Recently it was announced that this year's graduation will be taking place at Sharp Stadium. Eastside High School's graduation will be taking place on Friday, May 25at 7 p.m. Alcovy and Newton graduations will be taking place the following day.
Being a high school senior, I have thought long and hard about whether or not I would be satisfied with my school's graduation taking place at Sharp Stadium. Where graduation is going to be held has been a community topic since it was announced that the Church in the Now, where graduation used to be held, was going into foreclosure. Now that the decision has been made, I can't help but feel disappointed.
For one, my fear is that this wonderful, dignified ceremony I'm supposed to remember the rest of my life will be nothing but a tailgate party. Although I have no doubt that the administrators and staff will be able to hold down the roof, I know that some people will still not follow the rules and will bring air horns, silly string, megaphones, and other garbage since graduation will be an outside event, making it easier for someone to sneak something in. I am not trying to be a kill joy, but am I wrong if I want my graduation day to be filled with nothing but amazing memories instead of a bunch of people making fools of themselves?
Another thing I worry about is the amount of seating Sharp Stadium will be able to provide. Apparently graduates will get more tickets, which will be fantastic for larger families. I am told by reliable sources that the stadium will be able to hold 4,100 people. That's more than the Church in the Now, but I am still a little skeptical. At the Newton-Eastside football games the stands are filled to the limit and the over-flow section is nearly filled as well. Most people end up sitting outside the gates and tailgate during the entire game instead of coming inside and dealing with the massive crowds.
The second thing I worry about is photo opportunities. While the field offers a wonderful backdrop for pictures taken during the ceremony, I fear that afterwards when graduates want to get together with their friends and families to take pictures, finding space will be difficult. Most of the Sharp parking lot will be full along with other surrounding areas. Everyone will be hoping not to get ran over by people trying to get out of the area before all of the horrific traffic begins. There will be little time for the seniors to be able to say goodbye to their classmates and mentors they have grown up with and this makes me extremely sad.
I am also worried about the weather. We didn't even have a real winter this year; think about how hot the summer is going to be if we have 60 degree temperatures in the middle of winter. I feel sorry for the poor guys who have to wear not only a hot, itchy graduation robe but a long-sleeved collared shirt as well. Then if it rains, how horrendous will that be? Graduations will be delayed until the following day or days if the rain continues. How disappointing will that be?
"Everyone should pray for no rain," Superintendent Gary Mathews said. Yes, Dr. Mathews, I defiantly agree with you on that one.
Don't get me wrong, I hope and pray that graduation is a day that all of us remember this year. I have confidence, but I'm still nervous. Other schools have had their graduations at their home fields go off without a hitch, but others have had problems. Social Circle's graduation was almost rained out a couple of years ago.
Let us not only pray for no rain, but also for no problems as well. We graduates have worked hard for this day and deserve a ceremony that represents that and rewards us for the hard work and long nights it took us to get to this point.