Pointless: A Commentary on Commencement/Convocation and How Neither One Matters A PowerPoint Presentation By Erin M. Avondet, Graduate of Brigham Young University and Expert on ALL Things Pointless
How do you graduate? Four and a half years of tuition: around $12,000 Cost of buying your books for four and a half years: $4,000-$5,000 Total credits earned: 159.5 Cost and time to apply for graduation (Yeah, that’s right: We have to apply to graduate. We can’t just say, “Hey, BYU, I have all my credits. I’m done! I’m ready to graduate.” And BYU won’t simply check their records and jovially reply, “Why yes, you are! Here’s a diploma and an official transcript. Go free and conquer the world!”) $15, an hour long interview with a jerk, interviews with all of the counselors in the College of Life Sciences, talk to Connie, the PDBio secretary who is evil (for reals) who takes THREE weeks to find out if an individual is delinquent in any ofherclasses.
How do you graduate? Continued Tutoring, crying, and moping, wishing for alcohol, late night Alias and Robin Hood, hospital visits for hitting one’s head on a toilet, eating processed food, and even living with Psycho!Michelle who, I hope, is happy somewhere else. Finally, that last final whereI ran out of the TESTING CENTERandwasDONE withmyundergraduate work forever.
So Wait… I’ve graduated? Already? I don’t have to WALK in order to graduate? Shut the door! IS THAT WHAT THIS DIPLOMA MEANS!!!!??? ERIN MARGARET AVONDET Physiology and Developmental Biology
Things that happen before you walk: Hideous cap, gown and tassel you’ll never use or wear again: $50+. We live 3.5 (or 4 if Mom/Dad is driving). That the one day trip is too long. Gas prices are outrageous. I’ve already walked once. Remember this?
The big day is here…now what? I’ll sit among hundreds of my peers (most of whom I have never met) waiting for my name to be called. I’ll walk across a stage and shake a few hands, butIwon’t receiveareal diploma. It’s going to take hours and hours. And it’s going to be sweaty. I have to be there 75 minutes early You guys can’t even find me. And where in the HECK are you sitting? Heaven only knows. Who is that speaking? Some apostle or whatever. I’m bored already…aren’t you? Oh WAIT, we have THREE MORE HOURS left.
But really, is crossing a stage to enjoy 2.5 seconds of excitement worthy of my time? So thatIcan smile and wave at your tiny digital camera in front of hundreds of people? Hearing your name butchered, walking across a stage and shaking a few semi-important people’s hands before you get the heck out of there=SO not worth it.
And when it’s all over We’ll slide the tassels to the other side of the cardboard squares on our heads. And when it’s over, we’ll toss those polyester-covered pieces of cardboard into the air, remembering our moms’ warnings to not look up, lest a cardboard corner stabs us in the eye. AGAIN. SO NOT WORTH IT.
It’s all a little ridiculous. From the tedious application packets to the fake diplomas and silly hats, most of it seems unnecessary. After all, whether you go to college for an education or a really expensive piece of paper, you don’t need to dress like a 12th century academic to prove you got it. All you need to do is wait for the proof to arrive in the mail, which it has. The graduation process is more complicated than it needs to be, and the commencement ceremony is beyond outdated. After four — or more — years of textbooks, papers, exams and projects, graduation should be easy. But it’s not.
Summary Save the money you would have spent on a cap, gown and tassel, and skip commencement altogether. Let’s have a party or go on a vacation instead. Because hey, I’m graduating, and all I should have to do is celebrate. Walking is not my idea of “celebrating.” You’ll see it again in 4 more years. And then, I’ll get a hood.
That’s me…being hooded when I’m a doctor. When commencement matters.