November 2017, Opinion

How exciting is my senior year so far?

I am very excited just to make it to my senior year in college. It seems as if my senior year of high school when I began applying to colleges, was just yesterday. I already have earned my associate of arts degree from Wake Technical Community College; now, after transferring to Saint Augustine’s University as a communications student, I almost have my bachelor’s degree.

I look forward to walking across the stage on Saturday, May 12, 2018. However, there are many tasks that I have to complete before the commencement ceremony takes place – as I found out at the beginning of the year when I attended a mandatory meeting on Sept. 19, 2017. At that meeting, the provost, Dr. Yvonne Coston, passed out information about graduation requirements and Dr. Cindy Love, Director of Professional Development, told us about help her office could give us.

So far, senior year has been exciting, but senior year can be very expensive – from the graduation fee to invitations to graduation attire and memorabilia, and that’s not to mention saving money to make sure all expenses for graduation are covered.

Senior year is also a time for planning for life after college. I hope to, of course, start a career in my field of study soon after graduating. Alongside gaining work experience, I am also looking into graduate school.

The first decision I have to make before attending graduate school would be what I would like to study. Secondly, I have to decide where to study. Right now, Norfolk State University is one of my top choices in schools for their graduate communications program.

But I want to take a little break from college before continuing with graduate school, which leads me to the thought of applying for the fall semester or waiting for the spring – or taking off from school for an entire year.

That might be a good idea, according to an article on entitled “11 Reasons You Should Take A Break Before Grad School.” Written by Martha-Raye Adjei and published on June 27, 2016, the article stated: “You might find yourself going into a different field than you thought, or after assessing the current job market, you might want to try your hand at a new career. You also might keep your current job and look for advanced opportunities in your current field.”  This is a great article and I would recommend that seniors here at SAU check it out.

In fact, I have another field in mind – career counseling. I found a love for career counseling while working very closely with the career and employment services department, working as a career ambassador while attending Wake Tech. North Carolina Central University, has a program that allows one to earn a degree while taking all required classes online, and I am exploring that.

Another article via, entitled “Can You Go to Grad School for a Different Major Than Undergrad: Changing Direction After Your Undergrad Years,” posted on Oct. 4, 2017, also supports the idea that we should think about changing fields after college. “This isn’t uncommon because most college students choose majors during the first two years of school and it’s not uncommon for your interests to change as you progress through college,” writes the author, Tara Kuther, Ph.D. “Many students that find their career interests lie in a different field than their major, or they want to pursue a related field.”

I have also been looking into taking a few courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Packaging Design is one of the courses I am interested in. The course covers branding, graphics, materials, technology, and typography when it comes to the design of three-dimensional product layouts. FIT also offers many certificate programs I am interested in. Some of the certificate programs of interest to me include: the entrepreneurship certificate, the business brand management experience certificate, and the product development certificate.

No matter what I decide to do with regards to graduate school, I have a clear idea of my overall career goal; I hope to own my own nonprofit organization and my own public relations firm. I am confident I will reach that goal.

— Jazmin Powell