This is the true story of three Quinnipiac seniors, picked to graduate on May 19, to live life outside the classroom and have their lives changed.
With the day of pomp-and-circumstance quickly approaching for this year’s Quinnipiac graduates, the students’ futures seem to remain uncertain, yet hopeful.
The introduction to the “real world” is causing mixed reactions among those who will face it in less than a month.
“You have to depend more on yourself than on your friends,” said Amy Ferreira, a senior Spanish major.
Ferreira will graduate with a Spanish degree this May, however, she will remain at Quinnipiac for one more year as part of the MAT program. She plans to find a career as a high school Spanish teacher.
Although she looks forward to another year of schooling, Ferreira is gaining experience within her field early by observing classes at nearby Cheshire High School and assisting the teachers.
“You go in and do what the teacher needs you to do,” said Ferreira. “You get experience that way.”
Ferreira is keeping her eyes and ears open to find job opportunities available in her field of study.
“I look online at the Connecticut Department of Education, and I always have my ears open to hear if a job is open,” said Ferreira.
Senior Spanish major Nayla Barraza is looking forward to getting her degree, but she has her share of apprehensions.
“Now you have to grow up and pay big bills,” she said.
These big bills are a harsh reality served to students after college.
One significant example of those bills are the payments to be made by many to federal loan programs. Graduates get a break before payments begin, usually a six or nine month “grace period,” depending on which loan the student received.
According to the Nellie Mae Student Loans company, after the grace period has elapsed, students have a standard repayment period of ten years.
Post-graduation bills also accumulate with rent payments for many graduates. According to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index for 2000, the average rent for an apartment in New York and Boston, two cities housing some of the most popular companies for job seekers, can reach $3,680 and $1,320 per month respectively.
Mike Morrison, a senior marketing major, has a plan of action for the months following graduation.
“My main concern is getting a job first, and then going to grad school,” said Morrison.
Like many seniors, Morrison is happy about escaping some of the college burdens when his undergraduate career has ended.
“I don’t have to fight for parking anymore, and there is no more worrying about last minute assignments,” said Morrison.
Yet with this freedom comes a handful of more serious responsibilities, which the seniors have to be ready to face.
“Everything is just coming up so quickly,” said Morrison.
Morrison is keeping up with his job search through the Internet, and also through contact with those in the field of work he is interested in, mainly marketing and sales.
“I seem to be right on point,” he said.
For now, however, it is not unusual for seniors to focus on the near future.
Ferreira will be taking classes and working over the summer. Both Barraza and Morrison will also be working this summer, but also have plans to travel.