Graduation: Leave cynicism behind when talking with December grads

“Oh yeah … You’re graduating.”For premature December graduates, that’s the phrase of the month in almost every conversation.

The emphasis on graduating makes it all the more painful. Well, that and the look of genuine, pained pity that flashes across people’s faces as that word escapes their lips.

It’s as if St. Peter just flew in and tipped us off: the Apocalypse is imminent. The four horsemen are fast approaching, and they’ll arrive Dec. 15 – smack in the middle of “Pomp and Circumstance” playing like a funeral dirge at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

Then comes the routine interrogation.

“But why? Why would you so abruptly end what little remains of your childhood? What about enjoying college? What about treasuring your youth?”

That’s not what early December graduates want to hear.

It’s not like these things don’t cross their minds.

Of course, there are good things about graduating early, like saving money or impressing people with ostensible “ambition.”

But, as the big day approaches for many December graduates, the benefits of saving money and demonstrating academic determination take the back seat to more sentimental values.

With the help of the reactions from May-graduating peers, the approach of a December graduation brings more dismal issues to attention.

There are big things like having to leave friends behind early and missing the culmination of the four-year journey so many groups of friends have shared together.

Diving head first into adulthood while everyone else savors the sweetness that is college isn’t too appealing, either.

Wait … what?

It’s time to worry about health insurance? What is a 401k? And these stock options you mention, what does that mean?

But even the smaller things make December graduation a second-rate alternative to the big springtime commencement.

What’s the cold weather protocol? Jackets under graduation gowns? Earmuffs built into the caps? And what about flowers and greenery for pictures?

Still, it will be a nice ceremony. It will be fun to celebrate the end of what has been four years full of growth and learning.

Leaving behind the college regimen of Red Bull and saltine crackers in the days leading up to tests could be rather refreshing.

Just, please, for the sake of all of those approaching graduation, leave the doomsday tone out when you note that they are, in fact, finished with college.

Kailey Delinger is a senior news-editorial journalism and Spanish major from Fort Collins, Colo.