Seniors Receive Encouragement from Alumni

By Kacey Deamer, senior

An event dedicated to seniors, because we’re all terrified and panicking and completely lost. That’s how the Park Scholar alumni board senior brunch was explained to me. And that really was the focus: a mid-semester, Sunday afternoon pep talk for seniors.

The world is not going to end in May (or December for that matter). We do not have to have the rest of our lives planned out. Everything is going to be OK, better than OK. It was like each alumni stood up and verbally gave us a comforting hug.

Alyssa Gardina, the alumni board chair, said she took “a complete left turn” after graduation.

“You’re all going to be absolutely fine, I promise,” she said. I believed her; I think we all did. If you’re going to believe a promise from someone, a Park Scholar alumna is a good choice.

Senior Emily Miles said she appreciated the honesty of the alumni as they shared their stories.

“The best part about it is having the reassurance of hearing about the successes of the alumni,” she said. “It was nice to hear them talk about their experiences and also their failures, and having that reminder that regardless of our confusion and the stress of senior year it will all work out.”

Looking around the table at my fellow seniors, it was like the whole room began to relax. Whether it was the breakfast spread, the friendly faces, or the words of wisdom from those who came before us, there was tension in the room that left. Midterms were pushed to the backs of minds, smiles crept on to our faces, and thoughts of the future were eased with advice to travel and take time off and not put pressure on ourselves.

Lyndsey Knox, who now works for CNN’s HLN, said we shouldn’t rush into the workforce expecting the perfect fit.

“If you get your dream job right after college, what do you have to work for?” Knox said. She continued that every experience is a learning experience, even if it is completely outside of your field.

In the preliminary job hunt, I’ve been looking at the ‘big gets’ that I know are a stretch but have thought to dream big rather than sell myself short. Now I’m not so sure. It’s true that we leave college after four years and expect to land the perfect job, but it’s not realistic and can make you stuck in life at only 24 years-old.

It was also an opportunity to mingle with graduates from majors outside our own, which senior Amy Obarski said was helpful.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to speak with professionals in fields I would not normally talk to, like IMC and CMD,” Obarski said.

Obarski also said the connections made with the alumni, and the connections we have with our peers, ensure that the Park Scholar program doesn’t really end.

“It gives me the thought that once an idea spreads and goes out through this community, it can perpetuate the program after graduation, away from Ithaca College,” Obarski said.


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