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Essay Samples on Graduation

Graduation is an exciting time in any student’s life. It’s a time to celebrate achievements, reflect on the past, and look towards the future. If you’re tasked with writing an essay on this topic, it can be a daunting task. However, with some helpful tips and graduation essay examples, you can craft a perfect essay about graduation.

One way to approach an essay on graduation is to focus on a particular moment or experience from the graduation ceremony. For example, you might write about the feeling of receiving your diploma or the emotions you felt as you walked across the stage. By focusing on a specific moment, you can create a more compelling and personal essay.

Another approach is to write about the broader significance of graduation. You can explore the importance of education, the challenges that students face, and the impact that graduation has on individuals and society. By taking a more philosophical approach, you can create a more thought-provoking essay that engages readers on a deeper level.

When it comes to graduation essay topics, the possibilities are endless. You might write about the history of graduation ceremonies, the impact of technology on graduation, or the role of graduation in different cultures. Whatever topic you choose, make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about and that you can explore in depth.

In conclusion, writing a perfect essay about graduation requires creativity, passion, and attention to detail. By using graduation essay examples and following the tips above, you can craft an essay that celebrates the importance of graduation and inspires readers to reflect on their own educational journeys.

How a Graduate Degree Can Help You Achieve Your Career Goals

Graduate degrees serve as powerful catalysts for propelling career ambitions to new heights. In a world where expertise, specialization, and innovation are highly valued, pursuing advanced education opens doors to enhanced opportunities and the realization of long-term career goals. This essay explores the symbiotic relationship...

  • Career Goals

Career Goals After Graduation: Mapping the Journey

Career goals after graduation mark the beginning of an exciting journey towards professional fulfillment and personal growth. As the academic chapter comes to a close, the canvas of possibilities opens up, and graduates are poised to pursue their aspirations in the workforce. In this essay,...

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Gap Year: Exploring Paths of Exploration and Reflection

The concept of taking a gap year — a deliberate break between high school and further education or employment — has gained significant attention in recent years. This period of exploration and self-discovery offers both advantages and disadvantages that influence an individual's personal and professional...

My Convocation Day: An Experience I Will Never Forget

For most people, their graduation day is one of the memorable and the best days of their life the same goes to me. Many people have experienced the overwhelming excitement feeling as you approach graduation day, and for me, that was a day that I...

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What I Want To Do After My Graduation

Graduation is an exciting time for my life, specially a university’s graduation. When I think of family and relatives, friend gathering together to celebrate a gratifying event, I feel I accomplished my goal. Graduating from university give me a valuable outlook. So, you just graduated...

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A College Degree: The Next Step or a Mere Stepping Stone

In our modern economic climate it is a commonly held concern that continuously rising tuition prices will excel the financial benefits of possessing a college degree. Understandably, many people thus feel that pursuing a college degree is not worth the sacrifice of their time and...

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Prom Night and Prom Limo Rentals as Integral Parts of Graduation

Do you want you make your child’s prom night or graduation one they'll always remember? With reasonable and dependable prom limo service in San Francisco, you can achieve this goal. A graduation or prom night is an important occasion for any youngster and as a...

  • High School Graduation

The Negative Preconceptions Surrounding the Prom Night

Prom is like the Met Gala of highschool, it is your exit from highschool and it is customary to look damn good on your way out. I remember when I was a sophomore, a girl in my grade was going to prom with her cousin...

The Search for a Suitable Limo for a Prom Night

For youngsters, prom is an extremely uncommon night, and thus, everything should keep running as easily as would be prudent. So for the individuals who choose to contract a prom limousine benefit, there are a few things that ought to be done before calling and...

Relevance of Changes in Canadian Employment Law

Introduction A career is significant for each individual because of numerous advantages. A decent and stable career, for example, gives stability and genuine feelings of serenity throughout everyday life. Being guaranteed a stable income flow, we are spared a lot of stress and uncertainties that...

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Steven Spielberg Commencement Speech in Harvard University

Harvard University graduation, students, parents, family, faculty and friends anticipated the big speech by the famous film director, produce and screenwriter, Steven Spielberg. As he kicked off his commencement speech, he began with his Universal Studios dream job he was offered his sophomore year telling...

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How Well Do High Schools Prepare Teens for Life after Graduation

I knew that high schools did not teach teens how to do any checks, bills, etc. To begin with, did school teach you how to do any of those before you graduated? Schools do not get teens ready for the life of adulthood. I choose...

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Looking Back at the Many Years of a School Life

High School takes up 720 days of our lives. 720 days of sitting at desks with people you probably won’t talk to outside of class. 720 days of waking up early with the intention of actually getting ready but then hitting the snooze button so...

My Highschool Reflections Before Graduation

Many people would tell us that our high school years “are the best years of our lives”. How when we walk across the stage in June, nothing would ever be the same, for the better or for the worst. As a graduating senior, I thought...

Graduation as a Transitional Experience and a Rite of Passage

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Improving Graduation Rates by Revamping Community College

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The Reasons I Choose To Pursue A Graduate Degree In Forensic Science

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Best topics on Graduation

1. How a Graduate Degree Can Help You Achieve Your Career Goals

2. Career Goals After Graduation: Mapping the Journey

3. Advantages and Disadvantages of a Gap Year: Exploring Paths of Exploration and Reflection

4. My Convocation Day: An Experience I Will Never Forget

5. What I Want To Do After My Graduation

6. A College Degree: The Next Step or a Mere Stepping Stone

7. Prom Night and Prom Limo Rentals as Integral Parts of Graduation

8. The Negative Preconceptions Surrounding the Prom Night

9. The Search for a Suitable Limo for a Prom Night

10. Relevance of Changes in Canadian Employment Law

11. Steven Spielberg Commencement Speech in Harvard University

12. How Well Do High Schools Prepare Teens for Life after Graduation

13. Looking Back at the Many Years of a School Life

14. My Highschool Reflections Before Graduation

15. Graduation as a Transitional Experience and a Rite of Passage

  • Importance of Education
  • Elementary School
  • Academic Freedom

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My graduation day essay

My graduation day essay 8 models

Last updated Monday , 13-11-2023 on 09:55 am

My graduation day essay ,the celebration of the graduation ceremony was through a beautiful party held by the school under the auspices of the principal of the school and attended by students and teachers and parents of the students and provided some entertainment shows.

My graduation day essay

Today, my school has held an annual graduation ceremony in which high school students are enrolled after passing the tests successfully and exceeding them and offering them certificates of appreciation and praise for their good conduct and discipline during the academic year.

The ceremony began by greeting the student who presented the ceremony to the principal of the school, the masters of the teachers, the masters of the parents and the dear students.

And a student with a beautiful voice read the Holy Quran, Then a third student introduced Hadith Sharif urging to seek knowledge, and then the acting group presented a short comedy play.

This play dealt with the difference between the diligent student who makes every effort to collect the science and the failed student who does not know the value of science and learning.

After that,  the principal of the school presented a speech in which he praised the students and praised the teachers for their great efforts to teach their students and encourage them to innovate and help them to solve the problems they experienced, whether academic or social problems. He wished the students more excellence and success

One of the teachers called the names of the first students and were honored by the principal of the school who gave them certificates of appreciation .

The students also gave each other a wish, hoping for success in the coming years. And everyone went away and each of the students carries a beautiful memory inside him about the years he spent in school and about his friends who spent the most beautiful time with them.

My graduation day

There is no doubt that every student dreams of his graduation day and is waiting for it impatiently. I can describe this last year before I moved to university as the most difficult. When you wait for time to pass, it becomes too long,

So I got up at 9 and get ready to go to prom, I am so excited this day is finally coming , I have been waiting for so long where I  can live more freely, move out of my parents’ house, live on my own and rely on myself, work and stay up late.  As well as entering the university that I always dreamed of and worked hard to reach.

