Semester graduates gear up for last few weeks

by Lauren Baylor, special to The Simpsonian

Graduation is always a wonderful but nerve-wracking event for any student, especially for students graduating at semester. As the semester comes to an end, several students will move on from Simpson College.

Students have the option of graduating at semester if they plan their career paths in advance. Each student has his or her own career path and goals that get planned while at Simpson. Not everyone has the same thoughts and approach on graduating at semester. No one has the same benefits and feelings about graduating at semester, and students tend to have different future plans.

Connor Johnson, senior, plans on graduating at semester.

“One of the biggest benefits I see is the cost savings,” Johnson said. “Graduating a semester early takes a huge financial burden off of me that I would have otherwise had to deal with if I were to take a full year this year.”

He also said it’s possible that December graduates will have better job options than their peers because they get a four-month head start.

Johnson shared that he is nervous about graduating early. Even though he is glad to be done with classes, papers and exams, he is nervous about what is to come after graduation. 

“I’m not one hundred percent sure which way my life is leading, and that can be a scary feeling, especially for people like me who like to have a definitive plan,” he said.

Even though plans for graduation and afterwards were thrown off course, Johnson is adapting to the challenges and trying to make the best of the situation.

Johnson does not have any certain plans after graduation, but he has some options in mind. He is considering retaking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to maximize his score. Another option is to take a few years off to study, work and get some time for himself. Johnson could possibly work with his father within his company, HorseTech, Inc., which he thinks would be a great start to getting more involved in the heavier business aspects of the company.

Another Simpson student who has plans of graduating at semester is Ayana Taplin. She shared her thoughts and feelings along with some great advice for students thinking about graduating early. Taplin also thinks there are many benefits from graduating at semester. She thinks that the benefits from graduating at semester are that she loves the snow, the ceremonies do not last very long, and it is easier to get your foot in the door because places are looking for holiday help.

“I feel excited, prepared, and a bit nervous. It’s not just graduating and finding a job, but you also have to find a place to stay all while keeping up with your last semester,” Taplin said.

She also thinks it is a worthwhile process because you get to go out on your own and experience things you personally enjoy.

Taplin’s future plans are to stay in Iowa and hold a couple of part-time jobs after graduation. Along with that, she has advice for others considering graduating early.

“Don’t let your expectations keep you from taking a hold of opportunities,” she said.

Taplin has a positive outlook on her future and endless possibilities.

December commencement is Dec. 13 according to the Simpson website. There are only a few short weeks until the semester is over and the ceremony is here. Students are rushing around studying for finals, preparing for next semester, and looking forward to Christmas break. For the students graduating at semester, this is the end of their journey at Simpson, but the start of a new chapter.