Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Column: How to make the most out of graduating in 2021

Friday, April 30, 2021
Graphic by Madison Stuerman

We have officially made it. Well, almost.

With approximately two weeks left until graduation, I felt the best way to celebrate was with a column just for seniors. Here is how to make the most out of graduating in 2021.

Get prepared.

Hopefully, by now, you already have your cap and gown and any cords or stoles you might be wearing across the stage. And hopefully, youíve applied and been accepted to graduate. If you haven't, well, this might not be the article to read ó I recommend one of my others, instead!

Send out announcements.

I know what you might be thinking. ďMadison, we only get six tickets, so why do I have to send out announcements?Ē Three words: livestream and money. I sent out announcements literally just last week, but I had a special line added explaining that while my extended family members canít come to my ceremony, they can watch through the livestream the university hosts. By the way, this is nothing new ó the university and OVC have been streaming SEMO graduation ceremonies since pre-COVID-19. The second word ó money ó is the best part. While it might seem a bit shallow, we are all broke college students, and so even just five dollars and a card would light up my face. Not as much as five twenties, but, hey, Iíll take what I can get.


We only have a limited number of days until we are sitting in our last class lecture, eating our final lunch in the UC, complaining about the parking on campus one last time and having one last hurrah with our closest friends. So it's important to take time to reflect on the past four or five years, because once we walk across that stage, there wonít be another moment like this ó not even for those going to grad school.

Take pictures.

Whether this be with a formal photographer or your cell phone, it is important to have at least one photo of yourself in your cap and gown. You are going to look amazing, and you will want to show off to the world how good you looked in that black gown for years to come.


Many of us have spent the past 17 (or so) years of our lives going to classes, doing homework and not getting enough sleep. There are still safe ways to celebrate our accomplishment without it having to be just another day of the week. If you host a graduation party, do it outside! If you donít feel comfortable with a group of people, then celebrate with the people you live with. This is your graduation, so celebrate it the way you want.

My dad keeps reminding me Brad Pitt dropped out of college two weeks before graduation. So, if you ever meet Brad Pitt, then you have a unique conversation starter!

This is the final stretch, and while itís been a rough journey, weíve made it. Finish out strong and know Iím rooting for you in whatever path you decide to take once you step off that stage.