“I’m really excited. I’ve put in my time and effort to get to this point, so I’m really excited to be able to finally have that recognition.”
What UAA student Younger Oliver is talking about is graduating with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, with a Minor in Communications. Oliver, who is graduating with honors was recently recognized with other Humanities Majors at a graduation reception in the Administration building. She plans on eventually working her way up to a PhD in Higher Education Policy. Oliver said that getting an education, and finishing a degree is valuable because these days most employers are looking for people who have degrees.
Oliver who was home-schooled her entire life said her freshman year was the first time she had been around people her age, so in order to learn how college worked she got a job on campus. Through her job, she was able to network with people, and make friends who were going through the same adjustment period. Oliver said another thing that got her through college was learning good time management skills, and working efficiently. She also made a point not to study at home.
“I don’t study at home because there’s sleep, or TV, or internet, or all sorts of other distractions, and when I go home, I can actually feel refreshed and relaxed”
“The first few years of college were hard,” said Business Management Major Russell Carlton, but once he started taking his core classes things got easier. “I got over that hump the concepts were easier to understand, and I was no longer overwhelmed with the size of the text –books.”
Carlton, who worked forty hours per week at a local credit union throughout his college career, said the most difficult thing about college was trying to find the balance between a social life, school and work.
“I feel honored, (to graduate). Without my parents pushing me, and my brothers and sisters pushing me, I might not have been able to graduate, but I feel incredibly honored to graduate, especially being the first one in my family to do so.”
Carlton suggests freshman see their advisors as soon as possible in order to graduate in four years instead of five because it took him a while to figure out what he wanted to major in. “I goofed off the first two and a half years pretty much, taking fun classes, taking classes I thought were interesting.” Because it took him a while to decide on a major, he ended up taking ten classes that didn’t count. Carlton said that was a negative because it meant more time in school than was necessary. Carlton also suggests not to procrastinate on homework, and when Professor’s have their office hours, visit them. “Professors should know your first name, they should know you are, and you should get to know your Professor’s.”
Carlton, who has three older biological siblings, and five younger adopted siblings is the first person in his immediate family to graduate from college. He said college offers the opportunity to build connections in the university setting that you would not be able to build anywhere else, and those connections are invaluable in the working world.
Carlton would eventually like to work in law enforcement, but he also sees himself working in development at non-profit organization.
Both Oliver and Carlton said there were many valuable reasons to at least give college a try.