Students reflect on the pros and cons of fall graduation

COVID, graduate school, job market all to be considered

While some of us have been preparing for next semester, other students are preparing to graduate. Returning students will just be taking a small break from Trinity this winter, they’ll be starting a whole new chapter in their lives this December.

In every group of fall graduates, there are some people who are graduating early and some are graduating late. This year was no exception, and it turns out that COVID troubles caused people to do both.

According to senior Abigail Ghorbani, some students were encouraged to graduate early because of the stresses of COVID.

“We didn’t really know if we were going to be online for senior year and it made it feel a little frustrating, and I think it also just made it so that it was easier for me to speed it up because they usually don’t let us take classes from other institutions over the summer. But they did because we were still online at that point. And so I took a class with U of H and that was like the one extra class that I needed, so that helped,” Ghorbani said.

Other people reacted to the stresses of COVID by taking a much-needed break that pushed them back a semester, as senior Isabela Carson explains.

“I am graduating kind of late. So I took last fall off from Trinity because I really didn’t want to deal with the uncertainty of whether classes would be online or not. The spring of 2020 was pretty rough for me. So yeah, I took that fall semester off and just pushed back my graduation by a semester,” Carson said.

Graduating is a transition no matter what, but graduating halfway through the year means transitioning at a completely different time than most college students, as senior Anthony Tresca explains.

“There is a little bit of social weirdness to graduating at a different time than the rest of your class. It is a little bit weird not going to lie because it’s a weird time to be transitioning. I have a lot of other senior friends who I’m like a whole semester ahead of them in terms of my grieving process… in terms of leaving the nest and having to go out,” Tresca said.

Students also face a labor market that is set up for graduates to enter the workforce in late spring.

“I had a bunch of phone calls from people saying ‘can you interview now?’ I would imagine that if you’re applying for jobs that start in May, they’re more aware that you’re a recent graduate,” Carson said.

However, graduating in the fall semester does come with its benefits, such as an extended break between undergraduate and graduate school.

“I kind of also like getting outside of Trinity a little sooner. It’s cheaper for me personally. I don’t spend nearly as much money, so that’s a bonus I would say,” Tresca said.

And while graduating in the fall is going to come with some challenges, the same can be said for graduating at any time, and according to graduates that are going through it, fear of those challenges shouldn’t determine your decision on when to graduate.

“I don’t necessarily feel like you have to have everything figured out to graduate early. I would say you’re not going to have anything much more figured out if you wait another semester. It doesn’t seem like my other friends who are waiting have anything more figured out or are going to have anything any more figured out anytime soon. I think that everything’s crazy, so if that’s the reason that you’re holding up, I think just go ahead and get out. You’ll have more clarity on everything when you’re not drowning in as much class,” Tresca said.

Students graduating this semester will walk the stage on Dec. 18.