The diploma at the end of the tunnel
By Lorynne Benavides—
Dear Seniors, it’s your last year. For some of you, it’s your last semester as an undergrad student. Some of you feel confident. Some of you feel prepared for the future. Some of you have even locked down a job for after graduation.
Then there’s the rest of us.
You know, the ones barely hanging on by a thread. The ones with sleep deprivation and bags under our eyes. The ones shaking while holding our coffee and clenching our teeth while speed walking to class in 20 degree weather, taking classes with the same professor we’ve had for three semesters in a row and classmates with all-too-familiar faces we will soon be throwing our caps in the air with.
Dear Seniors, the late nights, early mornings and hard work we’ve invested years of our time into will cease in just two short months. Our time at the best-kept secret in Texas is coming to a close. The question we keep asking ourselves is: Will I miss this or be glad it’s over? I think the answer is a little of both.
Most of us are full-time students, and even full-time employees or interns. Some of us also participate in sports, Greek life, or other organizations. How can we juggle these commitments while also preparing a resume, applying for jobs and possibly big moves to another city, state or even country?
Dear Seniors, I get it. I’m taking 24 hours during my last semester, working part-time at Texan News, serving as Tarleton’s Chapter Vice President of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. On top of that, I’m a single mom to a 2-year-old and travel daily 75 miles from campus. I am the definition of tired.
The point is we didn’t chase internships, succeed at them, put in overtime hours, lose sleep and not give up… just to give up our last semester. We are SO close. Finding a job is stressful. There’s no downplaying that. However, we will all find our place in this world because we stand out above the rest. We will have a degree behind our names we will be proud of for the rest of our lives.
Dear Seniors, you will get through this semester. You will make sure you do what you need to pass that class. You will figure out a way to handle your finances. You will apply for every job possible until you find the one meant for your current path. You will hear your name called at graduation. You will shake Dr. Dottavio’s hand. You will receive your diploma. You will smile because you finally did it, even though some people said you never could. You will throw your cap in the air, and with it, all the struggles you endured and conquered.
Dear Seniors, this is your time. Don’t give up. Not just yet.