Here I am getting up, getting dressed, and going to meet my friends before going to the party. I would very much like to go out today with my friends, and attend the dance, I would also like to give a simple speech to thank the principal, teachers and staff at the school, it has been a happy 11 years. I am very happy that they passed well, without any problems.

He is very excited to face tomorrow and learn more new experiences. On this day, when went down the stairs, I heard a surprise word, congratulations on graduation. Some cheers and small encouraging fireworks.

My family was very happy with my graduation and they wore their best clothes to attend the awards ceremony. They brought a camera to photograph me and take some other pictures for my friends for memory.

Of course everything was great at the party and I was very happy when I heard my name and got my graduation certificate.

Graduation essay

There is no doubt that graduation is the dream of every student who strived and struggled for this moment, until he moved to another stage of education, or in order to finish school education completely and move to learn from the real life and collide with life.

Of course, education does not end in a person’s life except with his death, as he can learn a lot through life and those around him.

Therefore, we see education as mere stages, we seek to finish it in schools and move to a larger stage, in which we find difficulties and challenges, which encourage us to learn again, and make us more challenging and determined to excel in it, so that we can benefit from it and rely on it in our next future, whether at work. or living.

Therefore, graduation day represents for us the satisfactory reward for the struggle and persistence we have achieved in education, from the first day of school until the last day.

Graduation day essay

Graduation day is one of the wonderful days that we are all impatiently waiting for, and we are trying to prepare for it, whether in preparing the appropriate clothes for this occasion, or knowing who we will accompany at the graduation ceremony, and preparing many things that we will do on this day, and how we will close a page and open a new page for a new stage of education, whether in an advanced stage of education or completion of studies, and learning from life and facing and merging with real life began.

Graduation day is always the biggest prize for hard work and continuous effort in education. It also represents a new  starting point, which helps us to remember that we were able to overcome the past, and we will certainly overcome what will come, and there will be no difficulties, and we have a new goal that we will strive to achieve.

This is my graduation day. A lot of joy at the end of a stage, and a new challenge with a lot of effort and fatigue, I will receive it without fear or hesitation, I will strive to achieve success in it, so that I can celebrate my success again.

Short essay about graduation

Graduation is a dream that many people are waiting for. Our goal from the beginning of our education is to reach the end of the educational stage, and to graduate so that we can begin our practical life and meet life and society with what we have learned. We prove to ourselves that we can excel and succeed.

Everyone has dreams and ambitions, which he postpones until he can succeed in the educational stages and graduate.

So today, we are witnessing our first goal and dream, which is graduation, at which we will stand a little without thinking about what will come next, and enjoy this moment, which represents our success and appreciation of our fatigue and continuous effort to reach this happy moment.

For me and for many friends, this is the beginning of success, through which we prove that we can go out for life and fight all difficulties.

Our graduation today proves that we are capable of patience, learning, diligence, and continuing to learn, no matter the circumstances, and not giving up on something we do no matter what difficulties we face.

Today we are honored and a graduation ceremony is held for us as proof of our excellence and success. It may not be the greatest success in the universe, but it is certainly the first step on the ladder of success, after which we will strive to achieve more successes and superiorities.

Therefore, I am grateful and appreciate the role of those in charge of the study, and the role of my father and mother who stood by me so that I could continue my studies and education, and my friends. I hope to be as good as they think and achieve the best for myself and them.

Short essay about graduation day

There is no doubt that the graduation day represents a great victory for all students, an overwhelming feeling of happiness and self-realization, and that we can succeed and overcome difficulties and obstacles, and most importantly, overcome our fears that always tell us that we cannot succeed.

Therefore, the graduation day represents a great celebration for all students, for their achievement and excellence throughout the year, and appreciation for their efforts, fatigue and perseverance they made in order to obtain the highest grades.

Therefore, the gathering of all students at the end of the year ceremony, during which they are honored for the end of the semester and their success, is a great victory, and a new starting point for another stage, they see themselves going to it and achieving excellence in what is to come.

Essay about graduation day in elementary

It is wonderful to feel accomplished since childhood and to have a graduation day celebration in the primary stage. This makes us feel energetic and ready to face the next stage, and we are ready to progress year after year until we reach the university and graduate from it.

Of course, the primary stage is important because it is where the student is founded on everything, from the beginning of teaching letters to reading, arithmetic, and learning other languages.

Therefore, the day of graduation in the primary stage represents a great victory, because in it the basics were dug that will remain permanent for the rest of life, and whatever we learned in childhood lasts for old age.

My graduation day short essay

The graduation day for me and a lot of friends and other people is a day of honor for the effort spent throughout the year. In addition to the motivation that helps us advance to the next stage with eagerness and love. We have hope and optimism that we will be able to pass this stage as well and graduate from it, until we completely finish our university studies.

Then we will begin in practical life, learning all the requirements of life and career, so that we integrate into society and benefit from what we have learned, and re-present it in new projects, ideas and innovations.

Also, the graduation day is another happiness, because of the gathering of friends and family, the celebration of this day, the costumes, the music, and the speech we give.

All of this makes us feel happy and optimistic, and makes us feel self-fulfilling, and we are happier if the parents are present and thank us for completing this stage and graduating from it. This gives a great feeling and appreciation from them for what we have achieved in the study.

In this way, we have given you a topic about My graduation day essay ,and you can read more through the following link:

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Yale Daily News

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PERSONAL ESSAY: On Graduating in a Pandemic

Contributing Reporter

essay about graduation

Four years ago, I entered Yale as part of the class of 2021, and now the year I both dreaded and anticipated is here. It’s 2021; my senior spring. What I imagined would be a victory lap after three and a half of the best years of my life looks a lot more like a slog to an ever-moving finish line. Almost every part of my imagined college experience has changed, and these changes due to COVID — multiplied over the thousands of seniors graduating this year and last — produce an impact that we will feel for years to come.

My former suitemates, whom I’ve spent many nights with imagining the future, are now in different cities across the U.S. When I first came to Yale, my idealized college experience was centered around our suite unit; I imagined that we would weather four years of Yale, then enter the rest of the world together. Instead, only three out of my six suitemates from sophomore year are still graduating in 2021, and all of us are headed to very different futures than we had imagined. What remains of our graduating class resembles my ex-suite: altered plans and changed people, staggering in unexpected new directions. 

I called those of my former suitemates who are still graduating — pseudonymized here as Paris, Maia and Luisa — and we discussed where we might be in the next couple years. The following are imagined futures loosely based upon these conversations.

In 2024, PARIS lives in a sun-soaked 15th-story apartment, the fourth or fifth she’s lived in since graduating, with a windowsill full of plants: philodendrons, African violets, basil, a Venus flytrap. Her dark hair is now short, shorter than it’s been since college, and her apartment-mates are what she would describe as “boss ladies.” Her phone beeps with a text from one of the teenage girls that she works with at her job as a community organizer; the sound wakes up her pitbull, who lazily flaps an ear and curls back up against the back of her desk chair.

It will be three years since Paris left New Haven and fled to new cities to escape a suffocating senior year spent in quarantine. Feeling that COVID catapulted her prematurely into adulthood, Paris ran in the opposite direction of a stable “adult” job. After graduating, she spent time backpacking in South America, teaching in Spain and organizing in Philadelphia. She went wherever there was movement and action and young people. The wanderer lifestyle she chose was in direct reaction to the sensation of being stuck.

