Commencement, the event that concludes our four year long journey through high school. The highly anticipated event all parents and high school students look forward to. At Waterloo Collegiate Institute commencement occurs in November the following year of high school, unlike most high schools that have it in the spring right after you actually complete high school.
Commencement symbolizes the end of one chapter of your life and begins a new chapter. This chapter should not occur 5 months after completing all of the graduation requirements. Many grads have already embarked on their new and exciting journeys and have moved on with their post-secondary education or have entered the workforce. These students are not restricted to stay in Waterloo and often travel far away for school or work. Having commencement after the final year of high school decreases its overall meaning, it takes away from the sense of accomplishment the grads have after finally finishing their last set of high school exams and overcoming their stress-filled life. Having the event the following year ultimately devalues the fact that it is supposed to be one of the most important and memorable experiences of your high school career. Commencement after high school has already been completed can become a nuisance to people that have moved on with their lives. A student that was asked about this topic said, “I graduated from high school last year and now am at the University of Waterloo. Even though I live close to WCI I probably won’t go to commencement, I don’t really care and I have so much homework.”
A lot of students go to universities or colleges that are far away or they just do not have the ability to come home for one weekend. Many grads who become post-secondary students will become
overwhelmed with the post-secondary workload. Having to worry about attending a graduation ceremony during the pit of their midterm season just becomes another obstacle in the way of achieving their goals. If commencement occurred at the end of their last year of high school, then they would be able to put high school behind them and focus on their future.
Many people cannot wait to get out of high school, why would anyone leave for almost half a year then go back at the most inconvenient time? The idea of having commencement after completing high school is like a sports team receiving a trophy for a tournament they won 5 months in the past; at this point, all the excitement has faded and that achievement is a thing of the past. The reason many schools hold their commencement at the end of the grad’s final high school year is because it is simply the best option; why are some schools procrastinating on giving students their diploma when procrastinating in studies is frowned upon for students? Is our school just being lazy, or cheap, or worried about the heat? Ultimately, holding high school commencement past a grads actual last year of high school has few benefits, and comes with a many disadvantages that can even discourage people from attending this important milestone. We should really revisit the timing of this important event ASAP.