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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Graduation – a time to start life

    Once we reach a certain age, we all realize there’s not a whole lot of time to sit around without a plan.

    We’ve got to keep moving forward. As of now, graduating seniors are motivated each day to walk this May – but what next? School is coming to an end for them, and they will no longer lead the lives of leisured college students.

    Instead of overlooking the inevitable, seniors should look forward to the future and start making plans for career advancement. As ideal as college life seems, being an indecisive college student gets old quick, and the strongest way for someone to become a real adult is to put his degree to good use and to start looking for a job.

    Because college is becoming pricier each year, it’s not unusual or unreasonable for students to want to start making money, and plunging right into the work force is the best way to start feeling better about all that time and money invested in education – and give graduates the chance to mature as they start the life they have been waiting to lead. Tyrone Fong, a senior majoring in science education, will follow this path come May, a wise choice since he wants to teach and can start soon.

    “”The job prospects look very good for me with a teaching position,”” Tyrone said of his opportunities.

    For those going into other fields, however, it’s easy to succumb to the general concern that “”no one wants to hire someone straight out of college”” – but with strong persistence and drive, recent graduates can start somewhere in their profession soon after they receive their degrees. According to, 60 percent of top-500 entry-level employers planned to hire more college grads in 2007 than they had in 2006, demonstrating an increasing demand for fresh-out-of-college graduates. Basing decisions on the accepted belief that professional jobs are impossible to find for recent graduates is nothing more than a defeatist attitude that only delays career advancement.

    Another popular worry is that specific career paths amount to nothing without pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate, so students continue attending school long after they receive a bachelor’s degree.

    Blake Rebling, a senior majoring in economics and political science, has pushed himself through college and is not putting his education on hold anytime soon. His reasoning?

    “”I do not intend to try to work immediately after I graduate,”” Rebling said, “”but I hope to go on immediately to law school – hopefully with an MBA as well – at the UA. I think this is the strongest option for me.””

    More advanced degrees are obviously necessary for careers in medicine, law, dentistry and the like, but there’s more to getting a feel for a job than a classroom environment can provide. Earning a higher degree will surely better the graduate’s chances of making more money some day, but what good would it really do to start a job and decide it was the wrong career to begin with?

    There’s also the allure of a yearlong break. Tahlia Bragg, a psychology senior, put aside her immediate grad school plans to teach in Spain for a year instead.

    “”I don’t want to work for too long (before or during grad school) because I might not think that my doctorate is worth it and it is. I just need to rest,”” she said.

    The idea of traveling abroad to wind down for a year is an idealistic way to recharge and mellow down before life becomes completely serious for good, but very few people have the financial means to do that at all, let alone once they graduate. It may not even be the right option for those who can afford to take a year off – plenty of students put careers above all else, and carefully consider the price of a year of work with little to show but a piece of paper and a list of soul-searching results.

    Everyone has their own reasons for waiting to work, but there’s something to be said about the broad range of skills one can gather by plunging straight into the work force as soon as one’s bachelor’s degree is out of the way. If adapting to a professional environment isn’t enough of a learning experience, deciding if your chosen profession is the right one is. There is nothing like experiencing what you believe you want to show you if it’s really worth spending the rest of your life pursuing.

    Laura Donovan is a creative writing sophomore. She can be reached at

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