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28.7.14 1954
The W - One Question... - Is College Graduation a Big Deal?
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geemoney
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Since: 26.1.03
From: Naples, FL

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.67
Well, we have one about high-school, and this Saturday, I'm graduating from college. I always thought of H.S graduation as being a bigger deal, but college graduation signals the end of classes and that type of stuff all together and going out into the working world.

I might be going back to school to get a teaching certification so it might not signal the end for me, but what about anyone else? Big deal or no?



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Since: 20.6.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.33
TO be honest, I don't think college or university graduation is a big deal. YEs, it shows that someone put yourself through a number of gruelling years of tests, books, and pubcrawls...but if you look at the statistics, how long does someone stick at a chosen career before switching? The college education that a person attained will be irrelevent when they switch jobs.

I read somewhere that people change careers an average of three times over the course of their lives. I could be wrong, but it sounds correct.



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Since: 22.2.04
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.30
College graduation was not a big deal at all. In theory it is because you're finally out in the real world. But I had already had several "real world" jobs in my field as an intern/co-op student. I had already lived in 3 different cities for varying lengths of time. I had already been to job interviews around the country. By the time college graduation came I was thinking of it as a pleasant formality before I got going with my life again rather than a big momentous turning point that marks a distinct change of some sort.

Now that I'm going to be in school for another 4-5 years for a PhD, that day seems like even less of a big deal. I think when I'm eventually awarded my doctorate it will be a really big deal, but more for the things that I'm planning on doing at that point, like move to the west coast.



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Since: 11.12.01
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It seemed like a really big deal to me. In May of 1982, I had never had any job other than stocking grocery shelves or working in a paper mill for summers. Now working in a paper mill will keep you in school, I'll tell you. So once, I graduated from college and got to the real world, it was a pretty big change. In college, there was a liberal amount of drinking on a daily basis. Not that that really stopped with my first year out of college, but it did make it more difficult because you couldn't drink during work hours.

All in all, I left fantasy world of the liberal arts college and had to work and pay rent and all those mature things. Big step for me, at least.

And now look at me. Old, married and three kids. Wow.



Edited to add: unlike most of you, my graduating class was 250. Exclusive school, right, dunk?

(edited by pieman on 8.5.07 1527)



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Since: 9.7.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.98
For me, it's a huge deal. I'm graduating next Thursday. I didn't graduate from high school, which probably plays a part in it. But for me, to be able to say that I came to this place, took everything it threw at me (just barely), and came out with a piece of sheepskin to show for it...it's awesome.

(Even if I am just taking the summer off and going to another school to get my Bachelor's. But still: Awesome.)





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Since: 3.1.02
From: Northern NJ

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.21
I didn't graduate from college - kind of like Bluto Blutarsky, all courses incomplete. I didn't think it was that big a deal back then but it has become a HUGE regret the further down the road I get from it.



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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.73
The actual accomplishment yes, the ceremony no. For my BS, I and 3000+ others crammed into the arena, listened to a crappy speaker, and paraded across a stage at breakneck pace. We were warned we would likely get the wrong diploma but that was okay.

For my Master's and PhD I skipped them both, although I did buy my hood from my college which was cool. At OSU, it cost more not to go through the ceremony back then.

Mostly after the last two degrees, I just wnated to collapse and move on.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.13
It was a big deal for me when I graduated from university. The square hat, the robe, the ceremony all made it feel quite extraordinary.

On top of that, it really took me out of my comfort zone. I had to go to work, and there was no trip to Europe or any other escape mechanism. 13 years later, I'm still coping with "real life" and being an adult.
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Chandler, AZ

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.51
I'd have to agree with the good Doctor. The accomplishment meant a lot, but the ceremony didn't mean anything. We didn't even walk across the stage, we were acknowledged by the college at Arizona State. There was a ceremony at the Engineering college later, but I skipped that.

The biggest thrill was getting the job offer the month before, when I realized the hard work had paid off. After the ceremony, I started work the next Monday.
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Since: 8.5.03
From: North Carolina

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.05
I was in a graduating class of about 4,000. We sat in a stadium and sorta, kinda listened to someone talk about something. Wearing dark robes outside in early May in the South? Not so comfy. It was a waste of my time. I should have spent those hours packing and driving home.



