Capitulation

Yesterday, I registered for graduation ceremonies.

Dammit.

To me, graduation represents all the pomp and unnecessary bullshit that universities, bureaucracies, and accreditation organizations around the world are scamming my generation for. Years of toil, hypocritical educational environments, the associated hyperinflationary costs.

And for what? A degree. Another certification. A piece of paper that means, ultimately, nothing. I paid a lot of money. I got adequate grades. I passed.

So what, ultimately, does all of this mean to me?

It means a year and a half of community college and three and a half years of university. It means a struggle with defining myself. It means countless, countless failures. It means hundreds of friends and acquaintances, some lifelong friends, some bright flashes, many of whom I will meet again. It means getting to know Dance. It means Tricking. It means graduating and watching my friends scatter to the winds…twice. It means pissing off countless professors. It means changing majors 5 times. It means realizing that none of this matters.

It means realizing that what you get out of life is what you make of it.

So what did university teach me that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise? I don’t know. I have nothing to compare it to. But I’ve done the numbers and, for people like me, university is a scam. Thankfully, I put in an appropriate amount of effort, which is reflected in my GPA, but the fact remains that I don’t like it.

So why participate in graduation?

I am in a lose-lose situation. I don’t believe in this institution that I’m attending, but I attend anyway, for my parents, for societal expectations. Cognitive dissonance, it’s called in psychology – a discrepancy in belief and action. If I attend, I am untrue to my belief that college is a crock of shit. If I don’t attend, I miss out on the resolution to years of shared experiences with friends and family. I miss out on a chance to celebrate my escape.

Cognitive dissonance, kids. Don’t do it. You lose either way.

I am going to convocation.

I aim to misbehave.

  • Tibbardegniw

    Go to convocation, misbehave, and celebrate. If you have friends there with you, it won’t suck that much. (Not speaking from personal experience; after all, I skipped mine and fed my cert to a plant.)

  • I know what you mean. I often felt that my strongest reason for attending college was the free room and board they offered in exchange for my attending classes. (“Free” because I was on scholarship). That’s not to say I learned nothing, but I think I would have learned more on my own.

    When I graduated high school, I brought a piece of paper with me (the kind that I bring everywhere), and during the speeches I stopped paying attention and wrote about random creative ideas instead. I’m still proud of that. =)