Graduation is finally upon us, and as someone who is finally walking that stage this coming May, I can honestly say that the stress, anxiety, and excitement is hitting at full force. I feel that I can speak for the graduating class when I say that this moment, the moment we walk across that never-ending platform and get handed our diploma, will be one of the most fulfilling moments in our lives. We all began school at the young age of four or five, continued onto elementary school, then middle school, and eventually high school. And, finally after years of being told that you had to study hard so you can go to good college and make something of yourself, you finally did. We have spent twenty plus years working towards receiving this diploma that our parents, society, and even ourselves, felt that we needed to succeed. Now, in less than three weeks, we will finally have accomplished this lengthy quest, but…then what?
Everyone asks you, “What are your plans for after graduation? Do you plan on traveling? Do you have any jobs lined up? Are you excited?” And after the hundredth time of being asked the same thing, you almost want to scream “I DON’T KNOW! LET ME BE!” but you quietly refrain and answer nicely. Now some people may actually know the answer to all those questions, and others, like myself, may have absolutely no idea. Regardless, we are all about to be thrown into the “real” world and live adult lives. No more school (unless you are choosing to go to grad school right away), no more designed schedules, no more syllabus, no more role call, no more finals, no more of anything in the realm of what we have been so accustomed to doing every year. We are done. It is now time for us to shape our own futures. We have to get jobs, move out, be independent, start investing in our 401k, and all that grown up stuff. I think we are all ready to do these things, the hardest part is just figuring out where to start.
I believe, and I’m sure most will agree with me, that the most stressful part about graduating is trying to find a job in the field in which you studied. To find a job that pays well, offers benefits, and security. You hear horror stories of people not finding jobs for a long time after graduation, and if they do they’re not in their field. You also hear stories of people who already have jobs lines up before graduation in their preferred line of work. It truly is all about luck, and who you know. Which I believe NDNU did a great job of setting up students with professors who have helped them find internships, as well as job opportunities, in their fields. But, there are instances where this isn’t the case for some students, some departments aren’t as strong as others when it comes to helping set up students with life after graduation.
“I am ready and happy for the next chapter in my life. I feel confident about what’s to come next. I just have to find what I’m really good at and stay focused on becoming even better. And, regarding NDNU helping set up students with internships and work in their designated fields, I personally had great experiences with this. I had professors help me find great internships and jobs, as well as set me up with people that will connect me with more job opportunities after graduation. That being said, I feel that other students that aren’t communications or business majors don’t get offered the resources we do. Which is a bummer because then they don’t get the same opportunities and help they need in order to succeed,” said senior Brandon Davis.
For those going onto grad school, the hardest part will be dealing with learning incredibly advanced information, working on your dissertation, all while balancing a job and bills. The road after graduation will not be “easy” for anyone regardless of if you already have a job lined up for you after May, or if you are financially unbothered and just ready to go onto post-grad. This is going to be another adventure full of life lessons, ups and down, memories and hopefully, success.
“I have a bunch of emotions going through my mind thinking about graduations, but I am excited. Closing one door and opening another. This time next year nothing will be the same, so I am living in the moment and being thankful for all that I have, where I am and how far I’ve come,” stated senior Angelica Perales.