Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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Fuel your ambition: Stryke connects students and professionals in a new way to network
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A recent Southern Illinois University graduate has created an app in hopes of strengthening professional networking relationships. Stryke, a...

Seniors feel the stress as graduation approaches

Day Starr-Fleming | DaySF-Facebook

As graduation approaches, college seniors start to prepare for their next steps. Whether they decide to join the workforce or continue their education, graduates have to get ready mentally for life after college. 


“Looking upon graduation, I’m feeling positive about it,” SIU senior Brady Clark said. “The only negative thing I feel bad about is definitely the experiences that I’ve had here and the friendships that I’ve made and that’s what I’m going to miss the most and I wish I could carry them forever. But, you know, all good things have to come to an end at some point.” 



Adjusting to the big change after college can be difficult for graduates. Leaving behind their friends and school can be challenging. 


“To be honest, I wasn’t really ready to graduate. I’m definitely am going to miss the people more than anything. I will miss my friends that I’ve made here but friends are always there no matter what, wherever you go,” Clark said.


Walking across the stage and receiving a college diploma is a huge accomplishment. Some  students, however, can be self-conscious about receiving honors awards and being top of their class.



SIU Senior Kaylie Vallette said, “I do have some anxious feelings about graduation because I want to be on the honor roll and have the certain cords and banners on me. I feel like seeing other people having those and I don’t get that it’s kinda upsetting. But, no matter what, I’m still going to have the mentality of, I’m graduating.”


Graduates who choose to continue their education by going onto vet school, law school, medical school or graduate school can still feel stressed and nervous. To further their education after college, graduates must go through interviews and testing to be accepted. 


 “My plan after graduation is to continue my education at Illinois, where I will be getting my DVM which is Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. So, I can become a practitioner to work with animals and I plan on doing a mixed animal practice of livestock, cats and dogs,” Clark said.


Choosing to further your education after college can be a difficult decision. Some graduates are burnt out after completing four years of schooling. Factors such as price, location and the application process can deter students from choosing to continue their education. 


“My process of getting accepted into U of I vet school started about a year ago. Today the application process cycle is about a year long. You thought a full application process of stuff you start in high school animal experience, volunteering experience, non-animal experiences and all your transcripts, science GPA’s and everything involved in it. It also involved a personal essay and letters of recommendation,” Clark said.


Though it can bring anxiousness and worry when thinking about everything that comes after, many students apply for internships to give them a better understanding of what their future plans could be.


“I got an internship for therapy for horses in Oklahoma. I was hoping to have that as my set goal of what I want to do. I feel like if I get that experience of what I came to school here for, I will get a better grip of what I want to do career wise and go from there,” Vallette said.


Some students have a general idea of what they want to do after college because of previous job experiences. 


“My plan after graduation is to work for General Motors as a controls engineer at the Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant making SUVs. I’ll be working with PLCs, robots, and other automation equipment to ensure cars are made accurately and safely,” said SIU senior Nathan Baron.


The process of applying to get a job looks different for every graduate. A great way to get more exposure to companies is by networking through the school and the community.


“The process of getting my job involved applying online in the fall and then applying for a similar position during winter. Also, I met a guy at church to who worked for GM, and he was able to send an email to a few people he knew within the company to help refer me to the right people to get my application looked at. I got an interview about a month after that and after one interview I was offered the job,” Baron said.


Some students can find it hard to leave behind the friends and connections that they have made in college. But there are many opportunities to visit friends left behind such as Homecoming weekend and other SIU special events. 


“I have been going to school nonstop each semester including the summer, since graduating high school, so I am ready to take a break from school and just work. I’m looking forward to moving to a new place that I haven’t been before and I know that I can come back to Carbondale whenever I want to if I have the time, since I have met so many great people there,” Baron said.


Even though graduating can be a nerve-wracking experience, it is a step towards the next phase of students’ lives. There are multiple opportunities that are available to recent college graduates. Learning how to live after college can be an adjustment but some students are ready for the new experience. 


“One other thing is that I’m excited to live on my own and learn about all the things that come with being an adult like cooking, balancing work and life, and having time to spend with friends and to do things I like,” Baron said.


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