Paris has switched therapists several times over the course of the three years because she always felt like progress wasn’t being made in sessions. Somehow, the pandemic never quite leaves the conversation. Her wanderlust and rejection of normal, “age-appropriate” behavior feels like the continuation of senior year: no demarcation between one chapter ending and another beginning; continual limbo. Her near-excessive accumulation of plants, pets, books, artwork, things , according to her newest therapist, Alicia, represents the anchors that Paris uses to prevent herself from floating away entirely. And her retreat from many of the friends she had made in college, Alicia tells her, may be the response to having grown disconnected from the emotional states of others — she feels alone, and has come to believe that she is alone in feeling alone. Everyone else is a monolith of unrelatable, happy people and she quickly falls away from them, feeling like there is little mutual ground for conversation left.

In 2023, MAIA has joined the consulting company that she has worked for since sophomore summer. She still keeps in touch with a handful of people from college, but she spends most of her time texting her cohort at work about the ever-changing demands of their entertainment industry clientele. Maia recently started seeing someone, but she realizes she doesn’t have a lot of patience for things like nights out. She occasionally does productions with a local theater group, but even that feels like work sometimes.

Graduation had been dampened by so many other competing demands. What once was celebratory and important, had become decidedly… not. Maia rationalized to herself that graduation mattered so little in the context of people losing their loved ones to a raging virus; she had herself so thoroughly convinced that by the time the virtual event came and went, it had long been classified as a forgettable memory. Pomp and circumstance, the commemoration of accomplishment — all foreign concepts. Change was dulled; the anticlimactic feeling of leaving college and starting work was further reinforced by having already spent six months at home, unable to see friends, with the only noticeable change in her day-to-day being a Zoom link with a corporate header instead of a Yale one. 

Now a full-fledged member of the workforce, Maia finds that there was no celebration there either. At a company that had once mailed their prospective employees cupcakes to woo them into signing, Maia has not yet tasted a single company-sponsored dessert nor attended a cheese-tasting event. There is no more wining and dining, much less company-sponsored recreation, and even a reduction in company merch. She tells herself, logically, they know you won’t reject a job during COVID, and they are right. And who am I to complain when others are unemployed? The work we do is the most important thing, anyway, she tells herself. The days of after-show parties and spontaneous happy hours are long gone.

Instead of fun with friends, the pleasures of life look a lot more like solitude at home. Since senior year, Maia has begun to enjoy the growth she notices in herself. She has learned more about how to be an adult — cooking recipes, paying rent, being able to decide when to start working and when to stop (the stopping is still hard sometimes). She feels gratitude for the friends that she still talks to from   time to time, and for the ordinary things like warm showers and cold drinks. She is getting better at being alone.

In 2022, LUISA, with her plaid backpack and teal Yeti rambler (the same one from sophomore year of Yale), is back to the books, spending most of her time exactly where she had planned for senior year: in libraries and coffee shops. The backdrop has changed, but the rhythms of academia remain a wonderful constant. She misses stability so much that her craving for certainty makes her return to school. The master’s degree wasn’t part of the plan, but neither was this virus, and school feels like the closest thing to normal, even if everything has to be from a laptop.

Luisa is impressed with herself for how well she deals with unmet expectations. Friendships were permanently fractured because of the distance created by the pandemic, and past Luisa would have been torn up every night. Instead, she feels a sense of emptiness where there once lived feelings like attachment. “ Maybe if we had been sophomores, the gaps would have slowly been closed again over time , but because of the lasting impression of people in masks keeping distance, dwindingly friendships a year out seem only natural,” she writes in her brand-new Moleskine — teal, like the rambler. The premature separation from her classmates by geographical location, by gap-year “1.5” graduating class divisions, by on- and off-campus, sucks. Luisa feels like they had been rushed into the next phase of their lives before even making it to the climax of the current one. All the more reason, she thinks, to tether herself to some semblance of normalcy: Her weekly course calendar is something she can rely on.

It’s 2021 and I sit in my off-campus apartment, daydreaming about the future and wondering where this spring season will take us. I stare outside the window, wondering when I’ll finally be free from this longing feeling for a chance to gather with my ex-suitemates, to be free of hypervigilance about safety and cleanliness, to just have a sleepover or meet a new friend without worry. I think about my plans to stay in the city next year, and about all the missed potential from an ideal senior year.

The only thing I appreciate is this: Right before we got sent home, I was hurtling toward disaster, going 100 miles per minute into the future, and COVID forced me to slow down. I was forced to recognize the beauty in the slow. Graduation has historically been all about projecting into the future — anticipating what’s to come, cherishing the bright spots within these precious college years, formation and self-discovery in an ever-accelerating landscape. Pandemic graduation seems to be about having the brakes thrown into our plans, and being forced to sit still and alone for a very long time. 

Every year, college grads bid goodbye to their family away from home. The difference, this year and the last, is that we did not see our goodbyes coming. Who knew that the last time we’d see Jimmy from Davenport was that final Friday in “Game Theory,” or that we should have hugged Collin from FOOT goodbye when we passed him on the street? Our plans changed; the people in our lives changed. Some of us who thought we would stay in New Haven exited this pandemic deciding it was time to go; and others who entered thinking it was a get-the-degree and get-out situation, found themselves wanting to stay just one more year in New Haven. One more normal year. Disparities and distance grew between the employed and the still-searching; our support systems, the ones that should have been solidified during these past four years, are flimsy at best as we get shuttled into the rest of our adult lives. And yet we persist. We try to bring back the dinners, the movie nights. We make plans once again. We gather as a suite on Zoom and dream out loud about the people we’ll meet, the things we’ll do and the places we’ll go once we graduate into this pandemic and out into the rest of the world. Each of us four departing seniors head in different directions, none of us knowing exactly where we will land. All we have to fuel us onward are some precious memories of the good old days, and faith that we are resilient enough to get through graduating, even in a pandemic.

essay about graduation

Kalina Mladenova

My College Graduation Experience: Essay Example

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  • My College Graduation Experience
  • Narrative essay writing service for students

We have previously discussed everything you need to know on how to write a personal narrative essay . For it to be successful, your narrative essay should leave an emotional impact on the audience. Its goal is to make the reader experience the narrative through imagination and the use of emotional language. It should also be able to reference elements and things that the senses can experience, which is why using vivid descriptions and details is crucial. Below is an example of a narrative essay , which is about college graduation. As we all know, graduations are emotional because it celebrates one of the most important milestones in an individual's life. Receiving your diploma after decades of hard work is an event one cannot simply brush off. The essay was donated by an anonymous writer, who believes that recounting her college graduation experience can not only help you understand how to write a personal narrative essay better but also inspire you to reach your own graduation day.

My College Graduation Experience: A Narrative Essay Example

Many people around the world consider their college graduation day as a milestone, and rightfully so. It is, after all, a consolidation of decades of hard work and sacrifice. To an extent, I thought of it as the beginning of the realization of my goals. We started out with learning our ABCs and additions and subtractions, which later morphed into the complex forms of writing essays of various kinds and tear-jerking quadratic formulas. My journey to college was not easy situation either - to get to college, you need to  prepare for the SAT exams . Grades needed to be presentable, and learning how to  write an effective personal statement  was crucial. 

The aroma of coffee wafting through a sleepless night came back to me as I picked out my graduation dress. My mom accompanied me to a nearby store right outside town, and by the end of the shopping trip, we have settled into a nice cafe. It is amazing how for the first time in years, I get to enjoy a cup of coffee without the weight of the finals week on my back.

Today, I am wearing that same dress that brought me so many realizations. I also wear my toga and graduation cap, which I decorated on top with a collage of photos my family and myself - we are one of the lucky few who were allowed to exercise our creative spirits. I entered the venue, and thousands of thundering claps welcomed us. Speeches were made by various figures: the guest of honor, the administration, and so on. Another round of applause echoes as each class were asked to line up along the corridor. We were to wait for our turn to go the stage, where we will receive our school souvenirs. Everyone was excited, and when it was our turn to receive the items, we were happy. 

