not everyone graduates from college and not everyone gets the opportunity to even attend college, which is why I respect anyone's decision to attend their graduation ceremony (and why everyone should respect my decision not to).
Nobody actually likes graduations. They're long, boring and the person you came to support gets three seconds of the spotlight—and it's equally as boring for the student on the other side. Graduation ceremonies are painfully extensive, and you don't even walk away with your degree in hand.
Considering the pain points previously listed, I was surprised when I got the response that I did upon announcing that I didn't want to attend my ceremony. People either understood completely or felt betrayed by the news. I feel like the debate surrounding my graduation was such an incredible waste of time and energy because, at the end of the day, it was my choice.
I don't have any obligations to walk across the stage and there isn't anything that anyone can hold over my head to make me want to. Obviously, I love my family and I want to celebrate with them, but I personally didn't feel that my bachelor's degree warranted my family to have to sit through a four-hour ceremony.
A degree is a privilege, but I also felt like it was very easy to attain. Sure, I spent a lot of nights studying and working, but that's what I enrolled in classes to do. I don't think it's fair to make my family sit through an entire ceremony for something that I put myself through. No matter how much they expressed wanting to see me at the ceremony, I know that having an intimate gathering is so much more rewarding.
Thank you to everyone who didn't give me a hard time about not wanting to walk at graduation and thank you to everyone who gave me a hard time, but eventually came around. I love you all, I'm just ready to put this damn thing behind me for now.