Seniors prepare for graduation and post-collegiate life

All the late nights spent in the library devoted to writing papers and studying for exams are over now.

You did it. You made it through college.

There is an undoubtedly enormous emphasis on a student’s senior year of college: a sense of pride that against all odds you made it to the finish line.

“Being able to walk across the stage after 16 pulse years of education feels good,” said senior Phillip Smith.

“Graduating is one of the best feelings in the world, especially being one of the first males in my family to do it,” said senior Nicholas Mearite. “The stereotype that black males are not smart and can’t finish college just pushed me to go harder and prove those people wrong.”

Graduating from college is both exciting and terrifying, as students must make plans for their future.

“It feels good to be a senior, and it definitely feels good to have a plan after college,” said senior Kevin Tiller. “I’m not nervous about graduation or life after school because I have been preparing for this. I’m definitely blessed to be continuing my education at Virginia Commonwealth University”

College seniors without preparation for the “real world” are much like deer in headlights. They are aware that life after school is much different from college life, but the fear of the unknown is terrifying.

“It feels good to be a senior, but it’s bitter sweet,” said Wayne Marsh. “It’s good that I’m graduating, but I’m nervous. It’s a change from what I’m used to.”

With the economy doing poorly, it’s almost mandatory to have a college degree in order to get a good job. Although, a diploma won’t necessarily guarantee a job for students after they graduate.

To improve their chances of employment, many students continue on to graduate school to refine their skills.

Regardless of the pride and sense of accomplishment you get from your diploma, it is essential that college graduates ask themselves the inevitable question: “what do I do next?”

“Senior year of college is one of the most important times of your life,” said senior Lawrence Blake. “We always say how we have all our lives to do whatever we want to do, to be whatever we want to be, but it isn’t always good to look at it that way.

“If you look at it from that perspective you will not be prepared for the real world. I believe I took advantage of my senior year, and I made some job connections, which can guarantee a better future for me right after college.”

This is a key point: job connections.

Seniors don’t necessarily have to continue on to graduate school immediately after graduation in order to be prepared for the “real world.” Making valuable connections is another great way to prepare for the future.

There is no right or wrong plan to guarantee success after graduation, but it is very important for seniors to have one. Graduating from college is just a stepping-stone. The real work comes from finding a job in your profession and excelling at it.