With graduation right around the corner, many anxious seniors are wondering what will happen after May 5. Where to live, if they will have a job, and how to leave Harding behind. For many students, graduation means going home. For some, home is on the other side of the world.
2015 alumnus Tingyu Liu said that, while he was excited to graduate, it was difficult to move home to China and leave Harding.
“I was having a hard time leaving,” Liu said. “I walked around campus and took pictures. I went to the student center, the caf and every restaurant I liked in Searcy.”
Life after college can be difficult, but also provide opportunities for growth, according to Liu.
“There is an old Chinese saying, ‘It is when you are using what you learned from books that you wish you had read more books than you have,’” Liu said. “I would suggest thinking over what your goal is and then make plans to go after it.”
Mariana Lopez, a 2013 graphic design graduate from Mexico City, said making the transition from Harding to home can be scary, but to remember that God is always present.
“It was hard to realize that my Harding experience was over. It was hard to figure out what was coming next,” Lopez said. “I felt I was stuck in the past, and I was so anxious about the future that I couldn’t focus on the today. But after a couple of months I embraced the present, I prayed every day for motivation and remembered that God answers at the right time and at the right moment.”
Keeping up with friends after college is not easy, especially from far away, but Lopez said social media helps keep everyone connected.
“It hasn’t been hard to keep up with my friends because social media helps a lot to connect with them at anytime and anywhere,” Lopez said. “I’ve even visited some friends in their home country. It’s great to catch up in person (rather) than just through the screen of your phone. I feel friendships at Harding are truly special because of the bonds and memories you create while being a student.”
Lopez also offered a bit of advice to those getting ready to graduate.
“One — enjoy every day. Everyone who graduated will tell you that, but it’s true,” Lopez said. “And two — plan your goodbyes. Graduation day is (going to) be a crazy day. Make a list of the people who you’d like to thank.”