A Guide to Convocation Ceremony Survival


Here you are. You’re finally in for the long haul. Breathe in, breathe out. There, you’ve done it. Sounds like a plan. Your years in college aren’t shy of giving you that illusory comfort that helps you survive. You’re now ripe. What’s that? A crippling anxiety? Where does that come from? It comes from the gown, the convocation hat, and that ridiculous tassel.

Or is it the fear of uncertainty beyond this point. You are now and forever a graduate. Welcome to your convocation. Had this been the host’s parting speech, most of us would have hanged ourselves or jumped right off the building. It wasn’t that at all. In fact it was so enriched in sugar you could feel he might ooze out some caramel if you punctured his belly. The emotions or whatever came close were still felt and well observed in the crowd. Your top fears when you’re nestled in a horde of ‘bright future’ and how to get out alive from the convocation ceremony:

The Distinction Holders

This crowd at the convocation is a real interesting bunch. The high achievers have been condescended, bullied, admired and adored sequentially over time. This unfortunate bunch has the highest propensity to trigger extreme human emotions. They’re mocked for being too nerdy. They’re shoved around for being too unadventurous. As the college years progress you soon realize their growing stardom as they slowly replace the ‘chicest’ girl and the ‘baddest’ dude in class.

I blame the system for creating such driven individuals who can pretty much replace you in anything with their calculated selves. Do not take a look at them at your convocation. Nerdy is not the new cool. Do not let me repeat that. When they do get their medals, slide them off their necks and make a run for it. You’ve deserved it.

The Parents

Your parents love you no matter how awful they’ve made you feel in your twenty-four years on this planet. You’re prone to their nagging and insults. Attaboy! The time is yours and yours alone. It is your graduation, you needn’t feel thankful to anyone. Survival is key and you sir are a survivalist. Do not peer at your parents while you’re up on that stage they will get your heart melting as your mum lets out a tear and your dad pumps his fist in the air. They’re just happy you graduated. Don’t look at them. You’ve done it.

The Host

The host has nothing to do with it but you’re in no mood to spare him. He’s doing a pretty decent job sounding like Roger Moore but the legend is dead and so is his accent. What’s he doing that for? Your wrath needs a vent and this is your moment. When he tells you to do something during rehearsal do the exact opposite. That’ll bring out his inner desi and that is exactly what you need. You’ve earned it.

The Dean

This is tricky but not completely problematic. The Dean is an old man who still believes that education is the key to a brighter future. The old man has wronged in every which way. You’re better than him now. You’re untamed, your fire is unextinguished and you do not answer to anybody. As soon as you step up that stage you destroy his hand. Crush it, knead it and mutilate it. Of course you would have to work on your grip. Don’t forget working those hands. You’ve handed it.

Rishta Aunties

Beware! Your rishta aunty senses should be tingling. The convocation venue is full of these vermin. You’re barely making out of college and they already you want you christening your second child. Do not fall for them. Avoid them at all costs. You’ve evaded it.

Future Obsessed Uncles

You’ll find fathers of friends absolutely terrible when they ask you what’s next. Before you begin answering that question they would start rambling on about what they’re tutoring their children. Do not falter because of them. You just have to nod and smile and that’s just about it. If they prompt you for an answer respond with ‘Let’s see, the future is unseen’. You’ve nailed it.

Congratulations! You have officially graduated. The hurdles thrown at you were immaculately dealt with. You need not much to do except consulting a psychologist for your bitter ways and most probably consulting a career advisor. You haven’t done quite well for the unseen future. If your college years sucked as hell, chances are you didn’t get to watch The Graduate. We’d recommend grabbing some popcorn and getting down to business.

Liked it? Take a second to support M. Isfandyar Khan on Patreon!