As I head into the last full semester of my college career (I will still have one class to take during the spring semester), I am rested, relaxed, and ready to attack my full course load with every ounce of energy I can muster.
I feel excited and thrilled with the prospect of graduating, yet I am nervous and terrified of what will lie ahead of me.
I have been waiting for this moment since I received my high school diploma in 2006. By the time I receive my degree in August, I will have attended college for six years. During those six years, I have been to the bottom and climbed back to the top.
Now, as I’m finally starting to feel comfortable with my college career, I’m almost done. While I feel ready to begin my life as a full-fledged adult, there is a part of me that’s not quite ready to let go just yet.
SVSU has become just as much a home to me as the one I actually live in. I admit that I was reluctant to attend SVSU simply because it is located in Saginaw, the city in which I was born and raised. I craved excitement and more importantly, a new town.
Reflecting back on my initial feelings about the University, however, I realize that I do not regret my decision to study within my hometown.
Our campus is one of the most beautiful that I have seen, and I have visited quite a few campuses around Michigan. I also enjoy that the class sizes are relatively small, therefore creating a more hands-on learning environment for students.
And, if it were not for these small class sizes, I may not have had as many of the opportunities that I’ve had here at SVSU at a bigger university. I consider myself lucky to be where I am today.
I’m already starting to climb the career ladder before I’ve even received my degree. The realization of this brings me to my ultimate fear, however: Will I keep climbing the ladder after I graduate?
The need to succeed has always been my most motivating factor in life, and the fear of failure has always been my worst fear. I measure success by how well I can provide for myself and my family, as well as the amount of enjoyment I receive from my career.
My goal is to become an editor of some sort, preferably a copy editor. I enjoy correcting grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and I find that I’m quite good at it.
But will I ever really reach my goals? Can I fulfill my expectations of myself, or am I raising the bar too high?
I’ve decided that instead of worrying myself and needlessly stressing myself out, I need to take action to ensure a head start to my future. I’ve begun to build my professional references list, and I plan to begin my official portfolio for potential employers after this semester.
I’m also currently freelance writing for Great Lakes Bay Magazine, gaining plenty of experience as I build my résumé.
This is the best advice that I can give to college freshmen and sophomores as they figure out what it is they want to do with their lives: gain as much experience in any given field as possible.
Students can take an internship, job shadow, perform freelance work, gain professional references and build their résumés. Join a club or organization on campus such as the Valley Vanguard.
That is what I chose to do and I have no regrets. I have had so many opportunities arise just from deciding to become a staff writer for the Vanguard, including the opportunity to become the Vanguard’s copy editor.
It may seem that most jobs in today’s society require experience, but students often wonder how they are to obtain experience when few employers will hire entry-level graduates.
This is where internships and freelance work will come in handy. Students can gain on-the-job training before receiving their degrees so that they are able to land one of these jobs upon graduation.
This is what I’m hoping to do, and while it’s not guaranteed, the experience should definitely help.
These valuable pieces of advice I just gave are ones that have previously been given to me. I listened to this advice, and I can say that I’m proud of who I am and where I am today.
I think that I may be more ready to enter my adult life than I initially thought. I have experience, I have references, and I have the confidence in myself to succeed.
I just need to stop for a moment, take a deep breath and let the rest fall into place.