OPINION: Looking forward, after graduation

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Simon Asher and Simon Asher | The Daily Wildcat Samantha Alexander shows off her cap prior to the 153rd Annual UA Commencement on Friday, May 12.

Looking ahead, I’m sure there are many doubts and questions in your head.

“Was it worth it?”

“What will my future be like?”

“What will I do now?”

Just relax and take a breather – there is so much to look forward to now that you are a Wildcat alum. While you may have incurred debt during your tenure here at the UA, at least you won’t have countless projects and research papers to finish in the early hours. Your diet will finally consist of more than Top Ramen and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

As of 2016/2017, the university’s graduation rate was only 60.3 percent. You managed to be part of that 60.3 percent, so congratulations. That in itself is a huge accomplishment, and you should feel proud that you were able to graduate college, especially if you faced less-than-ideal circumstances. 

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While school is a full time job, it can feel like more than that, at times. Now, you won’t have to bring your work home or worry about how you did on an exam. You can take life more slowly now and enjoy all of the wonderful things that are about to happen to you.

With a university degree, the sky's the limit. Your earning power will increase. I guarantee you’ve made friends for life, whether they were your roommates freshman year or some random classmate, I know it will be hard to say goodbye.

But don’t think just because this is the end of the line here at the university, you’ll never have good times ever again. You can enjoy that Starbucks coffee without guilt, because you will have some extra pocket money. Remember the good times of what it means to be a student, like friends, parties and social gatherings, but don’t forget how hard you worked to get this far. 

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I’m assuming four years of university has given you plenty of discipline: you know how to handle money after scrounging for four years, you know how to manage your time well and, most importantly, the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

I jest, I jest. In all seriousness though, put your skills to use. The country and the world needs educated folks to make a difference. You are the next generation of leaders, scientists, journalists, doctors, etc. That piece of paper you have in your hands isn’t just a piece of paper. It represents your future, our future and the world’s future. 

So while some of this article was a big joke, the rest of it is not. Many people try to minimize the importance of having a college degree. They’ll say it’s not worth it, and they got to their high powered positions through hard work and grit. That world doesn’t exist anymore. Never let anyone tell you your choice to obtain a degree was a bad one. 

While you may never experience the freedom and openness that a university can provide ever again, you will experience many amazing, wonderful things, all unique to your story. 


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