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lisaj89's avatar

Is graduating from a community college not a big deal?

Asked by lisaj89 (720points) May 4th, 2009

My best friend is graduating from her two year college this Friday and I was not invited. Is community college graduation not a big deal? They have a ceremony and all so I figured I would receive some kind of non formal invite. If I were in the same situation, I would invite her. Honestly, I’m kind of offended. She is moving to TX during fall to finish her degree so maybe she doesn’t see it as a great achievement or something. The only other reason I could think of is that she knows my schedule is hectic and wouldn’t want me to have to cancel something or decline.

Has anybody participated in a graduation from a community college? Do you just invite family?

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29 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

I’ve never been invited to a CC graduation. I also didn’t invite anyone other than family to my university graduation, and neither many of my friends. My attitude is they know I graduated, there’s no reason to sit through the ceremony. Just say congrats and buy me a shot later.

It doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal though. Graduating from anything is an achievement.

Have you ever been to a college graduation? Very boring. Maybe she just doesn’t think you need to sit through it? Maybe she only got a limited number of invites? Maybe it’s not a big deal to her? Since she’s your best friend, why don’t you ask her why, or even flat out tell her you’d love to see her walk across the stage.

jrpowell's avatar

I graduated from one. I didn’t go. It didn’t seem like a big deal. And I planned on going to a university after so I didn’t really care.

Ivan's avatar

I am graduating from a community college this semester and commencements were this past weekend. I never considered going, no one pushed me go, no one asked about it, I hardly knew it was even happening. It’s not a big deal.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

The Associate’s Degree isn’t the finish line. It’s the halfway point so any graduation celebrations are premature after Community College. I recall a mention of some sort of “commencement” from community college but I didn’t go and no one I knew did either.
Then again, I didn’t go to my actual college graduation either.

_bob's avatar

@Likeradar Now I feel bad. I didn’t buy you a shot.

Wanna meet my friend José Cuervo?

Jeruba's avatar

Any scholastic achievement is a big deal. Some are bigger deals than others. Your friend might not have wanted you to feel burdened by an obligation. And she may also have only a certain number of tickets. But if you were to say, “Oh, I wish I could be there to see you graduate!” she will probably either offer you a ticket or explain why she can’t. In either case, she is sure to be pleased by your interest.

YARNLADY's avatar

If your friend is going on to a four year college, this is just a transfer to her, and not a real graduation. In some families, it would be a big deal. So far, none of my sons or grandsons have made it that far, but it is mostly a family thing.

bright_eyes00's avatar

yeah you are accomplishing something by making it that point but its really not a huge deal. especially if she’s transfering. if it bothers you, maybe you should talk to her about not being invited.

MacBean's avatar

I’ve never gotten a formal invitation to a CC graduation. I’ve been casually asked to go to a couple, but now that I’m really thinking about it, even those invitations were only from people who didn’t plan on going on to get a four-year degree. I think your friend probably just sees this as a minor stepping stone.

girlofscience's avatar

It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t mean anything. The person will still need to go to college for two more years (at the very least) to even have a Bachelor’s degree. Successfully completing two years worth of painfully simple classes at a community college is not much of an accomplishment.

Triiiple's avatar

I think it is an accomplishment, maybe just didnt have enough tickets or something?

cookieman's avatar

@Jeruba: Exactly.

@girlofscience: To you perhaps. Many community college graduates are the first of their family to even attend college. Perhaps it’s the first time they took school seriously and did well. Perhaps they overcame learning disabilities with a ton of hard work so “painfully simple” classes were not so simple for them.

girlofscience's avatar

@cprevite: I guess there are different circumstances for everyone… Personally, I was the first person to attend college in my family, and I still did not think it was a very significant accomplishment to receive my Bachelor’s degree.

DrBill's avatar

Some colleges limit how many guest each person may invite.

casheroo's avatar

Depends on what she went for. If you know she is still continuing her education, then it isn’t really that big of a deal. But, people I know that graduate the nursing programs at community colleges…it is a big deal. It’s the same as at a 4 year college, because 4 year colleges offer 2 year nursing degrees. Most people who have gone to both a community college, and a “regular college” will tell you how much harder community college is. I know plenty of people who feel that their coursework at community college was more difficult than at a 4 year university.

Judi's avatar

I went to my son in laws. It was a big deal to us!

Darwin's avatar

As others have said, it depends on many factors. Many of my co-workers left high school early (ie dropped out) to have babies. Later on in life they realized what they had done to themselves and painfully managed to get their GED and then their Associate’s Degree, all the while working full time and raising a family (often as a single parent). For these people it is a big deal. Even if they go on for a Bachelor’s Degree, finishing community college is a big step for them.

