Memorable Milestones

I asked for this opportunity to submit an article about graduation and here’s why – I almost did not attend my own May graduation. So, to borrow a late-night TV tradition, here is my list of the top five reasons why you should not miss your Penn State graduation weekend. Feel free to prioritize or adapt them according to your own circumstances.

Me at the Palmer Museum of Art located on the University Park campus.
  1. You have worked too hard. Not only have you worked too hard, but I will venture a guess that there is a line of people behind you that have worked too hard in support of you. For all the time-management balancing and the sacrifices and the missed opportunities, don’t let this be one of them. Take the time to celebrate your accomplishment together. You deserve it!
  2. There will always be other things that need to get done – to keep it simple – life is short. When will you again have this opportunity to hear your name being called out in Bryce Jordan Center to thousands of people cheering and walk across the stage to be recognized? Would you tell your children or grandchildren that going to their college graduation is no big deal? Enough said.
  3. I am very thankful to Penn State for the opportunity to earn a quality education online, but it is no secret that I miss the social aspects of the classroom like seeing peers and faculty every week. I know that not everyone feels the same, but graduation is one of a few limited opportunities that we have as World Campus students to visit main campus and meet staff, faculty, and friends. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet and thank (in-person) the people that you have been working with for years!
  4. I know that I am a bit biased, but you are graduating from a great institution full of tradition (and it’s not all about football)! If you have never visited main campus to walk among the elms and hear the tower chimes in Old Main or have your picture taken with the lion shrine or get a treat from Berkey Creamery or have a breakfast of grilled stickies at The Diner or walk along the shops on College Avenue then you are shortchanging yourself. So, claim your rightful place and experience graduation at main campus for yourself. You won’t be sorry you did!
  5. For the record, my best moment of graduation weekend was when a faculty member handed me my diploma. I never had to say my name. Even though we never sat in a class together, that person knew who I was. And, contrary to popular belief, it was not because my mug shot hangs on the wall at the post office. I won’t say their name here because I do not have permission to do so, but you know who you are! Thank you. You made a nervous and emotional me feel like I mattered in an auditorium full of full-time residential students.What will your best moment be?

No matter when your graduation date falls, be sure to plan ahead for your stay at University Park. In my case, the festivities began Friday evening and progressed through Saturday, so take advantage of the entire weekend if you can. If local hotels are all booked, don’t panic (like I did). You can always inquire about other options like staying at a local bed and breakfast or renting a house nearby.