One of the many images associated with college — along with taking classes, meeting new people and becoming an adult — is graduating. Specifically, most people look forward to commencement. It’s an image most people hope to experience some day.

Commencement is held at every level of education. However, there are people who wish not to attend commencement. Those who desire not to attend commencement usually receive looks of confusion and rebuttals from those who look forward to attending commencement. Whatever reason people have for not attending commencement, it is a decision that should not be felt with embarrassment or doubt.

At Cal Poly Pomona, commencement can be a major inconvenience to students, and their family and friends. Commencement is held at Cal Poly’s University Quad, an open space with no roof.

As the school year ends in May, the weather is usually uncomfortably hot, unless people are lucky enough to get a seat in the shade. Students have to sit for hours in the sun with their robes on. Commencement can be hours long and most students only care about having their name called.

Nicole Goss / The Poly Post

Like most colleges around the country, Cal Poly Pomona requires payment for students who wish to attend commencement. Most students, before applying for graduation, do not know this, and their confusion is justified. After paying thousands of dollars to attend the school, a free cap and gown should be a right provided to all graduating students.

According to the school’s website, the cheapest price to attend commencement is $64.95, not including taxes. This does not include a frame for a diploma or any other amenities. Thankfully, family and friends do not have to pay to attend commencement; unfortunately the person graduating does.

Having to pay to attend commencement is the school’s final opportunity for getting money from students one last time before they leave.

A forgotten fact many may not have taken into account is that some students are introverted.

Some introverted students may not desire to attend commencement because they do not want to be around many people or they do not want to be on a podium, as their name and major is read out loud.

Either way, introverted students, or even students who do not enjoy public events, may not wish to be a part of commencement.

College is one of the great parts of life.

Graduating college marks a new step in life, and attending commencement can be a part of making the next step. However, for people who desire not to attend commencement, their desire is usually confronted with confusion and rebuttals that can lead to embarrassment or doubt about their decision. People who choose not to attend commencement, for whatever reason, should be confident in their choice.

The most important part of experiencing college should not be attending commencement, but rather, receiving a great education, building life-long relationships with fellow students and seeing how much you’ve grown as a person.

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