Graduation day is the culmination of all the time, energy, and work that you have put into gaining your qualification, and it gives you a great chance to celebrate all that you have achieved. Without it, finishing your qualification doesn’t have that one big defining moment to remember for years to come; you can hand in your last assignment or put down your pen after finishing your last exam, but it just doesn’t have that same excitement surrounding it.
This once in a lifetime experience gives you the chance to dress up in your cap and gown and attend a ceremony celebrating the enormity of your achievement whilst surrounded by your friends, family, and classmates. It is a brilliant way to highlight the end of this amazing chapter in your life.
I’m scared I’ll embarrass myself on the day. Is it really necessary to attend?
There are so many reasons to attend your graduation ceremony, which outweigh the fear of tripping whilst walking across the stage and embarrassing yourself. Focus on these when you make your decision to go:
- Graduation is not an everyday event.
Graduating is not something that you get to do every day. It isn’t even something that everybody gets to do in their lifetimes. It is a really special event. It allows you to brush away the stress of years of hard work and that lingering feeling that you forgotten to do something, and celebrate with the people who have been on this journey with you. Even if you are lucky enough to get the chance to graduate again, it will not be for this achievement right now. Take this moment to appreciate your achievement and recognise its importance.
- This may be the last time you and your course mates are all together.
This may be something a little sad to hear, but, after graduation, people move on to new things, whether that be new jobs or education. People promise to stay in touch, but life can get in the way, and you definitely won’t be seeing them like in class every day. This is a moment dedicated to celebrating with the people who have been on this journey with you, reminiscing about all the amazing memories you have made, before wishing each other luck for the future.
- Graduation is a landmark event.
Graduation becomes a landmark memory in your own timeline. It is a symbolisation that things are changing and that your life will now be different. You will be in different environments, with different people and it is really nice to celebrate what you have achieved so far in your life, and appreciate the memories this part of your education has given you. It may have been challenging, but you overcame it all to be in this moment right now.
- Your friends and family get to celebrate you too!
This isn’t just a day for you to feel proud of yourself; it is a day for your friends and family to be proud of you, too. They have seen your journey to and through university and know how much work you have put into earning this achievement. They can be there to witness you receive your certificate dressed in your cap and gown, and celebrate with you.
- It is really fun!
What could be better than being surrounded by the people you love at an event put on to celebrate your achievements? Sometimes it is really necessary to take the time to celebrate and appreciate a milestone moment in your life by creating memories that you can think back on again and again.
If there is anything that you can take from all these arguments for attending your graduation, it is this: Don’t pass on your graduation day, it’s a day you’ll remember forever.
People are taking longer to graduate from university, and that’s okay.
Typically, a university degree can be completed in 3 to 4 years depending on the course and if it is done full time. It is now, however, not uncommon for students to take much longer than this. Some students are now taking over 5 years to finish their degrees, and it is not unheard of for people to take up to a decade to complete them.
If you think about it, this shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise. Every person who studies at university is different. They all come from different background and have different things going on in their lives. So it makes sense that people will need different amounts of time to complete their degrees.
Why are people taking longer to graduate from university?
If you compare the university cohorts of now to those of the past, you will see a change in the average cohort of students. If the average cohort of students has changed, it is logical to assume that their needs and obligations have changed too.
No longer is university just for a high number of young middle-class people who had just left school, childless with no other obligations in the world other than to study. Yes, these are still a large part of the people who attend university, but there has been an increase in the number of mature students and those from working-class backgrounds. Each person will have varying priorities which may influence the length of time it takes for them to complete their degree.
With this increase in students who have other priorities and responsibilities in their lives, there has been an increase in the options when it comes to studying flexibly. In order to be able to fit studying around their lives, students can choose to study part time, one unit at a time, online or through distance learning, along with the traditional full time methods. These will differ depending on the course and the university, but it is now much easier to find something that you can fit around your life.
Even with these more flexible approaches to getting your university qualifications, life can still get in the way of your plans. Sometimes you are on your chosen path and life just throws you a curveball. Students, no matter the path of study they are on, may need to take time out from their studies or reduce the amount of work they do if something unexpected happens. Others may have to juggle many different obligations. Maybe they have chosen to study part time so that they can work at the same time whilst also seeing to their other life obligations.
It is also not uncommon for students who started university at 18 to lose interest or change their mind about what they want to do. Choosing what they want to do in their life straight after school can sometimes lead to them making the wrong decision, or just finding out that they don’t like the choice they made as much as they thought they would.
Whatever the reason is for taking longer to complete your degree, it doesn’t matter. You still earned your qualification at the end of it.
Celebrating your achievement.
No matter how long you take to complete your university degree, it is important that you take the time out to acknowledge and celebrate this great achievement. This is why attending your graduation is so great. It gives you the time to recognise how much work you put in and to celebrate it with all your friends and family in style!