With the caps and gowns, the traditional Pomp and Circumstance, and the general excitement of turning another page in life, commencement is a day for celebration. The lengthiness of the ceremony aside, there is so much energy in the air–the energy of academic accomplishment and awaiting new opportunities.
Yet, for all intents and purposes, commencement is not graduation. A commencement ceremony is not a graduation ceremony. For all intents and purposes, commencement is a symbolic measure of accomplishment that is based off of years and years of tradition.
Grades must be submitted. All scholastic requirements must be officially met. That is, before students are officially considered graduates.
Worst case scenario, a student could walk across the stage at commencement only to end up failing that very last class they needed to graduate (though, if they were failing, they’d probably already know that before commencement…this is only a hypothetical situation, people).
Anywho, as exciting as commencement was on that bright and sunny day in early May, it certainly felt a little incomplete when, at the moment of my walk across the stage, I received a diploma holder with a fancy piece of paper inside stating that my actual diploma would arrive in the mail once all final grades were submitted…as with everyone else in my graduating class.
Well, I wasn’t concerned about actually graduating. My first and last 4.0 grade point average of my undergraduate academic career was a clear sign that I would, in fact, graduate from college with a Bachelors of Arts.
That said, it certainly was exciting to receive the actual official fancy piece of paper in the mail today. Happy weekend to me! (the barista girl over here works Saturdays and Sundays, so Monday and Tuesday have become my weekend for the summer).