‘Nova seniors see bright future ahead

Ashley Giuda

“For a moment this good time would never end…”

This good time is college, and about it never ending … well, as the class of 2005 is beginning to realize, it does end, and the ending isn’t always welcomed with open arms. Nostalgic sentiments and reminiscences fill college seniors’ AIM profiles as they enter these last few weeks of college.

For some Villanova seniors, college life is getting a little old and they are ready to embark onto the next phase of their lives. For others, the haunting “real world” looms ahead like a black cloud sweeping into a clear blue sky – a blue sky filled with familiar faces, weekly specials at the local college bars, and the carefree lifestyle that seniors enjoy as they soak up the last few rays of college life.

This carefree lifestyle, otherwise known as senioritis, is in full effect throughout the campus at Villanova. Class attendance slowly dwindles, studying is pushed aside for spending time with friends, the bars begin to crowd earlier each night and the warm weather sparks barbecues and lazy days outside in the sun.

Earlier in the year, you could spot the seniors, awkwardly fidgeting in their new professional clothes, a far cry from the comfortable sweatpants and flip flops they usually adorned, walking to career fairs and heading to interviews. Conversations circled around the future: grad schools, jobs, and the unknown.

Genuine concerns about the life after Villanova are too much for some seniors. For many, the future is right on track For others, life seems to have no direction.

“Having a job lined up for next year in November definitely made senior year a lot less stressful for me,” senior Cassie Knox says. As an accounting major, Knox had her job with Price Waterhouse Coopers secured before most even started applying. Many business majors have similar situations.

For non-business majors, the future is a little cloudier. Senior Katie White, a political science major, has no idea what kind of job she’ll have next year.

“I have a place in Manayunk with three of my friends starting in June … the rest will hopefully sort itself out,” she says. “It’s all so overwhelming. It’s too much to think about at once.”

Another soon-to-be-graduate, Jenny Melli, heads to medical school in the fall. For those continuing their education, the security of knowing where they’ll be next year takes away from the stress.

“Once I got past the MCATs and found out I got into med school, I have pretty much been a waste of life,” she says.

By waste of life, she explains, she spends her time at the gym, hangs out with friends, and goes out about five nights a week.

Seniors are told by past graduates to “live it up” while they can because the “real world” is nothing to look forward to. Here’s some advice to college seniors: never tell a college student how much they should fear the real world. They already don’t want their college days to end, and having their fears reinforced makes them bury themselves further into denial about what lies ahead.

What DOES lie ahead? How do graduates deal with working five days a week, after having classes for maybe only two? What about those who have yet to secure a job for after graduation?

Dr. Randall Hansen offers this advice:

· Time management

o College students plan their schedules to have classes only in the afternoon, or in many seniors’ cases, only on certain days. Seniors need to prepare themselves for the reality of having to go to work five days a week, all day.

· Professionalism in the workplace

o While students may be able to manage going to class hung over, that is not acceptable in the workplace. Responsibility, dependability, and personal accountability must be established.

· Finding employment

o Though it may not be easy, keep at it. Put time aside everyday for your job search, and remember, the first job may not fit perfectly into your career path, but you have to start somewhere. If anything, it will help you figure out what you really want to do with your life.

Whether college seniors know what lies ahead of them, like Knox and Melli, or are in a drifting boat, like White, they need to see that the sun ahead is only masked by the cloud of graduation. For a moment, it may seem that this good time will never end, but after May 22, the sky may just brighten even more.