UH grads need friends too

by Lisa Chmiola

It's the time of year again for sun and sand, pomp and circumstance. `Tis the season for graduations, and I even attended one this year. No, not mine, it was my sister Janine's eighth-grade graduation a few weeks ago.

Sitting in the audience, I was reminded of my own eighth-grade graduation. It was a joyful occasion I shared with my closest friends. However, Janine didn't have the same experience. A few days earlier, the school split the graduation into two ceremonies, one for last names A-K, the other for L-Z. Obviously, Janine was in the first one, but all of her best friends were in the second ceremony. She was able to see her friends walk the stage, but they couldn't do the same for her because they were being lined up.

This brought me to the realization that I will be in the same situation in two years, only it will be four times greater. For those of you who have never attended a UH graduation, here's how it works: Each school has its own ceremony. There is also one all-schools ceremony, which almost nobody goes to.

So basically, I'm working my tail off to graduate on time with my friends, when in actuality I won't graduate with any of them. Sure, I'll know people in the School of Communication from my classes, but none of them are my close friends, the ones I've known for years and laughed and cried with. Instead, I'll have to hope they come to my ceremony. Then I'll have to go to all of theirs, as long as the times don't conflict with mine. And of course, no two of my friends will be in the same ceremony, making it even more difficult.

Here's what I think UH should do for commencement: Have two ceremonies, one undergraduate and one graduate. This way, everyone gets to be together.

I realize this would make very long ceremonies. However, it wouldn't be so long if UH had more than one commencement per year. At the University of North Texas they have December, May and August ceremonies, and all the schools graduate together. Each school has its own reception afterward. I know this may seem petty to most people, considering so many students don't even attend their own commencement ceremony. However, to me, graduation symbolizes the end of one era and the beginning of another. It may be the last time I see my friends, and I don't want to miss it.

Chmiola is a sophomore

journalism major who has

about two years to plan her graduation.

Visit The Daily Cougar