grad season

Posted on: 8 June 2010

Two years ago, in May 2008, I graduated with a BSc in cell biology and genetics. Convocation was somewhat overshadowed by my wedding, which was coming up in a week. Initially I wasn’t too interested in attending, but I did, because when I told my parents I intended to skip my mom got upset.

This month my brother graduates high school. The ceremony was even held at my alma mater.

Does it look like two years have passed? I scrutinize these photos, wondering whether I’ve aged. Then I berate myself for being shallow and silly.

I congratulate the many high school grads I know and wish them well. Certainly it’s a milestone achievement deserving of celebration. But then my inner cynic surfaces and quips that it’s not as big a deal as some people make it.

Because I’ve noticed that the big mainstream universities have a tendency to take students in eager and fresh-faced, then spit them out bitter and jaded. It happens over time, when they realize that their 97% in high school is only a 75% in uni. And even if it isn’t, even if it’s still an impressive 90%, no one cares anymore. The numbers have ceased to matter.

And this isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Still, I wonder whether such overemphasis on grad sets these eager, fresh-faced teens up for disillusionment. It is, after all, only a small blip in the story arc of their lives. Kind of like a wedding. All that fuss for one day so insignificant compared to decades of marriage.

My own high school grad occurred in the pre-facebook era, so it was surprisingly tough digging up pictures. Have I aged since then?


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