A little tribute was made for our teachers after that. As the class monitor, I was tasked to collect the bouquet of flowers provided for by the student council. We all stood up and sang a special song for our dear professors, which we have been practicing in secret. I looked at my favorite history professor, Ms. Tanika, and she smiled at me. Becoming friends with your professor is no easy task, but I am glad I found a true friend and mentor in her. I smiled back, and after that, I felt the wave of unexplainable sadness take over me. Sad that I will leave my educational years forever, along with Ms. Tanika as my mentor. Happy, however, over the fact that it is now my turn to make a difference in the world. 

Soon, we were in line once more to receive our diplomas. Although the venue was packed, I found my family by the stage as my name was called. I happily received my college diploma, the proof of all the years of my hard work. I was all smiles for the photographs and videos being taken, and I can only hope that they all look good! I need to remember this graduation day well for the rest of my life. 

When all of the diplomas and special awards were given, the school’s chairman, Mr. Gary Turner, asked us to all stand. He gave everyone in the hall a special blessing for our upcoming licensure examinations, which will be happening in two month’s time. This is unlike preparing for the SAT exams; the licensure will determine if we have the capacity to practice our field or not, and the state of nervousness came back as people around me remembered. I became just as nervous, but it quickly left once the speech was over. 

After the blessing and speech, the lights were dimmed and the white projector screen rolled down from the ceiling of the stage. The projector was opened, and there, a video was played. To many enthusiastic reactions, it was a video containing many videos and photographs of our batch. We laughed at silly photos, nervous smiles, and sleepless morning looks. By the end of it, many of us were wiping tears away. I looked and caught the eye of my friends, who smiled at me sadly. A lot of things will change - life after college will definitely be different, especially when it comes to friendship. I hope we stay the same, though. 

As the lights went back up again, we stood up to sing the school song. It was the finale of the entire ceremony, and our very last time of singing the school song. For the first time since I got here, I heard my fellow students sing the school song with so much happiness and pride. I sang along with them, and I felt such fondness for my school and all the memories I have built here. After that, it was over. The host congratulated and thanked us. We were directed to the canteen after that for some refreshments, where I reunited my family. 

None of us touched those juice cocktails, however, as we began taking so many photos. I posed with each member of my family, and then posed for several more by myself holding my diploma. After that, my friends and I went on our way to find each other. After eating a few of those finger foods served in platters, like spring rolls and select chips, we began taking photos once more. We decided to leave the canteen and walk around the campus, clad in our heels and toga still. Our diplomas were safely tucked away in the bags of our mothers. 

Walking around the campus and chatting away brought back a sense of nostalgia, despite feeling elated that I have finally conquered the hell that is college. We decided to settle on our favorite spot, a little hidden garden behind the College of Law building. We talked about our upcoming exams, our plans, and of course, the reality of life catching up to our friendship.

Soon, we had to part ways - respective celebrations with our families needed to happen. On the way back, however, I felt something I have never felt before. It seemed like a fusion of feelings, different emotions attacking all at once. The feeling grew when I got ready for bed that night. I will miss my friends, my mentors, and my school. Things will never be the same again, and that part of my life is done and over. I looked back and realized so much. I hated those schooling days as it happened. I hated waking up early, I hated sorting through my homework trying to finish them in one night. I hated all the times I went through finals week and what really happens during it, and all the instant ramen I had to eat - I wished I had learned more college dorm meal recipes. But, even though I have been through one of the most challenging times of my life, I realized that I will miss all of that. 

I will never get those days back again, and although the thought is sad, I have my entire life facing me now. It is now time to make my mark in the world.

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How to Celebrate Your Graduation

Hosted by Priya Parker, produced by Magnificent Noise

Graduation can be exciting or sad or somewhere in between. Here’s how to mark your accomplishments.

Hello, everyone. I know you may not feel like it, but you are indeed the chosen class.

Our mayor announced yesterday that the city would be doing a ceremony where Oprah would be the speaker, the commencement speaker, for our citywide graduation.

You’re also a united class— the pandemic class, that has the entire world striving to graduate with you.

So that’s great. You know, who doesn’t love Oprah? One of the things that I’m struggling with is how to make it more personal to our student population.

Kelly Mest is the principal of Northside High School, a public school in Chicago.

These are the students that have been together for four years. Our faculty and staff love these kids and love these students. And this moment of celebration where we would finally kind of get to send them off, a culmination of their four years with us, how do we still mark that for them when there have been so many sacrifices already?

Even when our luminaries are stepping in and doing their part, giving graduation speeches across the country—

Just as you’ve been looking forward to proms and senior nights, graduation ceremonies, and let’s face it, a whole bunch of parties, the world is turned upside down by a global pandemic. But what remains true—

Watching Obama or Oprah, it is cool that they did it. But graduation is more than just the commencement speech. Graduation is many things. It’s steaming your robe. It’s going out with your family for that special restaurant trip, and getting to bring your best friend along. It’s sitting in the hallways, signing each other’s yearbooks. And yeah, it’s getting that diploma handed to you from your principal. The celebrities that are coming out and doing their part, but if it stays at that level, the schools become an audience. It’s not an interconnected, shared experience, unique to each school. It’s beautiful, but it’s just the beginning. A commencement speaker doesn’t graduate you. They’re playing one element in a much larger community experience. We all play a role in helping our students graduate. Parents have a role, administrators play a role, the students themselves play an important role. The commencement speakers did their job. Now, we need to do ours. For “The New York Times,” this is “Together Apart.” I’m Priya Parker. [MUSIC]

Having one graduation speaker for the entire country can be powerful, because it’s a national collective experience. But we also need to have specific, smaller experiences that are for us, by us. Over the last few months, I’ve received dozens of emails about graduation, from parents wondering how to graduate their kids from home, doctoral students looking for how to mark the end of their research, from people worried about their international student friends graduating alone, with their families abroad— and from administrators like Ms. Mest.

So where are you taking this call?

I’m at home in my house on the Northwest side of Chicago. There’s a total of four people and a dog in my house, so today, I am in our family room, which is connected to the kitchen.

We shift spaces per day.

The negotiations of quarantine.

Yes, it’s a real thing.

Kelly Mest has been an educator in the Chicago public school system for 20 years. And even before coronavirus, this senior class has already been through a lot. They had lost two members of the graduating class last year— one to gun violence, and the other to a car accident.

They’re just a really special group. And this class has been through some things that our other senior classes have not had to experience. I don’t want this to be a marker of who they are, but it’s a reality of their experience at Northside that they— in less than a year, they lost two classmates that should be graduating with them this year. I think the way that they have banded together and supported each other during good times and bad times has been wonderful.

One example of how they banded together was a really beautiful ceremony the students ran at the beginning of this past school year.

But I think one of my favorite moments this year was— you know, I think it was a week into school, where some of the senior leaders contacted me and they said, you know, we just want to start kind of this new tradition. We’re in a space where we just want to gather together and mark the beginning of a year together. So they did this really sweet sunrise ceremony, where they all came to school— I don’t know. It was really, really— remember what time it was.

And they were all dressed in white. And they just sat on the back lawn— the back lawn of the school. And they watched the sunset rise together. And it was really— I’m getting a little emotional thinking about it, considering where we are right now. But it was just this really sweet moment that I think is representative of who they are as a class.

Beautiful. So as I listen to you— a couple of thoughts. The first is the sunrise ceremony is a really powerful story. And what I hear in it is a couple of things. One is self-initiation, right? It’s a gathering that came from the students, and a way to really create a ritual that is, at some level, more beautiful than the adults could have created or thought of.

Exactly. Exactly.