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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.73
I should have mentioned something in my earlier post and the high school thread. For high school, in alot of ways, the ceremony is for the family and friends who supported you. It also kind of recognizes them. In college, not so much today, but your bachelor's or Associate's used to rely heavily on family. Just a thought



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Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.71

the accomplishment, yes.

the ceremony, no.



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Since: 7.2.02
From: Huntington, NY

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.67
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    For high school, in alot of ways, the ceremony is for the family and friends who supported you. It also kind of recognizes them. In college, not so much today, but your bachelor's or Associate's used to rely heavily on family. Just a thought


Both my Bachelor's and Master's degree ceremonies were for my family. I think, in some ways, my Master's was more for my family, as I felt little attachment to the department or the university after the ordeal was over - and would have gladly bowed out of the ceremony had my folks not made it clear that it was important to them.

    Originally posted by Oliver

    The college education that a person attained will be irrelevent when they switch jobs.


My vocation is not related to my Bachelor's degree in anyway, yet there's not a day that goes by that I don't reference some aspect of that education. In fact, the class in which I (probably) learned the most wasn't event related to my major.

I refuse to believe that education is a passive experience even after graduation. I am actively looking for places to apply what I've learned over my educational career. Granted, I could just as easily NOT do that... but what fun would that be?




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Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.94
I finished mid-year, & had only had 2 classes that last semester. And I already had a full-time job doing software. So the fact that it happened to be graduation was a total non-event. (We did have a nice little party for getting through Compiler Construction class though!)
DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.73
    Originally posted by Oliver
    I read somewhere that people change careers an average of three times over the course of their lives. I could be wrong, but it sounds correct.


Oliver, the purpose of college, especially at the undergraduate level, is not that of a trade school. College is supposed to teach you how to think critically, adapt, and learn.

I understand why that has changed to a place to get you a piece of paper to get a job but long-term that does nobody any good.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
Two years ago, the community college I had not attended in over five years sent me paperwork so I could get a few new certificates of achievement because I have completed coursework for them as they didn't exist when I was still a student.

I now have two certificates from them and they now hound me for alumni money and want me to buy their 2006 graduation yearbook and to please provide a photo.

So, to me being a double grad apparently, college graduation is no big deal.



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samoflange
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Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.27
And you are obviously sending them the photo to the left of your message, right?



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Since: 16.1.02
From: The Off-Center of the Universe (aka Philadelphia)

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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.43
Well, my undergrad ceremony was fun because we got Peter Jennings as a commencement speaker and he gave a pretty good speech. Not much else sticks in my mind, though.

At my first grad ceremony, I remember only two things. First, my interpreter signing along to "New York, New York" in an exaggerated and sarcastic way that had everyone around me -- even those who didn't know ASL -- laughing. Second, one of the speakers, some dean or the other, said "NY Jew" when she meant "NYU." Imagine Washington Square Park crammed end to end with people -- and all of them falling dead silent in an instant.

I don't even know if there was a graduation ceremony for library school. Heck, they never even sent me a diploma.

(Yes, I have too many degrees.)



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Since: 20.9.02
From: New York, NY

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.28
"N.Y. Jew" is both inappropriate and apt, as anyone who was there will tell you.

For me, the accomplishment was a huge deal. I'd battled back from [life-threatening disease redacted] twice and dropped out and was a bit of a lousy student for quite a while. So I didn't get my degree until I was 27. But it still counts, and may be the thing I've done that I'm proudest of; especially since everybody I knew had given up on its ever happening.

As for the ceremonies, my beloved and my mother both made it to the smaller one, which was in the theater at Madison Square Garden, to give you an idea of what counts as "small" at NYU.

They both skipped town after that and I did Washington Square alone. That consisted mainly of sharing a flask of Beam with an English guy I barely knew and smoking a cigar in honor of a stogie-chomping, beloved professor who didn't live to see the day.





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Uh, I think mine were hidden. I just found a pile of baskets; one had M&Ms in it that were marked "New: Blue M&Ms!". They were all piled up in my crawlspace, which is usually locked.
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