However, many other people I know here in town went to our local junior college (ranked number 1 in our state) to get the basic classes for a fraction of the tuition and housing cost at a four-year university. They then go on to the next level (in fact, a branch of Texas A&M is just down the road from the junior college). For these people the ceremony isn’t such a big deal.

And quite frankly, I disagree whole-heartedly with @girlofscience ‘s view of junior college. There are many very tough courses in a good junior college, and there are many truly excellent teachers there. Because they don’t have a requirement to “publish or perish” they actually are rewarded for teaching well. Thus, in my experience, you actually learn more in your junior college course than you would in the equivalent courses in a four-year school. I know for a fact that the geology students at our local two-year college are prized by the universities they go on to because they have a very solid grounding in their science. The same goes for the music, drama, nursing and pre-med students.

And junior colleges fulfill another need that universities don’t even address, and that is the vocational aspect of post-high school learning. Trust me, those HVAC classes are not a piece of cake, and a really good A/C repairman is worth his weight in gold down here in the summer.

cookieman's avatar

@Darwin: Very good points.

cwilbur's avatar

The only reason I’ve gone to any of my graduations is because my parents thought it was a big deal. And I’ve sat through graduation ceremonies, and they have all been dull and boring. Perhaps your friend is of a similar mind to me, and is happy having you say “Congratulations on your degree!” without requiring you to sit through hours of commencement speeches?

flameboi's avatar

it doesn’t matter if you graduate from community college or Yale, is not important at all, having a degree says that you had enough money to pay for higher education, but that does not guarantee that you will have a succesfull life. Don’t worry about it :)

Likeradar's avatar

@flameboi Having a degree means you worked hard to achieve a goal in hopes of bettering yourself and increasing opportunities for the future.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh my god! Did you know they have kindergarten graduations these days? Would you invite friends and family to that? Hell, I graduated with my Master’s Degree, and the only people I invited were my parents. So, no. This may not be a big deal. I think it all depends on what is expected. In my family, college is seen as the minimum, but it’s just another step on the way. The unspoken message is that you’re not truly educated until you’ve got your Ph.D., which is what my father has. Of course, none of us kids has one.

My parents came to my high school graduation and my college graduation. My friends were at college graduation, but only those who were in my class. We never had any special parties that I can remember. My neighbors seem to throw bashes for their kids on high school, and maybe college graduation. They invite everyone on the block and family and friends. But that’s the after party, not the graduation itself.

Most of the people I know would see being invited to a graduation as a burden, not a privilege. You get to sit in the hot, hot sun for hours listening to a boring speech followed by a boring recitation of the names of the graduates. Many people are grateful not to receive an invitation to something like that. If your parents have to fly in from out of town, you have to entertain them for days before and after the ceremony. It’s a serious downer.

It all depends. For many people I think it means an awful lot more than it does in my family. Also, I think that maybe I wouldn’t have felt so badly about myself if my parents had made more of a deal about me graduating. So many people actually do celebrate the achievement. I’m 52, and I’m still waiting for an achievement worth celebrating. God, that’s sad, now that I think about it. Oh well.

Judi's avatar

@daloon ; 8th grade graduations are the worst! Some parents act like it is the last graduation the will ever see their kid get! Evening gowns and limos? disgusting.

cookieman's avatar

@daloon: What about earning ten thousand lurve? That was worth celebrating.

wundayatta's avatar

@cprevite Yeah, I forgot about that. Did you like my celebration? Remember? I went AWOL!

cookieman's avatar

@daloon: at least it was memorable, right.

ZAGWRITER's avatar

It was a big deal to my family for me to graduate from a CC. My family likes to celebrate individual accomplishments. I mean, it does show some ambition. It means I was not happy with my life stocking shelves.

Some of the hardest classes I had were at the CC level, and I did have to work at those. I had an oceanography class which I liked but it was hard, a box of rocks class and a quantitative philosophy class that were really hard. I loathed both of them. The whole experience at this level is entirely dependent on what you make out of it.

My most favorite teacher that I had was at the CC level. A brilliant English professor that made me love the subject material enough to change my focus in college.

Now, I am applying to MFA programs. Graduating from those, of course, will be a big deal. My ultimate goal? A doctorate. So we will see. Each level matters as much as the individual lets it. My parents were sooo proud of me at each graduation that it was like they were equally important.

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