PSA For Recent HS Grads

You know that piece of paper you received at commencement? It probably came in a hard-covered booklet. What ever you do: DO NOT LOSE IT!

Forget about holding on to your hat, hold on to that piece of paper.
Forget about holding on to your hat, hold on to that piece of paper.

Years ago, I needed a tech license for a job. In order to receive it I had to bring a copy of my high school diploma. This was 24 years after I graduated from high school. I asked if my college diploma would suffice, (because I knew where that was.) The answer was no. It had to be from high school. If I received a college diploma wouldn’t I have had to graduate from high school or received my GED? And if I somehow miraculously completed four years of advanced education without a high school diploma, surely I’d be even more qualified? Between several moves, and a basement that flooded twice in our first home, I feared mine was lost forever. Luckily I found the slightly moldy document packed away in a box.

Recently my daughter needed hers for a part-time summer job. Again, the college transcripts she provided to show pertinent courses she had taken wasn’t enough. It took two searches through plastic bins of photos and memorabilia to find it. Hers was only from 5 years ago. The last she saw it, it was displayed on a table at her graduation party. In an uncharacteristically organized move on my part, I had placed it in a bin with other senior year items so I could eventually make a scrapbook.

So, recent grads, do yourself a favor and keep that document in a safe place, because you never know when someone is going to make you prove you were there. Your pictures from Homecoming and Prom won’t enough.

I am amazed of how much importance is given to a document that I could easily replicate using card stock, a die-cutting machine, a printer and an embossing gun; all supplies leftover from my scrapbook days. Heck any crafty ten-year-old with a computer could do the same. So really what does that piece of paper actually prove? That you showed up and met the minimum requirements to graduate?

Don’t get me wrong. Making it through high school is a major accomplishment. Academic requirements for graduation are more stringent than ever before. And good grades are extremely important if you’re college bound and hoping to get into a good school. Competition is tough, but your official high school transcripts and what’s on them are what get you into college, not the piece of paper that simply says you finished. It’s just crazy that someone would place such importance on a piece of paper when we have almost instant access to electronic records.

See, and you thought your diploma just a nice photo prop!





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