Why I Didn’t Attend My High School Graduation Day
Everybody has a fond memory of high school graduation. Except for me, I didn’t walk to graduation. Although my family and friends were upset, I am not regretting my decision.
For seniors, the days were drawing near for their graduation from high school. Every weekend, seniors were invited to parties and were eager to graduate. The seniors usually leave a week before their graduation date. The principle called the students of Westfield High School to say, “Students of Westfield High School. Good morning.” Everyone became nervous and stopped talking. “We have news for seniors who will be graduating in the coming year. You seniors will not be able to graduate if you don’t have enough credits hours. You will not be able to move the graduation date and will receive a blank piece on stage. Your diploma will be available for you to pick up at the school’s office within one week of the ceremony. All senior finals have been moved to the last week. You must attend school the last week. We are grateful for your understanding. All seniors were urged to start a riot by the click of the microphone. Some shouted, “This bull!” and others were upset because they, too, had plane tickets to depart the day after graduation. However, seniors were able to get over the incident after a few days and began to learn how to handle it. Everyone was talking about how walking is dangerous. I was the only one who followed through. Others said that walking from Westfield High to Westfield was an enormous deal. I was not able to understand why the walking across the stage was necessary. Who cares about who you see? Who cares about your clothes? Right?
I was so angry that the state could make a decision about our senior class and not allow us to graduate early. I was also annoyed that the state could decide that our senior class wasn’t “qualified” to graduate a week early. Because our principal had “important” meetings the week following, the school stated they couldn’t change the date of graduation.
I decided not walk as I didn’t want to earn a degree by walking. To me, it all seemed fake. It was wrong to feel proud of being able to step onto a stage to receive something that everyone knew wasn’t real. People were walking even though they weren’t sure if anyone was watching them. It seemed everyone, even those with no merit, just walked. It seemed pointless. I chose to rebel and refuse to go. You had to inform the office that you didn’t want to walk on the stage. They also needed to keep you waiting. The lady behind the desk seemed shocked when I told her I was not going to walk. It shouldn’t have been that shocking, considering that many students had already said that they wouldn’t walk. However, I was shocked when she gave me the notepad with the words “Students not walking”. It had only one name. Everyone decided to take up walking instead.
The day before the walk, I felt many stares and whispers echoing off of the walls. I refused to walk. Some people made the speech about how you can only graduate highschool once and how it would be a regrettable decision if I didn’t. Some girls commented that if my graduation is not achieved, then all of them will think I failed high school.
My heart rate increased as the time for the walk approached later that night. I began to think about how great it would be if I could get all dressed up and pretty in my graduation walk outfit once more. Then I thought, “For what?” Why would I dress up to walk on a stage with no one? It was almost a joke for me. It was almost like I was being acknowledged and taken credit for something I haven’t done. No one was certain that they had graduated high school. There were no final exams so people were still being honored. To be able to get it, you have to deserve it.
As the time drew closer, my confidence in my decision to stay put was improving. My grandmother called me and yelled at my for not attending graduation. But she didn’t get it. My parents were supportive and helped me understand the situation. However, my dad decided to be there for the graduation ceremony. It was nice to see my friends so excited. I held other beliefs, but I was content with my decision.
Even today, I’m very grateful that I didn’t go. It would have been a waste. My school learned that many people who went to it relied more on their graduation experience than on their dignity or their ability to earn their diploma. I’m glad that I’m not like this. I have discovered that I don’t need any recognition for all of the achievements I have made as long I know my own capabilities and accomplishments.