When someone talks about graduation the first thing that comes to mind is visions of pomp and circumstance, trying to picture some literati savants cladding in regalias ready to employ their hard gained knowledge in changing the world. Am also in that group of people. Well, guys, I graduated last year December… and so? An idiot somewhere stood and shouted, “Victor, you have done it, hurrah!” And I was perturbed, “Done what? Travelled for 10 continuous hours just to hear my name being read, to wear a murky creepy daunting black dress in the name of a graduation regalia or just because I spent a sleepless night to attend this so called “misplaced ceremony”. Was that what I had waited four years for? Was that the day I had been dreaming for 16+ years? Really?
I arrived at the graduation square jam-packed with a sense of dread, just to be met with long queues, uncomfortable chairs, boring speeches, hot sun… name all those inauspicious things you can think of. The audience full of students robed in those gowns busy glued to their smartphones, trying hard to figure out how to escape that ceremony once their names had been read. Why sit throughout the whole ceremony when the sole reason you attended it in the first place has expired?
Talk of those physical and financial annoyances, I had to spend more than Ksh 30,000 for it. Imagine I carried my whole village as a shouting squad when my name was to be mentioned. I think I should rebase the level of my stupidity. I had to feed them and take them back home, yeah because I was their sponsor on that day. As if it adds any value, they told me that, the day was my day, and that is after they had served their purpose. And by the way, do people own days?
As I write this crazy thought, am questioning the reason I had to attend, was it because I wanted to please my parents and those funny looking villagers? Does it mean anything to them, because for me I doubt. Honestly speaking, I did not have plans of attending my graduation until my parents announced that they had already hired some vehicles for the day. And when I tried to change their minds, my father rebuked, “Come hell or high water, in fire or in my dying bed, am going to attend the graduation ceremony of my last born, and so will you, one way or another, walking or crawling, even if I have to drag you there”
That aside, since then I have been questioning the meaning of these ceremonies. I think once someone has completed his/her last year of study, that should be it. You don’t need a gown or ridiculous looking cap to determine your next step in life, naah. Though the prestige milestone associated with it, does these ceremonies add any value? The financial costs and time spent in preparing for these functions, used by universities and colleges as an alternative source of revenue, makes me wonder why can’t they be scrapped once and for all. For me all I wanted was to skip the whole thing and go to the fun part, my graduation bash.
But let me smile, let me dance, eat and drink to the fullest, if you want I can retch my pride, flaunt, catwalk if I have to, scream if it makes me any better… since my friends, I graduated. At least that’s what I was told.