You can’t transition yourself to another phase. Right? Like, it doesn’t make sense for you to conduct your own wedding ceremony, right, or officiate your own funeral— I mean, by definition. But also, it doesn’t make sense to officiate your own graduation, quote, unquote. And so one thing I would just pull apart for you a bit is, what can the unique roles of the adults and the administrators be this year, that only you can uniquely do, right? You need to actually— you have the power and the legitimacy as the institution of the school to give and to grant each graduate their degree or their diploma. But then they also should be part of, at some level, creating the ritual amongst them. One of the questions I would just ask— and I don’t think you can do this in a vacuum, I think it has to be perhaps even going back to the original organizers of the sunrise ceremony— is to ask, what do we do, but also, who decides? I don’t know if you misspoke, or you meant this on purpose, but you used an interesting turn of phrase earlier in our conversation. And you said, they watched the sunset rise.

Yeah, I misspoke.

And maybe you didn’t misspeak. And I say that in part because, like, after every sunset is a sunrise. And part of graduation is an ending, right? But it’s an ending, in part, to also mark a new beginning. And I wonder if, as a metaphor, you, with these students, could create almost like— if that was the call, if that was like the opening call of the year, if like the closing call was something related to a response to that morning. And— to design some kind of graduation that’s, like, a sunset rise.

That’s lovely.

I’m thinking I could use you to write my graduation speech.

In order to help Ms. Mest figure out what graduation might look like this year, when they can’t physically gather, I asked if I could talk to a few of the students. And she connected me with the organizers of the senior sunrise.

Before high school, I was very shy. But like, after high school, like— if you told me, like, in eighth grade, that I would be talking to you like this, I’d say, no, you’re crazy.

I feel like high school has allowed me to be here, and interact, and laugh, and whatnot.

This is Ruba Memon. She’s the Student Council Vice President.

I have a family of all boys, and then also my mom, right? My parents are immigrants, and then they’re also low income, so seeing my parents kind of seeing us succeed— and they came here to make sure that me and my brothers had a better education, right? So them being able to see us, like, walk across the stage and go on to college. I think it’s, like, a big thing for them, especially, since that’s the reason they came here— for us to achieve our goals. And graduation is kind of a symbol of that.

During that call, I spoke with Ruba and two other members of the student council about what they were hoping for with this virtual graduation. And there was a lot of similarity in their answers. This is Fiona. She’s the president of their student council.

I think what makes graduation so exciting and so fun is that it’s like their whole support community that has been there for you for the last four years. And that’s the part that feels kind of the worst for me, that can’t be replicated online. I think that a lot of students right now are feeling very isolated. The challenge is just to get them engaged in whatever event we hold. It’s very easy to just write off these virtual events, that they don’t hold the same weight— but finding some way to really get people to engage with what we’re doing.

And here’s Roshan. He’s the student body PR director. And things have changed since I was in high school. Clearly, student councils have adapted to the times. Mia, who you’ll also meet, is the marketing director. But here’s Roshan, and he echoes a lot of what Fiona said.

Well, originally, I had thought I was going to be with my friends and my family. And we were all going to have a collective memory to share. Student council did a survey about graduation, and what we wanted, what the student body wanted. And over, like, 70% of the people responded with having a shared experience for graduation. And I think, like, having that would really make us happy, because that’s all we’ve been looking forward to.

In listening to them, I realized Ms. Mest and her colleagues can figure out how to play their part and distribute diplomas as the school officials. But how might the students create a shared virtual experience that’s for them, by them, just the way they did their senior sunrise at the beginning of the year. And they’re up for it. So we agreed that I would coach them. And then, on June 8th, as part of their graduation day ceremonies, they’ll have one hour with their classmates to run an experience for them online. But rather than just telling them how to do it, I wanted to show them how to do it. This is “Together Apart.” I’m Priya Parker.

If you can just get a piece of paper and a pen—

as you think about a graduation, you know, different gatherings have different purposes. And as I was thinking about preparing this gathering with you all, graduation in particular is kind of a type of closing. It’s an ending of sorts, right? Like, you began your freshman year four years ago. You began the senior year with that sunrise ceremony. And now, it’s a time to close. And I think, in part because of COVID, your senior year didn’t end. It just kind of stopped, right? And because of the virus, we’re unable to begin to actually end it in the way that you would traditionally end it. And so you’re finding yourselves in a position to have to figure out, how do you develop the ability as students to help close this chapter for yourselves and for each other? OK, I’m going to ask you a number of questions. And first, just take a few minutes and write down your answers, OK?

The first questions I asked are past oriented. To close, we first need to look back. Who’s a counselor or a faculty member that they wanted to shout out? And what’s a favorite memory of Northside, and so on?

Last I night, I remember we were the final dance for the showcase. So the last move for me was to jump off the stage. And I was supposed to run into the aisle. So I jumped off the stage, and I remember feeling something in my foot, like, crack. And I kept running, because I didn’t feel it. And I kept running. And I got all the way to the end, and then striked my last pose. And I remember, while walking back onto the stage after everything was over, I was limping. And I didn’t even realize it. And later that night, I had to go to the emergency room because I apparently fractured my heel. And I mean, it was very fun. And like, I didn’t really feel it in the moment. But it was kind of nice seeing how, like, I put all this hard work in and then, like, something fun happened.

So Roshan is telling this kind of crazy story. I mean, the kid literally fractures his foot, but doesn’t notice because he’s having so much fun dancing at their school’s international night. And I can visually see the other kids responding. Ruba covers her mouth. Fiona’s jaw dropped. Mia is giggling. But you can’t hear anything, because they’re on mute. And what’s actually a good story feels a little awkward because there’s no audio response. One of the reasons virtual gatherings can feel so sterile is because in trying to mute everyone so you can hear the person speaking, you’re also then muting everyone else’s natural responses. And responses are the difference between a monologue in the ether and a living, breathing conversation. And these kids’ biggest fear in hosting a virtual closing ceremony with their peers next week is that the whole thing will be awkward. And here we are, and it’s awkward. I realize I need to do something beyond just asking them questions that makes them feel like they’re together, even though they’re in four different bedrooms on Zoom.

You know, this is, again, an experiment, but you can start to feel like kind of, like, the arc of the— you know, the arc of it. And you want to do something that, like, grabs people’s attention, that makes people feel like, even when things are being shared, they’re participating. And I think a call and response cheer could be really fun. I also think your dance, like an Indian dance, particularly, student council is kind of hosting this, but you’re also— many of you are on part of the same dance team. If you did the performance, or you showed a video of the performance, and taught three basic moves to everybody— right, so it’s like keeping a call and response, call and response. And part of the awkwardness of Zoom is you kind of feel like you can throw something out into the universe, and everyone’s like, uh— just sort of staring back, because we don’t necessarily know how to be. And so I think for each of these layers to think about— if we’re putting something out, how do you include everybody in? And I would do a cheer and a dance. And the cheer would have everybody, like, screaming back at their— Zoom’s mute off. Can we actually try it right now? I mean, you can feel it now, like, on Zoom, like, how do you begin to build the energy up? And you should build it up in ways that you’ve already done before. You know, like, imagine you’re like in the bleachers of a stadium, which you’re not. You have to create the psychological stadium, you know? And getting people actually into their bodies, into their feet, stomping in their bedrooms— like, this is how you do it. - All right, everybody, repeat after me. E-I-E-I-O. - E-I-E-I-O. - Come on Mustangs, let’s go. - Come on Mustangs, let’s go. - Scooby dooby dooby doo. - Scooby dooby dooby doo. - Oh, oh oh, oh. - Oh, oh, oh, oh. - And then everybody clap— E-I-E-I-O. - E-I-E-I-O. - Come on Mustangs, let’s go. - Come on Mustangs, let’s go. - Scooby dooby dooby doo. - Scooby dooby dooby doo. - Oh, oh, oh, oh. - Oh, oh, oh, oh. - All right— and then faster, and with clapping and stomping. - Yeah, that’s pretty much it, and then everyone is like—

Yeah, I feel this is a good way to start the Zoom, or like whatever we’re using, to start this off, because it kind of makes everyone energized in the beginning.

