May 5 is quickly approaching, and most of the Echo staff will be walking the stage and saying goodbye to UTC. As we search for jobs and purchase our caps and gowns, we can’t help but reflect on the upcoming accomplishment we have spent four (and sometimes more) years working towards.
There’s a lot of hype around graduation, and a few of us originally planned to go all out but no longer have the time or energy now that the season is here. Most of us plan on attending UTC’s graduation ceremony and going out to eat with our family’s after. While some students are throwing graduation parties, most of us at the Echo don’t care enough to take the time to plan a party and invite guests.
Our news feeds are flooded with people’s professionally taken graduation photos. Many of us are proud of ourselves but are choosing not to have photos taken, whether it’s because we don’t have the extra cash or just think it’s plain unnecessary. However, we still enjoy seeing other people’s photos on social media. Those of us who are choosing to have photos taken are doing it because we want this moment in our lives documented. One of us is even taking her graduation photos so she can put the prints in place of an embarrassing set of pubescent yearbook pictures hanging in her mom’s house.
There are many hoops that students are required to jump through on the road to graduation, many of which we find unnecessary. In addition to planning the events surrounding graduation, the seniors of the Echo also have to take exit exams. We as a whole feel that the senior exit exam requirement is unnecessary. It’s time consuming, and the university only uses the results for their own purposes. Taking an exit exam doesn’t benefit the students in any way, and the English majors of the Echo are even required to take a separate one for the English department. We as a whole think that UTC needs to find a better way to gather information rather than make busy seniors take a silly standardized test.
The seniors of the Echo can also look back at our academic experiences as a whole and make sound judgements on the positives and negatives. We understand the purpose of general education requirements, like a non-lab science or a fine arts class, but they are extremely inconvenient to those whose majors have nothing to do with the said credits. Some of us have struggled with obtaining pre-reqs, as well. Pre-reqs are there to make sure students are prepared for classes before they take them, but they also take up valuable space in our class schedules. Many pre-reqs have even made us push back our graduation dates.
Overall, the Echo seniors are extremely grateful for having the opportunity to graduate college, even though we had to deal with some bullsh*t along the way. We’ve had some awesome opportunities at UTC and met some awesome people, but it’s time to take the next step in life, even if the thought of finding a job is terrifying.