Senior students plan for fall semester graduation

Megan Moore

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Abbey poses with the Buff sign in her senior photos.

Abbey poses with the Buff sign in her senior photos.

It’s fueled by caffeine, all-nighters, tears, patience and frustration. Quitting is not an option to those who are truly dedicated. It’s this dedication and passion that keeps the drive going. It’s the one thing that has been the goal instilled since kindergardten, college graduation.

 

There’s a slight preview to the way college graduation will feel when the cap and gown is slipped on in high school and one major bench mark is reached. The smile that spreads across a loved one’s face as they gaze at the stage in pride as the final strides to a diploma are made seems like a priceless one. There’s hope for the future as they embrace the idea of college life.

 

“I graduated high school and then started WT in the fall,” Abbey Coufal, senior Advertising and Public Relations and Broadcast Journalism major, said. “My parents both graduated from WT when it was West Texas State, and then my sister came here a few years before me, so I came and visited and just fell in love.”

 

Picking a college is just the first step to the next four years of education. Finding the funding for higher education is next. There are forms to fill out, essays to write and incomes to evaluate to make the dream of college even remotely possible. And then there’s the figuring out where to live part too.

 

“I got financial aid and some scholarships that helped pay for some school,” Darrik Randall, senior Education major, said. “I feel like I missed out on a lot of college, just from never living in the dorms and always having to work two jobs to put myself through college.”

 

After all of this, it’s the first steps onto the college campus that make the experience real and the years leading up to graduation start. And just like that, they are over.

 

“It’s a whole new world,” Jonathan Chapman, senior Business major, said. “Everything’s going to be different. They tell you life starts after high school but it really starts after college. College has made me get out of my shell. I learned to become myself instead of what people think you should be.”

 

“I’ve been having to take everything day by day,” Coufal said. “Everything I thought wasn’t going to happen is going to happen so it’s exciting but also a little scary.”

 

Applications for graduate schools, jobs and fellowships quickly pile up. Unlike high school graduation, college graduation means it’s not about where you will spend the next four years for education. It’s about providing for yourself.

“I was looking for jobs everywhere, looking for anybody that would hire me basically,” Chapman said.

 

The realization sinks in that graduation from college means saying goodbye to easy hang out nights with friends, road trips on three day weekends and being in the same city as those you’ve grown close to, sinks in.

 

“I just hope I don’t grow up too quickly now that school is almost over,” Randall said. “I’ve enjoyed my youth, and I still want to be able to experience some of the same experiences I do now and not just move on to paying more bills and getting old.”

 

The fears of these graduating seniors doesn’t out weigh the excitement that comes with knowing crossing the stage is just a few short weeks away.

 

“It’s been paper after paper, class after class, test after test and tons of sleep deprivation,” Randall said. “But it will all be worth it here toward the end.”

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