Seniors prepare to walk across the stage, some anxiety in leaving Greencastle behind

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DePauw University seniors have 12 days left on this campus they have called home for the last four years before they walk across the stage and become alumni.

In these last weeks, seniors are preparing to take their post-graduate paths in many different directions. There are those that plan to continue their education by attending Harvard for graduate school, enrolling in the University of Cincinnati for Law school or heading to Indiana University for Medical School. Then there are those that are off to Teach for America, travel for a few months or enter directly into the workforce.

Dean of Experiential Learning and Career Planning Raj Bellani stressed that the seniors remember that finding a job is an anxious and exhausting process, but DePauw graduates are set up for success.

“There are so many options for liberal arts students,” Bellani said. “They’re on a great track for the future.”

Many students agree with Bellani and believe that DePauw has adequately prepared them for future endeavors.  

Senior Megan Hannemann is headed to the Indiana University School of Medicine in the fall and trusts that her education has taught her to think in ways she may not have learned elsewhere.

“With the liberal arts education, I've had to take a variety of classes that have forced me to think in ways that my science classes don't usually require,” she said. “Hopefully, these critical thinking skills that have been developed through my liberal arts education will help me to tackle difficult classes in med school.”

Other seniors agree with Hannemann and appreciate the rigorous nature of the DePauw curriculum.

Chelsea Schumacher, also a senior, is planning to pursue her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Ball State University. She believes her education here has set her up for success.

“I believe my education and research experience at DePauw has more than prepared me for graduate school,” Schumacher said. “I think DePauw's rigorous academic style really prepares students for graduate school.”

While the prospects that exist outside of DePauw are exciting and brand new, leaving DePauw instills nerves in many seniors.

“I'm nervous about leaving the bubble,” she said. “DePauw has become a place that is so comfortable to me, and the idea of starting over in a new place with new people is exciting but also nerve-wracking.”

Still, the Hubbard Center for Student Engagement remains an asset for students whatever struggles they may encounter after walking across the stage.

“It’s a day of celebration but it doesn’t mean that our relationship with our students end,” Bellani said in a phone interview. “We don’t close the door on our graduation.”

For those who are curious about what exactly the senior class to as a whole is up to after graduation, the annual exit survey of the university will be proctored on May 8. Following the survey there will be a big celebration for the seniors in Julian where they will be provided with lunch, presented with gifts and have the chance to earn prizes.

Although seniors may be nervous, excitement for the future outweighs anxieties.

“If I had to choose I would say that I am just nervous about starting a whole new life somewhere else, however I am excited for the upcoming adventure!” Schumacher said.