A collage of several photos from past commencements is shown

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ommencement is a day to be celebrated. It’s also an occasion that causes many alumni to pause and reminisce about their own Ball State careers. We took to social media soliciting their life advice for seniors who soon will join them in the professional world. Here are some of our favorite responses:

“After graduation, stay connected with your college friends. Once everyone goes out and starts their lives in the “real world,” you won’t be able to hang out with them and talk to them as much as you did in college. Stay focused on you, your plans and your career. Continue to make great connections. Remember everyone has their own path to success. If it takes you a while to find a job, that is okay! Stay positive and focus! Continue to be your best, no matter what it is you’re doing. Having that “Ball State” background is going to make you stand out to future employers. CHIRP CHIRP!” — Rob Connett, ’15

 “Have faith in yourselves and never be afraid to seek alumni for assistance! The Ball State Spirit is strong, and you will always have family in your BSU group.” — Sarah Haught, ’10

 “My advice: never let a “no” be the final answer. If you fall down 7 times, get up 8.” — Brandon Pope, ’14

 “If I only knew then what I know now, I would tell you not to stress the small stuff. No matter if you have a job upon graduation or not, it will be okay! It has taken me three job changes in four years to find my perfect career, which happens to be back at Ball State University. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There will always be someone willing to help. As Sarah said, lean on your Ball State family! We want you to be successful! I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the relationships I made at Ball State! The photo I chose was of me and Associate Dean Lori Byers. She believed in me and my work, I don’t know how I would have made it through undergrad if it wasn’t for Lori! I am sure many of you CCIM students and alumni can agree! Cheers to you!” — Brittney Williams, ’13 

A graduate holds up her diploma during a commencement ceremony“As a recent graduate, I have come to appreciate and cherish the amazing institution that I called home for three and a half years. Graduating is extremely bittersweet and scary. For me, it didn’t hit me until about a month after graduation. It’s hard to prepare for the unknown after college. You go from being in school almost your whole life to entering the world of work and independence. My first piece of advice for graduating seniors is to let things work themselves out. If you don’t have a job right away, take time to focus on yourself and everything else will fall into place. I didn’t have a job lined up and took a month and traveled to Europe. Take the opportunities while you can. My second piece of advice is to savor these last few days with your closest friends because you will soon miss it more than you ever imagined. In the moment, it’s easy to feel burned out and “over it”. Don’t have this mentality. I did, and now I miss every aspect of the culture and campus. My third and final piece of advice is to always take pride in Ball State beyond graduation. Be proud of your alma mater and all it had to offer to you. I’m soooo grateful for the opportunities Ball State has given me and I will always cherish the time and experiences I encountered as a student. Good luck, seniors!!” — Logan Jones, ’16

“I graduated from BSU in 1974, and I have a vivid memory of my educational and social life there. The profs were so magnificent and down to earth, polite and helpful. Graduation day was a mixture of joy and sadness. To tell the truth, I was sad to leave BSU.” — Getachew Wodajo, ’74

“You’d be surprised at how your career circles back to your Ball State education … so many times.” — Tina Hildebrand, ’10

“Your degree may open a door but you have to do the rest. Just like the last four years.” — Nancy Souder, ’92

 “My advice would be to take time to try things, figure things out, and chart your path. Travel. Have adventures. Make memories. You have decades of work ahead of you and the opportunities to do things like that are fleeting. The pre-planned roadmap you may have may be great, but it may not be. And the sooner you get ok with life not being a binary “successful/not successful” in the conventional way, the better off you’re going to be.”—Alan Rucker, ’02

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