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A question for those who went to their graduation ceremonies for the Master's degrees....


Merry
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I'm trying to decide if we should go to our dd's graduation ceremony for her master's degree in May. It is quite difficult for us to come up with the money to travel several states away and then to find a place to stay in an expensive city if we can't stay with a relative there. My dd says that this graduation ceremony is no big deal for her, not like it was for her B.A. so we are not to worry about trying to make it this time like we did last time. But I can't help worrying that she might feel differently when the actual ceremony takes place and she's alone with no family there except maybe for an uncle. She does have lots of friends but most of them will have family come.

 

I don't want her to feel like we don't care even though she may understand that we would have to borrow money to go there which we don't want to do. My dad said that his graduation from the seminary didn't mean as much to him as the graduation from college. However, how do other people feel about their grad school graduation ceremonies? Obviously, I've or my dh has never gone through getting a M.A. degree though I do have a B.A. so I can't go by our own experience. I also would really like to be there to see her graduating though it would be more of a luxury than a necessity; so if I can be reassured that it is truly not a big deal for her, we will not go.

 

I would like to hear your experiences with your graduation ceremonies and how did you feel about having family or not attend.

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I didn't even go to my own graduation when I got my Master's, so it's very possible that your dd is being completely honest with you.

 

Rather than spending the money on the trip, why not give your dd some of that money (obviously whatever you can afford -- I'm not saying you should borrow money!) to help her pay off some of her college loans, or to help her get started on her new professional life? A new business wardrobe would probably mean more to her in the long run than having you spend a lot of money to attend a ceremony that's only a few hours long.

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I am quite sure your daughter is being honest with you. I've known people who don't care.

 

I am planning on attending my kids'. If I had to use a CC, I would use it modestly. However, I want to sit there and be prideful. lol Depending on the year and school, I/dh might be able to walk with our class. That would be great, although the odds might not be with us. :)

 

I'm not on the Dave Ramsey program, so ignore me.

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I didn't attend my undergrad ceremony.

My master's degree was from a large public university. The ceremony was meh. I'm glad I walked and I'm proud of the degree, but if your daughter says not to bother & it's a financial hardship...don't go.

 

I definitely wanted my husband there. Perfectly fine if he were the only one. No regrets about missing undergrad ceremony as well.

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We (dh and I) went to mine and his, as did our parents. But they were all local. I wouldn't have asked my parents to travel, let alone spend money they didn't have, to come to it. It was fine; I think I liked it better than my undergrad because it was much smaller and I actually knew the other students and professors well. But, overall, it wasn't a big deal. If she is saying not to worry, then I really wouldn't worry.

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If your daughter is fine with not having you there, I would go with that.

 

In my family, graduations meant major drama with my mother, so I skipped my undergraduate one and only did my graduate one because she was at my brother's at another school that day. :coolgleamA:. I finished my undergraduate work in December and was already working anyway, and it seemed anti-climatic. For my graduate one, my beloved aunt and uncle came, and it was great. I have very fond memories of that day.

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My DH didn't go to his. Most of the attention during the ceremony would have been given to the people graduating with PhD's and we just didn't care enough to bother to go or invite anyone. I would trust that your DD won't be hurt that you're not there.

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Guest submarines

I did go to mine, but I lived right on campus. If I had to travel to it, I would've skipped. I think they are all a pain anyway--hours and hours and hours of wait for a walk on the stage. All I remember it was hot, long, and utterly boring.

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I went to my husband's--it was Seminary, and a big deal. We went to his Ph.D one, too--tho he just walked across the stage and had no other part in it, again, it was very important to him.

 

But it sounds like your dd is ok with you not being there. I would want to go--maybe just one of you could go, to cut costs?

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I strongly encouraged my dh to go to his because he didn't walk for his high school or undergrad diploma. He wasn't going to go on for a PhD so it was the only chance his family would have to see him walk. He would have preferred not to. If I went back for mine, that type of stuff is important to my mom, so I would probably walk for her.

