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To the class of 2016: A few tips for the big day…

Marianne Caesar
Features Editor

To the soon-to-be-graduates scrambling with their final semester of coursework, here is a thought: it is okay to be scrambling! As the semester winds down, there are only 36 days (no this is not a joke!) remaining until undergraduate and graduate students don their caps and gowns and see the light at the end of the tunnel for college.

As a senior in college, there are a lot of things being considered as the next phase of life begins. For some peers it will be starting the job hunt for employment early on or securing “Job A” while looking for the job of their dreams. Other thoughts include moving into one’s first home with a mortgage or deciding where they might rent after getting their degree. Unavoidable for many is the thought of figuring out how to pay back college loans, or how to defer them if possible.

The graduation cap symbolizes a scary yet exciting future for seniors. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia).
The graduation cap symbolizes a scary yet exciting future for seniors. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia).

It is an intimidating time in life, but a very necessary moment as well. To be able to walk among one’s classmates is not uplifting but it can become the ultimate moment culminating all the hard work over the years at Millersville University. As students are gearing up for their big moment, there are a few things to remember among all the present or last minute assignments being worked on.

International Education Week

It is okay to be scared or to be unsure of one’s exact plan. Many students did not have the definitive major of their dreams chosen when entering college, and now that a major has been chosen, they may not know what to do with it. This is normal, and more often than not there is the thought that “everyone else has a plan and direction.” This is not true, and you are among many trying to figure out the next step of many in your adventures as an adult. The best advice is to keep an open mind and to know you are allowed to make mistakes, as they happen with people of all ages and stages in life.

Many people will try to figure out what jobs they will have now their degree has been completed, and their ultimate goal may not be the first job available. It may not even be second or third. The point is that wherever one ends up, there are always opportunities to showcase your personal skills. Having a degree not only shows that you have knowledge in a given area, but it shows that you can finish something that your started. That alone is a good beginning to a future career.

Students will be celebrating the momentous occasion of their graduations from college soon, with only a few weeks remaining in the Spring semester. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
Students will be celebrating the momentous occasion of their graduations from college soon, with only a few weeks remaining in the Spring semester. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Keep an open mind for paths to employment and know that you may not start off somewhere you want, but getting a foot in the door at an establishment can lead you in directions of advancement. In addition to this, know that you might find something completely unexpected in a job field that you find you enjoy more. It never hurts to expand on one’s knowledge and abilities, and the more experience one has the better they can adapt to newer situations in life.

Personal relationships will change and some will even cease to exist. This is always a fear among peers, especially if there has been a long time relationship in romantic or platonic terms. Just like high school, there will be a whole new group of people with whom you will connect and find similar interests. Much of this will come from your work experience and networking opportunities, so be confident and don’t be afraid to approach new individuals.

Additional notes of interest: Remember that all special needs guests need a ticket for indoor and outdoor ceremonies. All special needs tickets will be available for pickup at the SMC Ticket Office, and are for undergraduate students only. All participants must wear flat-soled shoes for commencement. Shoes with heels are not allowed on the track and field surfaces. To pick up tickets, graduates must present a photo ID. All students will get 3 Rain Plan tickets. In the case that poor weather disrupts an outdoor ceremony, there will be two ceremonies in Pucillo Gymnasium.
A) College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (10 a.m.)
B) College of Education and Human Services with College of Science & Technology (2 p.m.)

Be aware of your deadlines for graduation requirements! Deadlines and dates will become a major part of your jobs so get used to them. Here are the dates for upcoming requirements for graduation:
• April 6, 2016-Ring Sales in University Store Lobby (11-3 p.m.)
• April 8, 2016-last day to order personalized announcements
• April 25, 2016-First day for cap and gown pickup (SMC store)
• April 25-May-Dates for ticket pick up (SMC ticket office), (5/5/16: 3 to 5 p.m. in Pucillo Gym, room 211)
• May 5, 2016-Rehearsal at Pucillo Gymnasium
• May 6, 2016-Graduate Studies and Adult Learning Commencement (6:30 p.m. in Pucillo Gymnasium)
• May 7, 2016-Undergraduate Commencement (10 a.m. at Biemesderfer Stadium)