| 03.18.2018

Graduating college is scary, but Vandals are prepared


For graduating seniors, four years have gone by. They”ve cried, they”ve laughed, they”ve cried some more, some have nearly gone bald pulling out their hair and questioning their very existence.

Now it”s time for them to graduate. No matter what degree they walk away with or what their parents told them, all the crying, balding and self-loathing will pay off.

Kevin Douglas Neighbors Argonaut

Kevin Douglas Neighbors

According to the 2015 U.S. Census, 36.1 percent of American citizens between the ages of 25 and 30 hold bachelor degrees. Whether the degree is in art, engineering, science or social sciences, it is an accomplishment. Many cannot afford or simply aren”t given an adequate opportunity to make this a reality.

That is not to say anyone with a college education is superior to a person without, but it is an accomplishment to be proud of – one that takes a lot of hard work, late nights, dedication and patience.

This year”s University of Idaho graduates, as those who came before them, have waded through collegiate academics and the seemingly insurmountable expectations that come with it. However scary the four-year storm of homework, tests and group projects may have been, leaving it all behind appears much more terrifying.

A graduating senior does not need to look far to alleviate the anxieties of graduation and facing life in the working world. There are plenty of resources available.

The new Hire a Vandal website is mastered to make finding potential employers easy and almost fun. At a glance, there are 10,954 potential employers listed between public, private and government categories. Though all degree-holding graduates will not be applicable for every one of those employers, that is a large number and should put any graduate at ease.

Supplementary to Hire a Vandal, a quick Google search for jobs aimed at college graduates can further ease any post-graduation anxiety. Don”t limit the search for jobs to positions only tailored to any specific degree, because many jobs are available to graduates from multiple fields. Ask current professionals in their respected fields what degree they held in college and the answer may seem surprising.

It is important to remember the most valuable skills college graduates leave the university with are not necessarily the specialized skills exclusive to a program”s curriculum.   A look at university syllabi from various colleges will reveal a commonality between all of them – independence, critical thinking, problem solving, entrepreneurial abilities, leadership, ethical responsibility, the ability to listen and respond to peers or colleagues and more. UI has guidelines and expectations that are collective and pertain to all majors and degree programs.

Graduating from UI means those obtaining degrees have learned and can practice these principals, and graduates should feel confident doing so. UI believes in its graduates, and will provide needed support beyond graduation.

Seniors should be proud of their degree and be proud to be Vandals. Whatever comes next for them, they can go forth and take on the world.

Kevin Douglas Neighbors can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu

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