By Kerry Thomas, Academic Advisor
Hey all you graduating CLA seniors, are you ready for commencement? As a former OSU CLA grad myself, I know that this is a time of busy-ness, excitement, packing, planning, and a little sadness. As you are getting ready to say goodbye to OSU and your undergraduate years, make sure you do some very important things.
Take care of Administrative Details: talk with an advisor to make sure your graduation requirements are all met, make sure your forwarding address is correct in online services, check in with the alumni center if you want a membership, and make sure you know about your final bills, loan information, and all other financial details. You don’t want to leave OSU feeling stressed out about loose ends.
Finish your classes successfully: Wake up, go to class, turn in your final papers, and study for your tests… I know it may sound silly, but with the sun out and senioritis in full swing, it can be really tempting to check out early. Don’t give in to those urges, finish your academic career strong and avoid having to take summer classes because you failed a spring term course you needed to graduate.
Enjoy OSU: Eat at your favorite restaurant(s), take a walk around campus and enjoy all of the spring flowers, go to a sporting event or a concert, take a nap in the MU lounge, and play Frisbee in the quad. This may be the last time you will be in Corvallis for a while, soak up everything that makes you happy to live here as a student!
Say Thank You: Tell your parents, your professors, your advisors, your office staff, your friends and your extended family THANK YOU! There are many people who have supported you along your journey, take a minute and thank them for the influence that they have had on your educational journey.
CELEBRATE! You are graduating! WOOHOO! It’s time to kick up your heels and celebrate what an accomplishment this is! The College of Liberal Arts is throwing you a party the morning of commencement, so stop by, get some food, hug your faculty, walk around Gilkey Hall, record your words of advice for future first year students, and take your picture with the first lady! Details below:
- Sunday, June 17th
- 11:30-1:30 (the reception will end when grads need to line up for commencement)
- Front Lawn of Gilkey Hall
- A brief program at noon from the Dean and the School Heads
- Lots of tasty food
- Video record advice that you would pass on to incoming freshmen in the Liberal Arts
- Get your picture taken with a cardboard cutout of OSU’s Commencement Speaker and First Lady, Michelle Obama
To close this blog, I have some thoughts from some of my graduating CLA Ambassadors.
Amber Gomes with a piece of advice
I’m pretty terrible at planning. I mean I can make a plan like “Hey let’s go to the midnight premiere of Avengers” or “meet at Coldstone for ice cream after work” but then when it comes to major life plans I swear I do the stupidest things. For example I’m graduating this year… last June I applied for Peace Corps, and then this last September, when I should have been applying for grad schools, I did nothing. So winter term when everyone was hearing about which grad schools they had gotten into I was kicking myself for having no Plan B; basically if I didn’t get into Peace Corps I didn’t know what I was going to do. Luckily it worked out for me and I’m leaving for Kenya; my Plan A went just the way I wanted it to. But while in that limbo, not sure if Plan A was going to happen with no Plan B as back-up, I had some panicky feelings. And since panicky feelings are not fun my advice to anyone nearing graduation is… have multiple plans!
I distinctly remember moving into my dorm four years ago, watching the upperclassman and thinking that they were so much older, wiser, and more mature. Looking at where my fellow seniors and I are now I realize that those upperclassman didn’t have the meaning of life figured out like I had imagined. I don’t even feel like a real grown-up yet, much less do I have it ‘all figured out,’ but I know that I’m on the right path and four years at Oregon State has made all the difference.
As I get ready to move on from OSU, I can’t help but get nostalgic and, yes, a little bit sad, as I walk the pathways of campus. These paths are now filled with beautiful shrubbery and flowers of every color. I’m going to miss everything about OSU: my class mates, learning about my major, being super involved, making a difference on campus, and the life-long friendships that I have encountered every year. But at this point I’m most sad about leaving the first thing that brought me to OSU four years ago, the beautiful and exciting atmosphere that invited me in and taught me so much about myself and what I can accomplish with my life.
Oregon State University has provided me with the knowledge to succeed, the experience to set myself apart from others, and the attitude needed to change the world. While I’m a San Diegan, born and raised, a piece of my heart will always lie within Corvallis. I will forever remain a beaver believer, with black and orange running through my veins. And when I leave here in June, with my bright yellow rain boots packed away, I will feel confident and prepared for the next chapter of my life.