Surviving the Final Stretch: A Graduation Guide

Fake diploma
Work towards that diploma… (Photo credit: gadgetdude)

To many graduating seniors, the only thing scarier than spending your whole life going to school is graduating and starting a career. With graduation only a few weeks away, our graduating seniors at Colorado State University must soon face the real world.

In the meantime, seniors are doing their best to get through the semester while planning for graduation.


“I find if pretty stressful,” said Stephanie Abney, senior math education major. “It’s a big change that’s going to happen.”

Abney, who landed a job in Loveland after graduation, has a lot to get through between now and the start of her career. Abney has family coming in from New Mexico and Indiana for her graduation.

Abney plans to go to dinner at C.B. & Potts before heading home to celebrate more. She said planning in advance helped make planning less stressful.

Nathan Jensen, a senior in fish wildlife and conservation biology, also planned ahead. Jensen recommends booking hotel rooms as early as possible.

“I know they had trouble finding a place,” Jensen said of his own family.

But, not to worry if you didn’t have the chance to plan ahead. Jensen is throwing a joint party with friends for his graduation. That is an easy way to celebrate if you want to save money on eating out and over planning. Although, that might require some housecleaning.

Some seniors, like Amy Nees, decide not to walk. Nees, who will get her degree in nutrition and food science, wants to continue her schooling and get her master’s degree.

“It’s just more of an event in my life to walk with a master’s degree than with a bachelor’s degree so I’m going to wait and celebrate,” Nees said.

Instead of celebrating, Nees plans to work and visit her brother, who lives in Denver.

Nees recently got a job at a group home taking care of adults with disabilities.


“I can start work earlier if I begin a week earlier, and I would rather just start my job,” Nees said. “I never really even planned on walking.”

Nees said that although walking in graduation wouldn’t necessarily have added a lot of stress to her life, the not celebrating is saving her trouble.

“It’s not a lot of stress to walk, but it’s a lot of stress to send out letters and everything to family and friends to come and visit,” Nees said.

Abney said talking to her parents has really helped ease the stress of finals and planning.

“It’s a collaboration between my parents and me,” she said.

Jensen said it can be hard to tell what is necessary for graduation and what is just ways to spend money.

Jensen said CSU has been moderately helpful with keeping on top of things.

“They call you non-stop about this grad pack and it’s $40 and you get a cap and gown, so my mom pretty much like insisted on getting that for me,” Jensen said.

The last few weeks before graduation can seem endless and stressful, but Jensen said not to worry about it too much.

“At the end of the day, you’ll probably enjoy it and it’s done,” he said. “The details don’t matter as much as you think they do.”

So seniors, in the word of Abney: “Keep your head up. We’re almost done.”

Collegian Entertainment Assistant Editor Amber Johnson can be reached at