By Nicole Stewart Staff Reporter
In mid-May, seniors will be marching across the stage receiving their diplomas for their hard work and then venturing off into post-college life. With this major change, UMF professors shared their advice to the class of 2018 on how to handle the ‘now what’ process students face.
Professor of Political Science, James Melcher, was excited to share his thoughts on what students should do after graduation. “Don’t feel like you’ve gotta have your career figured out the minute you walk off the stage. A lot of people today are going to work a lot of different jobs,” said Melcher. “Be flexible, explore and enjoy, take advantage, if you’re in that position of not being tied down. If you ever thought about wanting to travel, it’s easier to do now.”
Professor Melcher believes that students should savor the moment and not rush into everything at once. “Think about what you’re grateful for. That you went to school here, for the people that you met, for the things that you learned, for the experiences that you made. Even the bad experiences, maybe some of the bad experiences made you stronger, made you tougher, made you learn something.”
Assistant Professor of English, Misty Krueger, weighed in on what she wants students to know before leaving UMF. “I want them to know that they can always come back and talk to us,” said Krueger. “We don’t forget you, we care about you, and we’re ready to write you letters of recommendation, help you find jobs, and be there for you.”
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Nicole Kellett, believes that seniors should not be afraid to put themselves out there in the world after UMF and expand their horizons. “Try something different; try something new and maybe have a little time to chill out too,” said Kellett. “You’ve been working so hard for four or more years; have some time to maybe do something, explore different things that you’ve always wanted to explore.”
While graduation is a fun celebration, Professor Melcher expressed the grief he has after the event. “It’s really exciting, everybody’s all fired up and they’re all going off to have their parties and then I’m realizing, ‘Oh my God, all these seniors I really, really liked are going to be gone. How am I ever going to replace them?’” said Melcher.
All three professors urged that it is okay for seniors to not know what they’re doing after graduation, but to try to experience as much as they can. They noted that graduating is a new experience and it can be scary but UMF will always be here for seniors.
“It’s normal to be scared, but hopefully they [the students] had a lot of preparation here for going out into the world,” said Kellett. “Life definitely does not stop at UMF. There’s so much more out there. Look at this as a building block for many other opportunities down the road.”