The Graduate’s Dilemma

If you are reading this…I graduated, and you will too! 

College oh college, when did you get here, when did you leave. I gaze across the memories of all I have accomplished and all I have been a part of… How do you know if you are making the right decisions? Why do I feel like I am leaving with more questions than answers?

I have been pondering what to say in this final expression for days, and to no avail, has it become any more clear. I desire to write how I feel, but I am not quite sure what that feeling is, or how it would be articulated.

I believe this feeling of confusion is a product of our time. The year 2020 has highlighted a streak of hatred and hostility that runs deep within our society. As well as an unprecedented fear of manipulation and deception.

I am beyond ecstatic to be graduating but I feel as though I am missing out on a great experience that so many others before me got to take part in. When I talk to my friends and roommates who are also graduating during the Spring and Fall of 2020 there seems to be a recurring theme of confusion.. It is hard to pinpoint but many seem to be let down by how the semesters and graduations have been concluded. For clarity that is not to say that we aren’t all thankful to graduate (we are), but I do think we all want to leave with some meaning and or final experience?

I believe I have had a hard time writing this piece because I want to be honest with my departing feelings, but I also do not want to disparage the accomplishment I have achieved for myself or with the institution. 

I continue by saying how thankful and appreciative I am for being given the opportunity to attend and graduate from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. As soon as I began applying to colleges I knew I wanted to attend this university. For me living at the beach sounded like a dream!

As soon as I arrived in Wilmington I fell in love with the city. The coastal lifestyle and culture is a far cry from the mountain culture of western North Carolina where I grew up. I found a fascination for the environment and the creatures that call the costal ecosystems home. When exploring new areas to live and work in I will always keep one eye on the coast! 

Being a UNCW COM major has been a great experience – I have met many wonderful people through the discipline. Possessing strategic written and verbal communication skills is a powerful tool and can be utilized across multiple mediums. IMC helped direct my education towards a strategic position. Focusing in integrated marketing communication provided me the tools to become a competent member of any marketing team. Majoring in communication furnished me the tools to adapt and flourish in any professional environment. 

If I could pass any advice onto incoming freshman it would be, choose a major that will challenge you. Accepting a major because it sounds easy will ultimately lead you to more hardships and confusion because you are doing something that may not actually resonate with you and your future career goals. 

Choosing a challenging major teaches the fundamental skills of handiwork and time management. Two vital components of success. 

No matter what, you are going to be here for 4-5 years, you may as well spend it focusing on a major that will let you explore topics of great interest. And keep in mind that you will be doing it for 4-5 years so be excited about it. Burning out the interest you have in your major can be toxic for your mental health. Pursuing topics that challenge and interest you will ultimately leave you feeling fulfilled and satisfied. 

What is the point if it doesn’t teach you to desire accomplishment and work for it?

Something that is often overlooked is the quality of your education. What you put in is what you get out. Taking on student debt and then foregoing hard work leads to a lack of growth. What are you getting out of student debt if you fail to take advantage of all the opportunities the funds are paying for? Take advantage of all experiences the university offers; if it is free take it, if it is included take it. Make the most of your investment.

I have enjoyed my time here at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and will always cherish the relationships I developed while in attendance.

This has been one of the most challenging positions for me to write from. I looked at this topic for hours and wrote many different outlines before throwing them all together.. There is much more I would like to say, and I feel like needs to be said, but it is a tough undertaking when the sentiment varies.

Peace and love.


Written by Sam Childers. You can learn more about Sam and our other blog writers by clicking the “Our Team” banner at the top!