Filling the postgraduate void

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University seniors across the nation are coming up on their final weeks of their undergraduate career. Some are excited to receive their degree, which others are stressed about their futures. Many graduating seniors feel a mix of both.

At Boise State University, students like Kaitlynn Austin, senior media arts major, are ready to let their caps fly. After a few long years of undergraduate studies, Austin is excited for the refreshing opportunities that she believes lie ahead.

“I’m excited for the new responsibility, and I’m excited to get out into the real world and face it,” Austin wrote in an email. “As much as I actually really enjoy school and doing things such as writing papers, I’m super excited not to have to write any more papers.”

After finishing an undergrad degree, there’s often a level of uncertainty for students, particularly for younger students who have made school a part of their routine for the majority of their lives. A world outside of academia can seem daunting and, while Austin is excited for the future, the amount of decisions to make post-graduation can be a little stressful.

“I’ve been job hunting, and there (have) been a couple of jobs that have definitely fallen in line for what I’m wanting,” Austin wrote. “Eventually, I’m hoping I can go back to school and get my MA in social work, but I want to take some time and just work and get a feel for how life is outside of college.”

While plenty of students start their career as soon as they graduate, other students feel the need to pursue more educational opportunities. Dynisha Smith, who graduated in 2003 and is now pursuing a master’s in counselors education, stated that she needed to fill the space that school took up with something new.

“I think a lot of students use the stress of class to motivate them and get things done, and that’s not something that’s sustainable as you move into a career field,” Smith said. “Some people choose extracurriculars, travel or starting a family, but I think there’s a void that needs filled after you graduate.”

Sydney Carrara, senior political science major and vice president of the Political Science Association, has decided to fill the postgraduate void with a transfer to University of Idaho for law school. Carrara stated that, if Boise State offered a law program, she wouldn’t be transferring anywhere else.

“Boise State University does a really good job fostering their students, especially underclassmen,” Carrara said. “I feel like I was provided a lot of the resources necessary to succeed.”

Hesitation is a common feeling for graduating seniors, especially when signing a check for graduate school tuition, but Carrara is prepared and ready to take the next step.

“Throughout my whole undergrad, I’ve done things to prepare myself for law school,” Carrara said. “I’m most excited to apply what I’ve learned and move onto the next step, because I feel like I deserve it and I’m ready for it.”

Every student feels some level of uncertainty when it comes to making choices during and after their college career. Before coming to Boise State, Carrara stated that she had a 20 year plan. Since being on campus, she’s realized that uncertainties are inevitable and that she might as well come to terms with them, a sentiment that can be echoed to nearly all graduates of the university.

“Since being here and being surrounded by my peers who are in the same boat as me, it’s provided me the opportunity to know that that’s okay, and it’s normal to feel that way,” Carrara said. “The uncertainties in life are okay, and not everything has to be planned out.”

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