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Seniors reflect on graduation and their futures
Dr. Seuss once said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”
And as the spring semester comes to a close, seniors are getting ready to decide what they will make of their future, and where it will lead them.
“After four years, I am ready to transcend into the next big change in my life,” said senior Shannon Sousa. “I want to further my education and experience the field of journalism.”
Other students are also ready to move onto life beyond Quinnipiac, with specific goals in mind.
“I am so excited to enter the real world, where I will be making money, having a job, and meeting new people,” said Alli Keller, a mass communications major. “After graduation, I look forward to becoming a successful news reporter, [having a] family, and everything else that is great in life!”
However, along with the enthusiasm of graduating comes anxiety about the professional world.
“I really just want to find my own place away from CT, and keep my fingers crossed on finding a decent job,” said senior Mike Schoeck, a mass communications major. “With the job state and all, I’m pretty flexible.”
While the fear of not being able to find an acceptable job can be understood, there are some recent Quinnipiac graduates, who are not crossing many obstacles in terms of careers.
“I just took my boards for OT and am awaiting my results – but in the meantime I had two recent interviews and there are three more coming up,” said 2002 graduate Courtney Rissman, an occupational therapy major. “It seems like I have a lot of options, and I think that both the skills that Q.U. gave me for occupational therapy and my proactive job searching are why I am having good luck getting interviews.”
John Rian, an information systems major and also a 2002 graduate of Quinnipiac, had some input to offer about post-graduation.
“The thing I’ve learned is, coming right out of college, you have to take your lumps in order to get where you want later in life, no matter what you decide to do. You also find out what direction you actually might go in,” said Rian. “Ultimately, I’ve learned that you still keep learning, except now the “real world” is your college and every day is a new class.”
Rian has also returned to Quinnipiac for graduate studies, as a means of securing a Masters in business administration. He had this advice to give about entering into the world beyond New Road and Whitney Ave: “The “real world” isn’t as bad as everyone thought. I like the fact that I go to work everyday, and punch out, and leave it all behind at the end of the workday,” said Rian. “I have the entire rest of the afternoon and night to myself to do what I want. I still miss the memories and stuff that went on [at Quinnipiac], and I’m very thankful of that, but now I have a whole new part of my life to live, and there’s no sense in living in the past.”
Along with finding a job, leaving friends and memories behind are also concerns many students are being faced with as their final weeks of college approach.
“I kind of have mixed feelings about my final semester at Q.U. I’m excited to be done with school, and to get out into the real world, and to be on my own, but at the same time I’m sad to leave behind all of the great friends I’ve made here,” said senior Erica Morrison, a transfer student to Quinnipiac. “I transferred here last year, and I was made to feel at home the minute I got here, and I will miss that.”
Similarly, Sousa will be reminiscent of the ties she has made at the university.
“I am definitely going to miss the faculty and staff, as well as my closest friends at Quinnipiac,” said Sousa. “I have been really lucky to develop close relationships with some interesting people on this campus, and that, to me, is a blessing.”
In addition, many seniors will remember their experiences with the student organizations.
Schoeck is one such senior. Throughout his four years at Quinnipiac, he has participated in the jazz band, WQAQ, the pep band and The Chronicle.
“I will miss having the leisure to join whatever group or club I wanted that was linked to my major,” said Schoeck. “The clubs provided a good way to be active and meet people.”
Similarly, Keller feels that to truly embrace the college experience, students should get involved and take advantage of all that the university has to offer, “Make the most out of being in college; not everyone has this wonderful opportunity that we do here at Quinnipiac.”
Whether seniors are excited, scared, or a little of both, there are certain images of Quinnipiac that will be remembered by much of the graduating class.
“I am going to miss the beautiful campus and the atmosphere,” said Sousa. “I will miss the people talking on the benches in the quad, eating lunch with my friends in cafe, and listening to the bells ringing from the clock tower. Those images will always be with me.”