‘Grad’s Guide’ gives advice to graduating seniors

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‘Grad’s Guide’ gives advice to graduating seniors

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The hustle and bustle can be felt in the hallways all across campus as the final weeks of the semester are winding down to a finish. In a mere 24 days, the graduating class of 2015 will be walking across the stage at graduation commencement ceremonies to obtain degrees they have been working on over the past few years.


Students are wrapping up projects, working on papers and preparing for final exams that quickly approach. But in addition to this, senior students also have to make plans for life after graduation.


The Alumni Association at West Texas A&M University aimed to help students with this planning by hosting an event titled “A Grad’s Guide to Life” on April 20. Students were encouraged to register for the event beforehand since there was limited seating available.


“In the past, the Alumni Association hasn’t done a lot with current students and we are looking to change that,” Amber Bustos, Alumni Association intern, said in an interview with KWTS. “We kind of talked to some people who had already graduated and asked them ‘What’s some things you wish you had before you graduated? What are some things you wish you knew?’ This is kind of the feedback they gave us.”


Senior students were provided with a free lunch and could attend several sessions with topics that included personal finance, retirement, insurance, home buying, social media skills and how to market yourself, leisure skills, dress code, travel.

“It was cool because I heard about it, and it was one of the first times I had really heard about something for people leaving college that wasn’t just specific to a job fair,” Lance Lomax, senior English major, said.


Sessions were hosted by WT alumni who are working in their chosen career fields or working through a graduate program. Lomax has recently applied for graduate school at WT and awaits his admissions notices. His plan is to enter into the graduate program right after completing his undergraduate studies so he doesn’t have to take a break from school.


“I found what I wanted to study when I became an English major and that was about half way through,” Lomax said. “That’s when I started taking more of the classes I was interested in and doing the kind of work that I like.”


Lomax works while attending college and said that the hardest part of his undergraduate studies was balancing life, school, work and trying to get everything in sync.


“You have to figure out sooner what it is you care about, but not exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life,” Lomax said. “Try to find something that you want to make a priority so you don’t just put it off. It’s easier when you start working and you think, ‘Oh, i’m making money, I can miss class or I can do this,’ so find what you’re interested in and really start pursuing it.”


In other instances, students don’t hope to pursue graduate studies and instead hope to go straight into the work force upon graduation. Robert Duenes, senior Electronic Media major, is still working out his plans, but intends to work as a DJ in cities such as Dallas and Austin.


“I don’t have a plan and that’s the scary part,” Duenes said. “But I’m working on one. I’ve been in school for so long on and off that I really at one point didn’t think I’d ever make it to this point, so I think to just be able to say that I accomplished my goal to graduate is probably the most satisfying.”


Duenes has been in college level courses on and off since his high school graduation in 2002.


“If I had my choice I would have never gone back to school. I did it for my mom,” Duenes said. “She really wanted me to graduate.”


Duenes will be fulfilling his mom’s wishes in May alongside his older brother, David. The two brothers will be the first in their family to graduate from college.