On Saturday, May 14, the University of Arkansas will hold its Commencement. This is a day some students have hoped for since their first day of college, and others have dreaded. Graduation is a momentous occasion that will lead students to their next phase in life. I sat down with a few students who will be graduating from the U of A this Saturday to get their perspective on the event.
1. What did you study while you were at the University?
J: I’m getting my Masters in Agricultural Economics.
2. What are you feeling as you approach graduation from the University of Arkansas?
L: Relieved to be done with studying and class. Sad to be leaving the people and certainty that was here.
J: Excitement. I’m excited to start in a new career. I left work to enter grad school. And now I’m ready to get back into the workforce and earn money.
3. What are your plans for the future?
L: A job in little rock
J: Finalize my research on carbon-labeling. I want to start a career in Agricultural Economics, Ag. Business, or development work with USDA.
4. What was your favorite thing about your time at the University of Arkansas?
L: My living situation and roommates, and having free time!
J: Being in school is more preferable than the workforce, when you take money out of the equation, because you’re surrounded by people who’ve made the same decisions and have the same goals. I’ll miss being around people who are interested in the same things I am.
5. Do you have any advice for the students coming up behind you?
L: Working during school was a great thing for me. I would advise other students, if they can handle it, to get a job so they can gain work experience before graduation.
J: My dad always said, don’t worry about the party. The party will always be there. Get your grades. You’ll enjoy life a lot more once you have an education and income.
6. If you were to give the commencement speech at your graduation ceremony, what advice would you be sure to share with your peers?
L: Life is bigger than academics and employment. Find things and people outside of that that you love.
J: Research shows that 20-somethings seem to believe their future will not be as good as their parents. No matter what the circumstances are, don’t lose hope. Keep a positive attitude going into the workforce. Remain positive, keep trying, and something will pay off. Hope and a positive attitude will go far, and will show in a job interview.
Click here for more information about times and locations for the University of Arkansas Commencement, Saturday, May 14.
Now it’s your turn, reader. What advice would you give to the graduates of 2011?