(NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN)
Graduation quickly becomes a source of stress monetarily for students who are already strapped for cash. (NINA LIN / THE STATESMAN)

As a senior ready to graduate, excitement has quickly been replaced by anxiety and stress. Somehow, without the help of pretty much any advisors, I have gotten here after three and a half years. Being an out-of-state student, I always grumble listening to in-state students complain about the few thousand dollars their tuition is. Hello! Out-of-staters pay around $14,000 per semester. But as per Stony Brook tradition, what would be graduation without another pit for us to throw money into?

We all know how ridiculously marked up the bookstore is. My Five Star notebook cost me $3 at Target. The same thing at the bookstore was $10. Apparently the pages of the notebooks we can buy at school are dusted with gold. Most books cost one-third the price online, and even clickers can be used through an app on cell phones now (which only costs $12 per semester).

But to me, the biggest markup is how much students need to pay for their graduation robes. After the massive financial investment everyone has made, the school still requires you to buy robes if you want to participate in the ceremony. I understand the need to have a uniformed mass of students, all in robes. It is graduation. However, for all the fees and tuition we pay, one would hope that graduation was something the school could cover. Or at least take some of the financial responsibility. Robes cost upwards of $100, and are yours to keep! Well, I personally will never have a use for Stony Brook graduation robes again. And do not forget to purchase your tassel!

I completely want to enjoy and be a part of the ceremonies and festivities; however, it is a good chunk of money going towards something that has no value after a few hours. There needs to be a better solution through the school in making graduation affordable. I find it a bit sad to say, because after trying to make four years affordable, graduation should be one ceremony where family, friends and students can celebrate just that, as well as their academic achievements.

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So rather than quickly spend the money, it is time to start reaching out to graduates from the last two semesters (Remember, we have a new shield, so you need robes with the shield) and borrow! You have three months to find one!

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