Congratulations, You’re a College Graduate

by Ashley Eneriz

You did it! You’re a college graduate! You finally have your diploma after many years of hard work and perseverance to make your educational and career dreams come true. Congratulations.

Becoming a college graduate is no small feat, and you should feel extremely proud of yourself for accomplishing this worthy milestone. Take a moment to celebrate your accomplishment!

Amy Tauati, an assistant professor and director of the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program at Azusa Pacific University, noted that it’s a significant achievement for every student, even though each individual’s journey to—and through—college is unique. “Graduation often marks a noteworthy shift from student to professional,” she said. “It is a time of completion that honors hard work and achievement as well as the formation of lifelong relationships and memories.”

Celebrating the Significance of Completion

While you probably don’t want to look at another textbook for a while, don’t forget to pause and soak in this moment. Remember who you were when you first started your college journey, and celebrate how far you’ve come (and grown) through the process. You set out to achieve a goal, and you did it. You overcame difficult days and trials. You didn’t give up on your dream.

For many students, especially first-generation students, earning a degree represents so much more than proof of their hard work. Social work major Marissa Lopez ’20 was the first in her family to receive a college diploma, and she explained how her education has set her up for continued growth. “Graduating from college means a lot to me,” she said. “It represents all of the skills, tools, and knowledge I am learning along the way to the career that I am passionate about.”

Continuing Your Legacy

Your diploma is a symbol of the competence and character you developed throughout your time in school—and the knowledge you worked so hard to gain. Your degree can lead to many career opportunities. In fact, a study conducted by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University found that more than 80 percent of job openings call for applicants with at least a bachelor’s degree.

“Employers have become increasingly interested in graduates with strong analytical skills, innovative thinking, and interpersonal abilities that will allow them to be dynamic participants in an increasingly connected world,” Tauati said.

Your degree can also pave the way for a master’s or doctorate degree. You now have the skills and understanding needed to navigate through more challenging classes and develop a deeper knowledge in your field of study.

Lopez shared that earning her degree from APU helped her feel prepared to enter the social work field and to continue on to a graduate degree in social work. “The amazing BSW professors have provided us with opportunities to not just learn the content but to also apply it in the field with real individuals,” she noted.

One Degree Can Lead to Many Opportunities

The next part of the journey is up to you. You’ve already proven to yourself and the world that you can excel and succeed. Now is your chance to set new goals and achieve even more!

Whether you want to pursue a new career, expand your degree, teach abroad, or plant your roots somewhere new, remember you were created to do good work. You’re more than an alum, you’re family—so be sure to stay connected with the campus community and learn about all the alumni benefits you can take advantage of. Congratulations, again.

Curious to learn about different avenues for continuing your education at Azusa Pacific? Explore the university’s graduate program offerings to get an idea of the opportunities.