I agree. I agree. I think you have to interrupt the, like, everyone just staring at each other. And you know, whether it’s your captains, like, I know this is a facilitator. Like, if I’m embarrassed about something, everyone will be embarrassed for me, versus, like, if I own something, then it’s, like, oh, I guess we’re doing this. - Yeah. I think it would be really fun if, like, everybody’s equally kind of embarrassing themselves, too, which I think would be really good going into, like, the more serious reflection part. It’s like, people have already kind of let their guard down.

They need to counterbalance the norm of being polite on Zoom and create a culture at the beginning of the call that says, not only is it OK to respond to your peers, we want you to respond, and see everyone. And we land on the idea of breaking the students up into what they call their advisory groups. It doesn’t actually matter what that is, but basically, how they divide the class into 10 groups over the school year. And they’re going to give each group time in a breakout room. to come up with a motion, and also see their advisory group friends, and then come back and do that motion or action in the main room, in front of everyone else.

And then, very simply, I think the instruction is that it should be physical— right, physical, it’s like a chant. And Mia, or whoever is the opening cheer, models what they mean. Right— so it’s like— and it should have a rhythm. It’s like we are— and give them a give them a beat, so they all seem the same, and it build. Like, we are advisory A. And then maybe we all strike a pose. And then it’s you— I’m like, putting my elbow up in the air. And then everybody else— like, you are advisory A. You go like this. Right— it’s just simply a way to have everyone pay attention, and see, and remember each other. And because we’re over Zoom, the physical helps to counterbalance the fact that we’re not physically together.

How’s that sound? - Sounds good. The lag makes it funny— yeah, I know. And so I— and I think, again, whoever kind of is, like, hosting this whole thing, I think you can name some of that stuff. Like, the lag’s kind of funny. This is the moment we’re in— but to not fall apart laughing. You know, like whoever— I think it should probably be two of you. This is also a moment for your peer leadership. And to say— you know, yeah, we’re— like, this is part of COVID right now.

And partway through the call, I begin to loosen the reins.

Let’s practice you all rotating facilitation. So Fiona, you take the first one as if you’re running this conversation. What’s your most embarrassing moment at NCP? Ruba, you take what is your scariest moment at Northside. And Mia, you take what will you miss most. And then Roshan, you take the next one.

OK, so last year, when we were editing the all-school [? colloquial ?] and youth activism. When everyone was in the bin, there were two main speakers. So one of them was talking in the microphone, not sitting behind it. And basically, she fainted while talking, right? And the other main speaker got the microphone, and she just gave it to me. And I was— like, there were teachers rushing to the front. And like, they were kind of helping the main speaker— and I had the microphone. And I was, like, looking around, and I didn’t know what to do. And then, I just said, any questions.

Any questions. [LAUGHTER]

And I remember, after that happened, people started clapping. People started clapping for you.

So a couple of things, as you practice. Over the next hour, I’m going to start letting it go more and more, so you can actually practice doing this. So Fiona, how— what was that like for you?

Like, once they started interacting with each other’s stories, and asking each other questions, it’s like, I don’t even have to do anything. It just kind of, like, runs itself once you put the question out there.

So what were your guys’ scariest moments? What was the scariest moment at Northside? - So it’s kind of like— it’s more personal. But it’s just that after the first semester of freshman year, I really didn’t like any of friends that I had. And they just felt kind of toxic, and I just like— I was like sort of an outsider to their friend groups, and a lot of them had already known each other. So it was, like, a really scary decision where I was like, do I say at Northside? Do I try to transfer? And then, there was a decision I had to make second semester. And it was just like, I’m not going to be friends with these people anymore. And it kind of meant that there was like a period freshman year where I just like, didn’t have a solid friend group. But it ultimately was better, because I ended up making better friends, like Ruba and Gina. But it was really scary to just have to be, like, I just have to kind of be on my own for a bit, and figure it out from there. - For sure. I feel like we went through that at some point. - Yeah. Freshman year— it’s just like, you sort of cling to, I guess, the first people you meet. And that’s not always you’re meant to be friends with. - I remember my first group. [INAUDIBLE]

- But I was also kind of, like, struggling with the idea of leaving that fan group. If I leave, then will I have any friends— like—

This is the moment the conversation shifts. Fiona becomes vulnerable, and they just start talking to each other. And in so doing, the deeper reflection and collective meaning making begins. Who was I here? Who did I become? What were the choices that affected the course of my life here? - I feel that too. Like, I mean— I don’t know. Like, in middle school, I would just think, like, when I go to high school, I’m going to have all these friends. I’ll have an elite friend group. But it’s just, like, you know, reality hits, I kind of sat at lunch with, like, people that I knew.

And this is great. I’m going to have you keep going on the next question, and continue just as you are, to— you can be reflective with each other. You know, like, you’re doing great. And Mia, you’re next. And again, ask us a full question, and then we’ll start moving to the future.

All right, what will you guys miss the most at NCP? Can I answer, still? [INAUDIBLE] Y’all remember the gas station next to the school? That was the best place to be. I loved that place. After school, everyday, right before dance practice, I would gather my gang. I’d be, like, all right, gas station? And you’d have to ask, like, gas station? And then everyone’s like, yes.

Even if you didn’t get anything from the gas station, like, you have to go with the group. - All my money went to the gas station.

What you basically want to do, after you ask a few questions, is get people to speaking to look forward. And so at the beginning, instead of like a closing, or gathering, a graduation is, like, a turning in and looking backwards. And you want to begin, like, what is graduating? It’s also leaving and saying goodbye. And then turning outwards, and like, you know, moving forward. So I really love having you all run this. You’re doing great. And so to continue to practice, I’m going to put the next three questions. And let’s try to do each in like— let’s see. Let’s try to do all of them in about 12 minutes.

So I want to know what everyone wants to be in the future, and like, what do you want to be when you grow up?

And I’m just going to coach you a little bit, OK? Before introducing the question, it’s almost like you’re playing the pivot role of— we’ve all looked back. So you actually say this. Like, we’ve now spent time looking back, and looking at our last four years. And now we’re going to turn a little bit, and as we begin to graduate, think about looking forward. And in that spirit— and then ask the question. Does that make sense? So it’s like you’re steering the ship.

Do you want me to do that?

OK, OK. So now that we’ve talked about what we— or what we’re going to miss about Northside, and what we like about Northside, I think we should move on to talk about what we want to be in the future, and what we’re going to do after we leave Northside. So what do you guys want to be when you grow up?

They go on to answer this question, but I paused him here, because I wanted all of them to realize that they’re going to need to be really explicit with their peers as they guide them through this virtual experience here. - OK, what about this one? What is a conviction that you developed at Northside that you want to take with you in the future?

What I took away from Northside was always take that opportunity, even if you feel, like, too scared to do it, because there are so many opportunities at Northside. Especially with student council— I remember, like, in geometry, I think, I was sitting with Rube. And she was telling me, like, oh, you should be the marketing director for student council. Go ahead, you should up. In my head, I was, like, that’s impossible. There’s no way. I’ve never seen myself as a leader for a larger group of people. So I think just taking that one step, filling out the application, it just brought out so much more opportunities, and also, like, a lot of growth that I didn’t think that I, like, had in me.

And kind of going off of what Mia was saying, I kind of relate to that, because one thing I learned was to not be afraid of who I am. Like, I said in the beginning— like, I wasn’t really sure of who I was. And like, it took me some time to figure that out. But once I did, I wasn’t afraid to show the world who I was.

So in the spirit of a closing ceremony, we’ve turned inwards. And then, we begin to also turn outwards. And I didn’t want to have the call end without also helping them think through a bit, how they wanted to honor the two students they lost in a way that would be meaningful to the class.

So two students in your class passed away.

And when was that?

One of them was in the beginning of last year, and then the second was last summer.

