Spring fever, cramming for tests, heaps of papers, presentations, projects and packing – sounds like the end of the year to me! This bittersweet time of year is upon us again and things are getting hectic on campus. For some students, this is the end of their first year of college while for others it marks the beginning of life in the real world. I talked with some of the seniors who are graduating because I wanted to know a little bit about their experience at USF and their plans after graduation. USF has community like no other, hands down. You will notice that every senior, in some way, talked about the community on campus. As the seniors prepare for the next phase of their life, they leave the underclassmen with a few words of wisdom.
Kyle is going into the music industry with four other guys in Fargo, N.D. Although he won’t be using his Theology or Art degrees for a salary right away, he is really excited about doing what he is passionate about.
Favorite thing about USF: “The community; all the best friends I have I made here. Not many campuses have the laid back feel and authenticity from staff and students that USF has.”
Tips from Kyle: “Make Christ the center of your decision making process. It’s really easy to make decisions without thinking about what Christ wants for your life. It’s actually very practical to trust God with your decisions and it gives you peace. In college, in general, you should expect and embrace change. The times I have grown the most have been during intense periods of change.”
Amanda will be going to Denver over the summer for an internship with Mile High Ministries. She’s hoping that it could potentially become long term. She’s been praying about it and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind a few extra prayers from others.
Favorite thing about USF: “Humans vs. Zombies because I got adrenaline rushes, feared for my life and got a workout! Alex Heinert was right because I developed an appreciation for the little things in life, such as walking across campus. I love the community and have made some of my best friends here.”
Amanda’s advice to you: “Get sleep.”
Amanda also wanted to add that she regrets the fact that she never got asked out on a date next to The Cougar.
She’s still trying to figure out her summer plans but she has an internship with Young Life out in Oregon. She’ll be moving out there in October for a year.
Favorite thing about USF: “When I applied, I asked my mom how I knew I was doing the right thing. She told me I would blossom here and I feel like I really have. USF has been the soil in which I’ve grown for the past four years. I’ve enjoyed the leadership activities that I’ve been a part of such as being an RA my sophomore year and getting to know people through that.”
Something to keep in mind: “Respect your education because you are paying for it, but get out and have a good time too.”
Rachel will be walking with this year’s graduating class but will be student teaching here in Sioux Falls in the fall.
Favorite thing about USF: “The community, being an RA and being on the Student Activities Committee.”
Rachel’s message to you: “Enjoy it; take time to make those midnight Wal-Mart or Frying Pan runs at 2 a.m. Take time to enjoy what USF has to offer like Stampede games, plays and campus activities. Build relationships – you’re only here for a certain amount of time and it goes fast!”
Alex will pursue theatre and acting. He wants to keep with that wherever that will take him.
Favorite thing about USF: “The friends I’ve made. I came in only knowing Brandon Hanson, but my freshman year I got to know a lot of people.”
Alex’s advice: “Don’t be shy to make friends because the friends you make here will stick with you forever.”
Brandon is headed to New York City for a marketing internship with the Broadway League. He’ll be helping with the advertisement of different shows that come there.
Favorite thing about USF: “The people for sure.”
What advice does Brandon leave you with?: “Relax. Don’t let yourself get so stressed out – are you really going to remember that 10 page paper in a few years?”
Shelly plans on staying in Sioux Falls and working on campus for a year so we will still get to see her.
Favorite thing about USF: “The people.” (She and Brandon wholeheartedly agreed on this one.)
A page from Shelly’s book: “Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons. I was in track and at first, I only hung out with track people. Then I started working at Java and I made more friends. Don’t exclude yourself and be cliquey. If you’re in a sport, don’t just hang out with your friends in that sport.”
Becca has no idea what she is doing after she graduates but she is looking forward to whatever adventures lie ahead.
Favorite thing about USF: “The dorm community and activities. I like doing fun things with people and having the time to invest in other people’s lives.”
A word from the wise: “Don’t spend your years putting off the fun things you could be doing. Just jump into the college life and embrace it fully. Don’t procrastinate the important things either.”
Staci will be teaching courses at the Washington Pavilion over the summer and is currently looking for positions as an art teacher in the Sioux Falls area.
Favorite thing about USF: “I really enjoy the community at USF. I love being a part of campus activities and have found that a lot of my friendships have come from being involved in those activities.”
Words of wisdom: “Try something new on campus; we have a lot of opportunities to get involved with different things. As a sophomore, I participated in the musical and it was a great experience and something I had never done before.”
Blake has applied for different accounting positions around Sioux Falls. He’ll be working on the Events Team over the summer. In the next couple years, he plans on going to graduate school for his Master’s of Science or Master’s Business Administration to be an application developer.
Favorite thing about USF: “The personal relationships I’ve built with faculty; the daily insight that I’ve gotten from these relationships has prepared me for post-graduation. The faculty here are very passionate about what they’re doing; it’s not all about the pay check.”
Something Blake thinks you should know: “Get involved, whether it’s athletics or campus activities. Expand your diversity. Go outside of your box and experience different things. It’s not what you know, but who you know. Form relationships, not just acquaintances. Once you’re in college, you have to start thinking about the real world. It’s no fun when you graduate from college and have no idea what you’re doing. College is where it begins.”
Nathan is going to Texas to be a camp counselor but he’s not sure what will come after that. He is an Elementary Education major and wants to work at an orphanage or with at-risk kids. Jamaica is a possibility but he will most likely stay in the states.
Favorite thing about USF: “The community of the school and the activities that create community. The Christian atmosphere brings people from all walks of life together. It’s been a great four years but it’s weird leaving.”
A piece of advice from Nathan: “Don’t be afraid to fail. I think a lot of people don’t get involved in things because they’re afraid of failing. If I would have had this mentality when I was a freshman, I would have found my passions earlier on. I discovered some of my passions when I attempted new things.”