By Jillian Fellows:
Oh, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when May rolls around and undergraduate seniors are counting down the days—or minutes—until their graduation. Commencement is just around the corner for many eager young adults ready to start the next chapter of their lives.
Around 500 students will graduate from Assumption College this Sunday. All having battled through four years of stress, tests, internships, and hard work to finally get a diploma.
Graduation comes with a mix of emotions for many seniors. They are both happy and excited to earn a degree, but anxious about the future.
“Do I wanna leave? Not really.” says Lindsey Hajjar, an Assumption senior from North Andover, Mass. She will be among the students graduating this Sunday. She will have a degree in History with a minor in education and psychology.
School won’t end for Hajjar, who plans to attend a graduate certificate program at Simmons College. The Orton-Gillingham program is designed to help children with reading issues like dyslexia . “I want to go back and get my masters in special-ed and early childhood education,” says Hajjar.
Hajjar, like many college students, changed her mind about a career a few times during her time as an undergrad. The 21-year-old discovered her passion for early childhood education after already being enrolled at Assumption, who does not offer this specific education track. “I sort of wish I knew coming into Assumption that I wanted to do early childhood, because I probably wouldn’t have come here,” says Hajjar. “So that’s kind of hard.”
“It’s one of those hard things,” says the senior, as she makes her last-minute appointments to tutor history in the Academic Support Center at Assumption. “Like, do you really regret it? Or is that just kind of how life goes?”
Despite her struggle to find the right career path, Hajjar found the support she needed through her friends and family. She’s also credits some amazing professors along the way, like her adviser, Professor De Suza, who teaches in the education department. “I have a great support system.”
Another 2018 graduate, Casey Elms, seems like she’s got it all figured out. The organizational communications major and graphic design minor has been the producer of Assumption College Television (ACTV) for the last two years.
But Elms never even pictures herself running a TV program before college. “I wanted to be an event planner,” says Elms, thinking back to her freshman year at college. “I wanted to a nurse in high school.”
After being introduced to ACTV during her sophomore year, Elms was hooked on filming, producing, and editing for the show. She was so dedicated she became the president of the club in her junior year. “It’s my child,” says Elms, who often spends late nights in the Media Center, editing content for the next show.
Elms has been eagerly applying to jobs throughout her last couple months as an undergraduate, and scored an upcoming interview as a videographer and sales associate with a premier company.
But getting a job in this field isn’t going to be easy for the 22-year-old. “I got the interview from a friend of a friend of a friend,” says Elms.
Elms is not alone in her struggles. Graduation comes with relief but also fear for the thousands of recent grads competing for the same jobs in these competitive markets. In fact, around 1.9 million people will receive an undergraduate degree in 2018. https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372
“Buy them a coffee,” Elms suggests to stand out from the crowd. “Treat every conversation like an interview.”
Here is a twitter poll about the emotions graduates will feel.
The two seniors have advice to underclassmen who are struggling with some of the same things they did. “Take as many opportunities as you can, as cliché as that sounds,” says Hajjar. “Just get out of your comfort zone.”
“Follow your gut. If you think you wanna do something, do it,” Elms says. She also suggests having a background in marketing, which has helped her tremendously in her current job search. “Take a marketing class, or do a minor in marketing,” she suggests.
So, as these new graduates receive their diplomas on Sunday, it is important to know just how challenging college can be. “I still don’t know who I am,” says Elms. “But I feel a lot more confident about myself now then I did four years ago.”