How are you thinking about doing the memorial? - Yeah, I was thinking about reaching out to their friends, because I feel like they’re the ones that could talk like more about them. - Also, maybe like a moment of silence after you talk. - It hit everyone pretty hard, and it really did help that our school was able to like create, I guess, like, events for everyone to come together. So for the first student they brought in like, live music that I think he would have liked. And then we also put down flowers in the shape of a heart on the field. And then also, for the second student, he was a basketball player at our school. He was on varsity basketball. So we held a weekend basketball event. Also, I think it was really powerful how they started off the game with, like, four players on our team instead of five. So we played four players on our team against five of the other people. That’s beautiful. - It was all, like, so sudden. And you know, like— like, seeing other people grieve, who did really know those people, like, it was just a hard time for everyone, right? And I had French class with Emmanuel the year before. And one thing he’d always do in class is he’d, like, peel the oranges we got with the school lunches. And he would just— he wouldn’t even rip off the segments. He would just bite into them like it was apple or something. And then what our French teacher would do— and she’s done this, like, a couple times now, where she’ll be like, oh, I was thinking of Emmanuel, so I want to do this for you guys. And she would just bring in bags of, like, Cuties for all of us as just a little way to think of him. That’s beautiful. I might invite you to think about the equivalent of that, like, maybe both for Emmanuel and for Jack— like, it’s like one symbol that you invite everybody to, like, just bring with them to the screen, just like an orange. Like, I wonder if— orange for Emmanuel, and to think about a different symbol of Jack. Like, a lot of— you know, ritual becomes very powerful also when it’s not necessarily verbal. So I would just think a little bit about the memorial moment. If you have an hour, you know, you would probably want to spend, like, five minutes or 10 minutes, not more than that. But I would think about how you want to remember them. And a collective act that everyone can participate in, even if they didn’t know them, it’s a beautiful way to do that. I will just say, I think that— I would do some kind of closing chant. Or if there’s, like, a benediction, or if there’s a class speaker, or just like some one moment of focus— and then I would sing a song, or close it in some way. What do you think? First of all, how do you feel right now? [INAUDIBLE] - I think this really could be a good way to give closure, because, like, these are all like the kinds of things we would be talking about if we were all still in school each other. - I was going to say the same thing. Even though it was just us on the call, like, this has made me appreciate Northside, the community, and, like, all my friends, and all of you guys even more. Like— and again, that sense of closure. Like, I feel so good right now.

Just being physically apart from everyone, it almost made me feel like they weren’t in my life anymore, or like I was about to move on to the next stage. But now, it’s kind of, like, nice. And I feel like being on call, and seeing everyone’s faces, and hearing what they have to say, it’s just like being in the Atrium with them all over again.

And kind of going off on Mia again, I kind of felt as if I’d forgotten what Northside was like, because like it’s been almost, like, two, two and a half months. And talking about it kind of just brought back all the memories. And I think, like, I’m more ready to move on now than I was before.

What we just did is pretty complicated, right? So I was both trying to create an experience for you— over the last two hours, let go of the reins, so you started doing it yourself. While you were also actually going through the experience, I could also feel that. Like, I was at that gas station with you, spending all my money. And when you’re in person, you don’t have to make so much of this explicit. It’s just— it’s more natural. But part of what you’re seeing on the call is, like, figuring out a way to navigate the transitions. And if something’s awkward, like, to be, like, well, this is kind of awkward. You know, like, to name it. And then to also know that it often starts a little bit awkward or unwieldy. And then, once people kind of settle in with a couple of good questions, and you just kind of let them talk, it’ll be very powerful and beautiful. And it’s an act of service, frankly, to give you all the space to do this together. - As we got into it, it really did just feel like a normal conversation. And it almost even felt like we were together again. [MUSIC PLAYING]

This is “Together Apart.” I’m Priya Parker.

“Together Apart” is produced by Jesse Baker and Eric Nuzum at Magnificent Noise, in partnership with “The New York Times.” Our production staff includes Hiwote Getaneh, Destry Maria Sibley, and Noor Wazwaz. The executive producers of “Together Apart” are Priya Parker and Jesse Baker. This show would not be possible without Moe Mullen, Choire Sicha, Joanna Nikas, Anya Strzemien, Julia Simon, Lisa Tobin and Sam Dolnick. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Together Apart logo

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  • June 3, 2020 How to Celebrate Your Graduation
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It’s graduation season — and, understandably, parents, friends, classmates and the graduates themselves are at a loss for how to celebrate. For the 3.7 million expected to graduate high school this year, streaming a commencement address by a prominent politician or celebrity isn’t a substitute for the feeling you get walking across a stage and receiving a hard-earned diploma. Smiling for photos, surrounded by classmates, enjoying a meal at a restaurant with your family after the ceremony … those are just some of the graduation rituals that have been put on hold for the time being.

This week on “Together Apart,” four public high school students in Chicago decide to take matters into their own hands and create one last shared experience for their class, virtually.

Here are some tips if you’re trying to figure out how to mark the day in addition to what the school is already planning.

You should still wear your cap and gown.

Graduates, organize a video call so everyone can log in and see each other at the same time. Wearing the appropriate graduation gear like caps and gowns will make the event feel more special. It helps transform the event from “random Zoom call with people from school” to “this is my graduation party!”

Grab people’s attention at the start of the call.

Perhaps it’s a call and response cheer or a particular dance move everyone can do. If everyone is doing something physical, it’ll feel more like you’re sharing this experience together, not just passively observing it.

Leave the mute button alone.

For a majority of virtual events, participants are muted so people can better hear the person running the chat. This time, refrain from using the mute button. Let people giggle and chatter because this is the kind of party where you want to feel like the group is in the same room.

Hi. Welcome to “Together Apart” — you can subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify . Our host is Priya Parker , a professional conflict facilitator and the author of “ The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters .” Here’s her guidance.

Look back at your education experience together..

For students, ask everyone a few questions about their school experience. Questions like:

What are some of your favorite moments that defined your educational experience?

Who are the people who have defined this experience for you?

What is your favorite memory from your time at the school?

Are there any particular teachers or administrators you want to give a shout-out to?

What was your favorite class?

What was your favorite dance or field trip?

What will you miss most about being at school?

If you’re a friend or family member celebrating a loved one’s graduation, you can:

Talk about how you’ve seen the graduate grow over the past few years.

Share one or two moments where you felt that their character really shined through.

Recount the graduate’s accomplishments that make you the most proud.

Stick to specific stories and moments. Although older participants might be tempted to offer the graduate with some sage words, avoid giving advice at a ceremony like this. Advice needs to be sought by the person who wants it; it shouldn’t be created in a vacuum by other people. Of course, if the graduate asks for advice, feel free to give it, but only if the graduate is actually asking. Otherwise, just focus on honoring them.

Then look forward to what the future holds.

Help the graduate imagine the future they’ll step into. Graduates can ask each other questions like:

What have you learned at school that will help you in the years ahead?

What’s one conviction from your educational training that you want to bring with you?

What do you hope your future holds?

What are you looking forward to now that you’ve graduated?

Do you see more schooling in your future? Or are you thinking of heading in a different direction?

What are your plans for the summer?

Make space for mourning.

Even though this is a joyous celebration, don’t skip over the sad parts. You don’t want to pretend these things also didn’t happen. Create some kind of unified experience that makes everybody feel like they’re part of the ritual. Perhaps everyone could clap, hold up a symbolic object or sing a song. Come up with something that everyone can do that would honor the person or people or events you want to remember.

End on a high note.

Light off some sparklers and toss off your cap. Maybe there’s a poem you can read or a meaningful song everyone can sing. If everyone on the video call participates in the merriment, it’ll transcend the distance.

