Do You Have to Go to Graduation to Graduate High School?

A high school graduation about to conclude.

Remember the day you started as a first-year high school student? I remember how excited I was about entering another stage of my life. So much so that I didn’t really notice how fast time flew until it was a month before graduation. 

Then, it really hit me. I realized, no matter how much you complain about the amount of school work you have, you will still dread the day when you have to leave it all behind. So much happens in high school graduation.

While most choose to attend the graduation ceremony, you may be one of the few who asks the question, “Do you have to go to graduation to graduate high school?” 

Can You Skip Your Graduation Ceremony?

A commencement ceremony is just like a formality to declare you as a graduate and hand you your well-earned high school diploma. But if you worry that you might not receive your certificate if you choose to skip the ceremony, you’re stressing over nothing.

Your high school graduation does not affect your grades and the credits you earned throughout the school years. If you choose to miss the ceremony, you can just pick up your diploma at your school’s main office. Or your school could mail your proof of successful completion. 

Graduation Requirements

Grade School

To be eligible for promotion for each grade and even for your grade school diploma, you should perform well on the District-Wide assessment (DWA) and in your final report card grades.

However, if you failed to meet the criteria required, you will have to attend and complete a summer program that serves as a second chance for you to stay on track and prepare for your high school transition. 

High School

This is an ongoing high school class with the students paying attention to the teacher.

As a high school student, you must pass 21 or 22 units of classes to receive your proof of high school education.

The standard credit requirement for you to graduate high school is four credits of English, three credits in Math and Science, one credit in Social Studies involving U.S. History, one credit on any social studies subject, and nine credits of any elective.

And some colleges require two years of foreign language and other extra years for different subjects before they admit you to the school. Some schools require you to pass all the required classes, while others just need you to have a minimum grade point average (GPA). 


Understandably, you can get different degrees out of college: associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree. To graduate college, you must earn credits to deem you a graduate of a certain degree.

You need 60 credits or 20 courses for an associate’s degree, 120 credits or 40 courses for a bachelor’s degree, and most master’s degrees require you 30–60 credits. But some requirements for a master’s degree vary depending on your field of study. 

Why You Should Attend Your Graduation

Some students deliberately decide not to attend graduation, probably because they will already be in university, or they’re working, moving, or going on a trip. Or maybe they just don’t want to. 

But some people may spend extra time and effort to convince you to go as you close one of the most significant chapters of your life. Here’s why you would not want to miss your high school graduation ceremony.

A close look at young student celebrating their graduation.

It’s a one-time thing

Your graduation, may it be high school or college, will be a significant event in your life. It also signifies a symbol of transition, progression, and newness. And you only graduate high school once. 

It may be the last of many things

It’s where you experience a lot of stuff for the last time. Your graduation may be the last time you see some peers you have spent the last few years with. A few of your friends may even journey on to a new school or a new country.

Attending your graduation gives you extra time to spend with your friends, no matter how dragging you think the ceremony can be. 

It’s worth celebrating

School indeed can be stressful and demanding. And for you to surpass all the challenges that went your way, it’s worth celebrating. Indeed, you must feel so proud of yourself for graduating.

And as you look back on the moments, you realize how it was all worth it in the end. But you are not the only one. Your graduation is for your friends, family, and all those who love you. They have been on the journey with you, knowing how much effort you’ve put in.

This day is for them, too. They get to celebrate with you and just bask in the moment of how much they are proud and happy for you. 

It’s a picture-perfect moment

On the day of your graduation, you are the star. Everybody takes pictures of you as you march, get your diploma, and strike a pose. And with every click of the camera, memory is kept.

And one day, you will look back on your memories, probably on your next get-together, and reminisce the good times you had. 

It’s a chance to give thanks

Your graduation day is one day where almost everyone who took part in your journey will be present. From your teachers to other non-teaching staff, you can express your gratitude for the little things they’ve contributed to your success.

Some people may have helped you more than others, and the ceremony is the perfect time to say some kind words to them. 


A graduate of batch 2020 wearing her mask with the graduation gown.

It was not a smooth and easy ride to the end of the line. And now that you have reached a point where you’re closing a chapter in your life, maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to sit through a few hours of the ceremony.

You have your friends and family with you, just like you have in the last few years. And it’s worth celebrating this important moment in your life with the people you love.

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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