I didn’t graduate!

Nathaniel Christopher

Back in 2000 I graduated from high school… or so i thought.

I passed all my courses, had all the right credits, marched up on stage and received a vinyl green folder with a class photo and a certificate of some kind. I assumed it was my diploma. I got the four corner hat with the tassel and the ugly gown.

In late 2001 I applied to universities only to discover that the piece of paper I was given, however, was not my official diploma. In fancy writing, on nice paper, it read “This certifies that Nathaniel Christopher was a member of the Grade 12 class of 1999-2000 at Nanaimo District Secondary”.

My high school graduation ceremony in June 2000. The burly guy behind me with the glasses is Vedran Zupčić. He was a bully.

Although I had finished my classes and participated in the graduation ceremonies in June 2000, I didn’t actually officially graduate until September, 2001. I had to fill out some form and send away for my official diploma.


In B.C. we do these provincial exams at the end of the year and the results aren’t known sometimes until the middle of the summer. So, they just give us the benefit of the doubt and let us “graduate” at the end of the June.

It wasn’t so bad in 2005, however, when I finished my B.A. at Trent. I’m pretty sure the ceremony took place after our final marks came in. So, when they handed us our degree – it was official.

My graduation at Trent University in 2005. That’s Dr. Roberta Bondar handing me a piece of paper (not my degree).

But I guess I’ve reverted to old habits.

Back in April, 2007 I completed a one year post-graduate certificate in journalism from Langara College. Again, I passed all the right coures, but this time around I couldn’t be bothered to attend the convocation ceremony. It would have meant taking a day off work. So, I had my own graduation ceremony at home:

Although I passed everything it turns out I haven’t officially graduated from the program! Oops! You don’t just graduate by finishing courses – you actually have to fill out some form and mail in a $10 cheque.

I just mailed in the form and the cheque, but I won’t get my certificate until May or June when the college board officially approves the graduation.

I will not be attending the ceremonies.

I am a resident of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, who has been blogging here for nearly 25 years. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and feelings on my own online platform. From 1998 until 2017, I worked as a journalist, and I have posted most of my articles in the 'News' section of this website.

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