Home — Essay Samples — Life — A Day to Remember — A Memorable Day in My Life: Graduation from College

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A Memorable Day in My Life: Graduation from College

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Published: Mar 17, 2023

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When graduation is finally upon you it may seem that all troubles are over, and yet you still have a graduation essay to write, which can be pretty stressful in itself. Graduation essays are something you fail to prepare in advance, so they become a source of discomfort for most. Our graduation essay samples will give you some guidance throughout the process of your graduation essay creation. Provided samples will cover different topics that essays on graduation usually touch upon. Lost on words anyway? We can take the graduation essay of your hands completely, so you won’t need to stress about it anymore. Our essays are composed by skilled specialists, so high-quality is guaranteed.

In my reflection, I chose Maya Angelou's Graduation, Nancy Mairs' On Being a cripple, and Chang-Rae Lee's Going Home Again. Maya's experience as she graduated from the only black grammar school is described in Graduation. The essay from Maya Angelou's autobiography goes into length about the discrepancies in schools for...

The Study's Objective The study's objective is to compare the transfer rates and graduation rates of various universities. The data and information collected serve as a gauge of how satisfied students are with their educational institutions.Comparing Student Satisfaction To gauge the degree of student satisfaction at these institutions, data on admission, total...

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Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk This is an intriguing series that examines what is going on in higher education. It wants to know what happens before enrollment and graduation. It demonstrates so something has gone wrong. The documentary advocates for reform, demonstrating that the nation is in grave danger...

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Without remembering William Jefferson Clinton, also named William Jefferson Bly III, we can't talk about US presidents. In 1992, he became the 42nd US head of state and served until 2001. Born and raised in Arkansas, he attended prestigious colleges, including Oxford University, Georgetown University, and Yale Law School, among...

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In his book Into the Woods, Jon Krakauer portrays a man who leaves his family home and heads into the forest. Chris McCandless, the story's lead, prefers solitude after graduating. Clearly, a core premise of this book is that complete self-sufficiency is unlikely in one's life. The assistance and care...

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descriptive essay about graduation ceremony

Graduation ceremonies are often a time of joy and celebration. For some students, it’s the end of an era – the beginning of their new life as an adult. For others, it’s just another step on the path to becoming a successful person. This descriptive essay about a graduation ceremony will give you a glimpse into the lives of three different students during their graduation ceremony.

The purpose of a graduation ceremony

When you graduate from high school, you have completed an important and life-changing milestone. Congratulations! The graduation ceremony is a time to reflect on all that you’ve accomplished and to celebrate with your friends and family.

Most high school ceremonies are very simple. They usually involve a speech by the principal, a song or two, and a handful of diplomas and tassels. But there are plenty of ways to make your graduation ceremony more special. Here are a few ideas:

1. Have a theme. A themed graduation ceremony can be a great way to bring your class together and create unity in the midst of all the change that comes with graduating from high school. You can choose from traditional graduation themes like “Celebrating Academic Success” or “Achieving Personal Responsibility,” or go for something more unique like “A Day in the Life of an Elf” or “The Changing World of Work.”

2. Have a special guest speaker. If you have someone special you want to honor during your graduation ceremony, look for someone who can give an inspiring speech. Perhaps a well-known teacher, athlete, or community leader would be perfect 3. Have a reception afterwards. After your graduation ceremony, have a reception to celebrate with your friends and family. This can be a great opportunity to thank them for their support throughout your high school years, and to enjoy some time together before you go off in different directions.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure your graduation ceremony is unique and special. It’s the perfect way to honor all of your hard work and to reflect on what you’ve accomplished in high school.

The types of ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies can be formal or informal. They can be held in a traditional setting, such as a church, or in a more contemporary setting, such as a nightclub.

The main types of ceremonies are the following:

Traditional Ceremony: This type of ceremony is usually held in a traditional setting, such as a church. The ceremony is presided over by an officiant, and features speeches, recitations, and music.

Contemporary Ceremony: A contemporary ceremony is typically more contemporary in style than a traditional ceremony. It may take place in a nightclub, for example, and may feature music and video clips.

Unofficial Ceremony: An unofficial ceremony may be held without an official ceremony. This type of ceremony is often held at the participant’s home or at a private party.

How to plan a graduation ceremony

Graduation ceremonies can be a very special and memorable event for students. The key to planning a successful graduation ceremony is to make sure that it is personal and meaningful to each student. Here are a few tips to help make your ceremony a hit:

-Start planning early by gathering information about the school’s graduation requirements. This will help you to customize your ceremony to fit the unique needs of your class.

-Choose an appropriate location for your ceremony. A campus field or commons can be perfect for a small ceremony, while a larger venue like the gymnasium can be more accommodating for a larger crowd.

-Create a program consisting of the names of all of your graduates, along with memorable quotes or poems.

-Invite family and friends to attend your ceremony, and make sure to include photos in your program commemorating the special day.

The types of speakers who can be invited to give speeches at your graduation

Graduation ceremonies can be very elaborate affairs, with a variety of different speakers being invited to give speeches. There are typically three types of speakers that can be invited: the school’s president, the speaker of the assembly, and the speaker of honor. The school’s president is typically the person who has been involved in organizing and hosting the ceremony, so they are usually the most qualified to give a speech. The speaker of assembly is often a more popular or well-known person in the community, and their speech will likely be more interesting to listeners than those given by the president or speaker of honor. Finally, the speaker of honor is typically someone who has distinguished themselves in some way at school, and their speech will be most memorable to students. It is important to choose speakers who will appeal to all of your graduates, so make sure to choose speakers who you believe will interest your audience.

How to choose the right music for your graduation ceremony

When choosing the music for your graduation ceremony, it’s important to consider both your audience and the mood you want to create. If you’re planning a formal affair, choose classical or traditional music. If you’re aiming for a more casual feel, go with pop or rock songs.

Whatever music you choose, make sure it’s appropriate for the occasion. If your graduation is private, don’t play music that will disturb your guests. And be sure to keep the volume low enough so that everyone can hear speeches and other important moments without strain.

How to create a memorable graduation ceremony

Creating a memorable graduation ceremony is not easy, but with some careful planning and execution, it can be a truly special event for your graduates. Here are a few tips to help make your ceremony stand out:

1. Start planning early. The sooner you get started, the easier it will be to put together a cohesive ceremony.

2. Don’t be afraid to experiment. There is no one “perfect” graduation ceremony, so feel free to try new things and have fun with it.

3. Keep the focus on the graduates. Make sure that the focus of your ceremony is on honoring your graduates and celebrating their accomplishments.

4. Plan a meaningful program. Include readings, speeches, and musical performances that reflect the personalities and lives of your graduates.

5. Keep it simple yet elegant. A well-executed graduation ceremony can be both beautiful and heartfelt, so don’t go overboard with decorations or elaborate staging arrangements.

By following these tips, you can create a memorable graduation ceremony that will honor your graduates and reflect their extraordinary lives journey!

Graduation is a time of celebration and reflection. For many students, it marks the end of an era – the beginning of a new one. As graduates prepare to embark on their next chapter, they take with them invaluable lessons learned and experiences gained during their time at school . It is this diversity that makes graduation ceremonies so special: no two are exactly alike. In this essay, I would like to share with you my experience attending my graduation ceremony last month. I knew going into it that it would be an emotional experience; after all, I had just completed four years of hard work and dedication, culminating in what felt like the biggest event of my life. And boy was I right! The ceremony itself was eloquent and moving – every speaker brought something unique to the stage to offer words of wisdom and encouragement to the graduates as they headed off into their future. Although some aspects of the day were bittersweet (hello, post-grad tears!), overall it was an incredible experience that I will never forget.

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Home / Essay Samples / Education / Graduation / The Day Of My Graduation

The Day Of My Graduation

  • Category: Education , Life
  • Topic: Graduation , Personal Experience

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