I May Be Missing Out

About a month ago, a coworker and I were talking at lunch. Like many people, she asked me if I was planning on attending the graduation ceremonies at Southern Connecticut. I told her that I wasn’t – a decision that I made even before I entered the program. This coworker had gone to graduate school and did not attend her graduation. She commented that she often thought she should have attended. I did not think too much about this conversation and about my own feelings about the subject until the last week or so.

I finished my school work a couple of weeks ago. I am now waiting anxiously for grades to be posted. I don’t really think there is much chance that I did not pass the class or that I won’t have completed all of my requirements in order to graduate this month. However, I have been thinking about the ritual of graduation, and the natural closure that it provides to one’s educational experience. Graduation ceremonies for the graduate school at SCSU are being held on May 22nd. And, I think that I am a bit sad that I never even considered going.

Because I attended SCSU as a distance student, I have never felt any type of realistic connection to the school. I have developed online relationships with professors, students, librarians and employees. But all of this was done through either email or the WebCT online classroom. However, without any type of of physical orientation or formal graduation ceremony, I never had any formal starting or ending points to my education. I do not feel as I am finished. I do not feel that sense of accomplishment that I remember from both my college and high school graduations. Additionally, I think that graduation would have allowed me the opportunity to meet fellow students and some of the professors.

As a rule, I don’t believe in the concept of regret, but I do believe that I am missing something important by not attending the graduation ceremonies. A lesson learned.

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3 Responses to I May Be Missing Out

  1. Lori Reed says:

    I’m in a similar situation. My degree is entirely through distance ed. I’ve never even been to the city where the university is. I was not planning to go to my ceremony whatever decade that might be. 🙂 But then I decided that it would mean a lot to my children to see me graduate. They miss me sometimes now when it is the weekend and they want to play but I am taking exams on the computer. I’m hoping that next year when I graduate they will see what all the work was for and I hope that they will remember it when it is time for them to decide whether to go to college or not.

    Congratulations on finishing! That is the most important thing that you’re done! Now the real fun begins. 😉

  2. Is it too late to go to your graduation at this point? You mentioned it is May 22. My master’s degree was mainly online (a few courses had a few days of face to face interaction where you had to go to campus and then the rest was online). I went to graduation (about 400 miles away), and my family went as well. My relatives from Canada even came down, all the way down to Texas. It was a wonderful time for all of us, kind of like a mini-vacation. And then walking across the stage was great. It brought all the hard work to a completion, if you will. It was also fun to be able to meet my classmates and teachers. I would highly recommend attending graduation if you can.

    Best,

    Talking Books Librarian
    http://talkingbookslibrarian.blogspot.com/

  3. Alex says:

    a buddy of mine was thinking about skipping, and he’s an on campus student. even though it’s not necessary I think it’s nice to go just to recognize for yourself, and provide closure, that you’ve put in some serious work for the last several years.

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