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I went to mine. It was a fun way to say goodbye to friends in the program. My parents came because they really wanted to--they went to all graduations for their children and all graduations were within driving distance. They didn't pay for it and my father was against my going into the field.

 

Their presence was not important to me. I was more focused on the connections I had to my classmates and professors.

 

I do not think you need to stretch yourself to go. You could have a mini celebration if she comes home to visit.

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I didn't attend a graduation ceremony for my undergrad degree, because I graduated in December. I could have walked with the crowd graduating in spring, but I had no interest. For grad school, I did participate in graduation. My mom and my sister came, but not my dad. I was glad to have someone there, but it wasn't all so important that my dad needed to be there, too. Maybe you could do something similar for your daughter -- maybe split up, so you wouldn't have the full travel expense?

 

ETA: If just you went, could you stay wherever your daughter lives? That would cut down on expenses a bit.

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I didn't walk in my master's ceremony either. I had already had high school, BS in college and another BS from a medical program. I didn't figure my family (or I) needed to sit through another one. However, one of my coworkers who didn't graduate from college ( just the medical field) did walk so her family could be there and watch.

 

Your daughter may truly not mind if you aren't there, but if you were able to swing it, I'm sure she wouldn't mind feeling special for the day, you know?

 

Jodie

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I went to mine, and my dad and one of my sisters came, which I appreciated. My mom didn't come, because I was 9 months pregnant and she was going to come help with the baby. My dad also paid for the refreshments for the party I had afterwards.

 

Getting a masters is hard work and a big deal IMO.

 

Could maybe just one of you go?

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My husband and I did not go to our own Masters' ceremonies, either.

 

My husband graduated with his Masters last May. His parents did not travel from Arizona to see him and we didn't care that they were not there. My sister did travel from 3 hours away and that was nice, but not necessary.

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My sister & I finished our MAs at the same time, same college, local to *everybody.* Dh finished his BA at the same time/college, too. Neither of us girls really wanted to attend, don't remember how dh felt, but it ended up being a good opportunity for a family get-together, so we did. I made a cake for sis, though, & she was so busy w/ friends, she never even stopped by to *see* it. LOL

 

Dh & I already had 2 kids, so we were in a different life-stage, much more low-key. Although. We were *always* more low key than sis! :D Anyway, all of that is to say--the MA wasn't a big deal for either sis or me. I'm not sure why...maybe because mine was in Education, & I was more embarrassed than proud? LOL Maybe because it feels more like career training, not something to celebrate on the same level as a BA.

 

I'm guessing your dd really means it. If you guys have an otherwise good relationship, send a card, gift, whatever. Make as big a deal as you can when you see her, but don't worry about travel.

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I went to mine for three reasons.

 

1. So my girls could see me graduate. Higher education is important to us and it was a good experience for them. I put in a lot of hours and I wanted them to be a part of the celebration.

 

2. Because I got my masters at my alma mater and it was fun to be back. It was only two hours away from our home.

 

3. Because my best friend and colleague went through the program with me (M.Ed.) and it was fun to graduate together.

 

My family came to my graduation. They could all afford to fly out, it was fun to be together, it was fun to be back in our old stomping grounds, and school is important.

 

It was great.

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I didn't walk for my BS, because I was getting married a week later and had other things to deal with. If I recall correctly, I think I had a bridal shower out of town the same day! It just wasn't important to me to take part in the graduation.

 

For my MS, it was important to me to walk, but not for anyone else to be there except DH. ILs live in the same town and would have been happy to come, but we wanted them to watch DD so that SHE wouldn't have to sit through it (she was nearly 2 at the time).

 

I'm hoping to begin work on a PhD this fall. Assuming I earn that, participating in the ceremony will be important to me, and for that one, I will want my ILs (still in the same town) to come, and the kids will be older, so they can come as well. When the time comes for that, if my parents are able to come in from out of town I will want them to, but if they can't I will not be hurt. I know they will be happy for that accomplishment, as they have been for others.

