A 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman has been dubbed "a true hero" after reinventing the otherwise boring tradition of high school graduation ceremonies. Tayler Michelle Gray, an aspiring ultrasound tech, landed nearly 80,000 retweets after sharing video from her graduation from Parkland High School in Allentown, Pa. The catch? Gray dipped out immediately after being handed her official diploma.
"I walked out because I got my diploma and there was no reason for me to stay for the rest of it," Gray told BuzzFeed Thursday. "I didn't want to sit with all the people. That's a lot of traffic to sit in after." Amen to that.
Gray, who started a job at a rehabilitation center for seniors in March, insists her prompt and revered exit wasn't intended to be "disrespectful" in any way to fellow students and staff. "There was no reason for me to sit there for the rest of it," Gray said. "If I was being disrespectful, I would've made a scene. I just minded my own business and kept walking."
The fresh grad's fam, who received no warning about Gray's plans for a swift exit, took her to Applebee's to celebrate after the festivities. She says she plans to work as a certified nurse assistant before transferring from Lehigh Carbon Community College to a larger university to study sonography in the near future.
For those ready to hit us with the "well, actually" nonsense about how grads don't usually get their official diplomas during the ceremony, Gray has already offered evidence to the contrary:
Gray also hopes her small act of awesomeness will inspire future generations to do the same: