Seniors await graduation with a slew of emotions


Photo: Emily Carey/The Simpsonian

by Kayla Reusche, Staff Reporter

With graduation around the corner, seniors are experiencing a swarm of emotions. For many, they will be completely on their own for the first time in their lives. Nerves and excitement accompany them as they prepare for April 28, when they will walk in their caps and gowns.

The part about graduation that most excites senior Megan Bradley is her summer internship that awaits her.

Bradley, a biology, neuroscience and psychology major, will be moving to Sarasota, Florida to complete an internship at Mote Marine Aquarium. She will work with sea turtles, river otters and manatees while doing animal care, research and training.

After visiting the Great Barrier Reef last summer, Bradley solidified her passion for sea life and knew she wanted to do something that would contribute to ocean conservation efforts.

But sea life isn’t the only thing Bradley is passionate about. She’s always planned on attending medical school but is using a gap year to decide which career to pursue. Marine biology, veterinary school and medical school are all on the chopping block.

“They’re two different things that I both enjoy a lot of, but I couldn’t commit to one unless I’d done the other,” Bradley said about sea life and medical school. “If I really like this internship, but I feel like I’m still missing something, then I can come back and do medical school and just explain to them that I had this other passion in life that I wanted to try.”

Other seniors, like math and computer science major Audrey LoVan, are more anxious for graduation.

“I feel like I’m in denial, like I don’t really want to be an adult on my own yet, but it’s coming, so I’m going to have to prepare myself eventually,” she said.

LoVan has a conditional job offer from the government for a position she is unable to disclose. It can take up to eight months to pass a required security clearance, so she is searching for jobs in the meantime.

The Iowa native is looking to leave her home state and secure a software engineering job.

When reflecting on her time at Simpson, LoVan said her internships and participation on sports teams have helped prepare her for the real world.

She completed two internships during her time at Simpson, one with the Department of Homeland Security performing cybersecurity research and the other with Wells Enterprises Inc.

LoVan said the computer science department pushes students to complete internships so they can develop practical skills, which is something she appreciates.

When describing how being on a sports team at Simpson has benefited her, LoVan said, “You have to learn how to work with people that are different from you, or people you don’t like, or people who have just a different mindset, so I think sports really helps with that.”

Other seniors are waiting until next semester to graduate, but that doesn’t make them any less nervous.

Kaleigh Snyder, a physical education major, is graduating in December after she finishes student teaching.

“It’s exciting but it’s also nerve-racking at the same time trying to figure out what you’re going to do or what the next step is going to be,” she said.

Although she’s nervous, Snyder is also excited to apply what she’s learned in class to her own classroom.

“I’m excited because I’ve had a lot of classes that involve teaching and just kind of getting ready to go out in the real world and do it instead of just sitting at a desk learning,” she said.

Bradley and LoVan also said the classes and experiences at Simpson were helpful in preparing them for the real world.

Ready or not, graduation is about a month away.