 

I would say you should take her at her word. If you want to see the ceremony, find out if it's being streamed online (mine was for my MS, large public university), or see if a friend can be sure to get video and send it to you. Really, the part she'll participate in is not very long. ;) The next time you do see her, take her out for a special meal or something to have a little celebration.

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Well, I've got several classes to go before I graduate with mine. But, I have checked into my uni's master's ceremony, and well, they kind of charge an arm and a leg for it. Tickets are expensive, gown, etc. and well, I did the whole spiel when I graduated from high school and again with my BA., so I have to say, I don't think I'll attend mine and I certainly wouldn't want my family members to pay large sums of money to attend if I change my mind.

 

So much depends on the situation. Cost is always a factor; I wouldn't borrow money to attend. Instead, I'd save my pennies and buy her something nice or go in with other family members on a bigger gift. Definitely, send a card.

 

Faith

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I attended mine for the spectacular reason of having not much better to do that day (and in retrospect, I'd have been better off using that Saturday to clean my fridge or catch up on the laundry I'd neglected due to finals). Lots of my classmates didn't go, many who did were without family in attendance, and the consensus seemed to be that it wasn't really worth the time or money.

 

Do you think you daughter is on the fence about attending herself?

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dh skipped his master's graduation. he has never expressed any regret. I assume I will be attending 2dd's grad school graduation, and that she would want us there. we also live very close. because our girls attended university on the other side of the country - it was an expensive proposition to take the family to their graduations during a time of tight financial circumstances. we did it, and don't regret that.

 

do keep in mind - different things mean different things to different people. e.g. 1dd really wanted a class ring, and she wears it all the time. it means more to her than her PBK pin (which sits at the bottom of her jewelry box.). 2dd couldn't have cared less about a ring, and was adament she didn't want one. (she did want a running jacket from her current school for $ :eek:$. but the sleeves are long enough, so she's happy and she wears it frequently.)

 

iow: ask your daughter what she really wants. ask her what she'd say if money wasn't an object. let her know that if she changes her mind she should tell you.

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I did go to mine. Small seminary with a close relationships among and students and faculty.

 

I would have been fine if my parents didn't come, as long as I had friends with whom to celebrate afterwards.

 

I'd say trust your DD to be honest with you and don't borrow money.

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DH's Ph.D. and my master's degrees were completed during the summer term. We did not attend our graduation exercises for these degrees. In fact, we dropped off DH's final copy of his dissertation on our way out of town to drive several states away to begin his new job.

 

My parents did travel cross-country for my B.A. graduation exercises. I don't remember anything of the event, other than the deep annoyance of being grabbed on the way into the venue by an ex-boyfriend who insisted on sitting with me.

 

Trust your DD, if you have a close relationship with her and can "read" her for how she actually feels about this. You went for her undergraduate graduation. She knows you are proud of her achievements. She sounds like a caring, considerate young woman who does not wish her parents to overextend themselves and to jeopardize their financial situation.

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Take her at her word. I didn't care about my undergrad or really much even high school. When I graduate from law school, though, I do want people there--and I'm afraid no one will care or be able to afford to come.

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Neither I nor dh attended our ceremonies for our masters. Nor did anyone go to my dh's PhD cerremony==we were by that time living in CA with a brand new baby who was born just a few days before the ceremony and the ceremony was in OH. I know dh didn't care. I didn't care about missing mine either.

 

In terms of high school graduation- my oldest did not have a specific ceremony though he was honored as a grad at our base chapel along with the other grad; My second went to a lovely graduation ceremony at our co-op in VA. My last kid will have a choice of two different graduations- her church school or her co-op. I think she will be choosing the co-op but a lot can happen in two years.

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It is surprising to me how many of you placed greater importance on your undergrad degrees than your master's degree. I was the opposite. I skipped my high school and undergrad ceremonies. At the time, those were of no real significance to me since I was continuing my education. When I earned my master's degree, I felt like I was truly done, and wanted to celebrate. :thumbup1:

 

Even though it was important and special to me, I would not have expected (nor wanted) my parents to borrow money to attend. If you can't afford to go, and your dd is telling you not to go, then I think you can safely skip it. My mom, cousin, and some friends attended both the hooding and the normal ceremony. The rest of my family did not attend, and I don't remember why not. I didn't resent them for it then, and I still don't.

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My Master's degree ceremony was super-small, and very low-key. It was at a large school, but a small department, so there was very little fanfare. My parents originally were not going to fly all the way from WA to TX, but my mom felt guilty, and came at the last minute. It was sweet of her to attend, but I would have not minded either way. I might not even bothered if she hadn't come to visit. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. :)

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I did attend my master's degree graduation, but I did not wear the gown or walk the stage. It was so anticlimactic for me. I had moved from Texas to Maryland so none of my family attended the graduation, either. A big deal was made of my bachelor's graduation, and that was enough for me. Take your dd at her word.

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My husband didn't attend the ceremony for his Master's degree. It was on a Sunday morning and he didn't want to miss church. I don't think my parents have made it to the graduation ceremonies for any of my siblings who have advanced degrees, I think at that point while having the degree is a big deal the ceremony really isn't.

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I went to mine, but only because my mom wanted to see it. I would have happily skipped it if I had a say in the matter. So if your daughter is saying it's no big deal, then believe her. But be sure to send a card!

 

It is surprising to me how many of you placed greater importance on your undergrad degrees than your master's degree. I was the opposite. I skipped my high school and undergrad ceremonies. At the time, those were of no real significance to me since I was continuing my education. When I earned my master's degree, I felt like I was truly done, and wanted to celebrate.

 

I know it seems weird, but for me there was a more professional focus when I finished my M.A. My degree was just about moving ahead, I didn't really make a lot of close friends in my program or anything. I think the big thing about college graduation was it was the last time I was going to see so many of my friends in one place.

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I went to mine, but only because my mom wanted to see it. I would have happily skipped it if I had a say in the matter. So if your daughter is saying it's no big deal, then believe her. But be sure to send a card!

 

 

 

I know it seems weird, but for me there was a more professional focus when I finished my M.A. My degree was just about moving ahead, I didn't really make a lot of close friends in my program or anything. I think the big thing about college graduation was it was the last time I was going to see so many of my friends in one place.

 

 

 

 

 

This explanation makes a lot of sense actually. That's what my dd was implying to me but she wasn't clear about it so I wasn't sure what she really wanted. But I think you're right that for her, the M.A. degree was about moving ahead and also that her participating in the ceremony was about not only celebrating her getting the degree but also about seeing so many of her friends in one place.

 

I forgot that her university will have a video feed of the ceremony so I'll be sure to ask about it; and that's a great idea about having a graduation party when she comes home for a visit which will be two months later, and that's when all her siblings will be home too. And yes, it's a good idea to send her a small check and card at her graduation.

 

Now that it makes more sense about the different focus for the M.A. degree than the B.A. degree, I feel that she and I will work it out fine with no hurt feelings or regret. Well, a little as I would rather be able to go and visit w/her and watch her but it's okay, really.

 

I enjoyed hearing your stories about your experiences. Thanks.

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My husband walked through his for the sake of his parents and grandparents. He was the first one of them to finish college, let alone get a masters, so it was a big deal for them. He couldn't care less.

 

Fast forward and his sister didn't walk when she got her Masters, she barely even mentioned it (she ended up graduating earlier than expected). No one seemed to really mind, which surprised me after the fuss they made about dh.

 

If your daughter isn't interested, why doesn't she just skip it?

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My husband went to his - it was important to him, mainly because it was a good thing that happened in the middle of a rough time in his life. They did the big uni. grad ceremony & then the grad students went to their individual department graduations. I think the department graduation was much more important than the big one.

 

When he earns his PhD, I'm sure he'll walk then, too. I think between friends & family he will have quite the cheering section. Now, when is he going to get that started again??

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