Seniors Salute: Goodbye College Life, Hello Real World

Pre-graduation gitters?  So relax, it’s very common. There’s something about earning that diploma that makes things so surreal– it’s life changing, and quite frankly, your career and future especially depend on it.

Graduation for millions of college seniors across the country will begin next week. Thinking about the real world becoming quite the reality mom and dad have threatened us with is nothing shy of scary; however, the most exciting moment of your life yet.

As the days of my collegiate career draw closer to its’ end each day, I can’t help but to reminisce on lessons learned, memories cherished and horrid hardships surpassed.

I thought it’d b neat to give back to those who will be in my very position one day– a graduating senior, on the verge of finally breaching the real world. Though my experiences or my advise may not be expertise, I myself wish I would’ve known what all to expect or had someone tell me what to stipend pay close attention to or what to put behind me and move forward while looking at the bigger picture.

I want to help.

What better way to do that than of that from the tongues of college seniors themselves.

Learning has many dimensions. Understanding how a new environment functions in terms of its expectations and culture sometimes requires more imagination, flexibility, maturity and judgment than working through a course syllabus. This is true particularly but not exclusively in employment situations.


1.) Keep an eye on the future 

Senior year goes by incredibly fast. One minute you’re crunching around in the fall leaves, mystified by the fact that you are the oldest group of students on campus, and the next you’re donning your cap and gown and staring the Real World in the face like a deer in headlights.

It’s important to think about what you see yourself doing after G-day. Research jobs or other opportunities — you have the entire Internet at your fingertips. Search through job descriptions and requirements to get a feel for the kind of opportunity you are qualified for.

Reach out to your school’s alumni asking for advice. Reach out to your professors, talk to your counselors, talk to your friends’ older siblings. Go for informational interviews (but first research how to properly and professionally ask for one!), ask a ton of questions.

Network. Spend time having someone critique your resume and cover letter. Revise your resume and cover letter. Figure out what makes you stand out. Try to connect with someone who has a job you might eventually want, and be a little sponge soaking up information from them.

Senior Mariah Mitchell said she’s anticipating earning her degree in May, but still isn’t sure of her post-graduation plans.

Mariah Mitchell

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Pictured above: Mitchell posing for graduation photos on campus.


Although she too doesn’t have a set plan after graduation, senior Caitlin Jones has her sights set on moving back home to Texas where the job opportunities are abundant.

Jones is focused on pursuing her career and is confident that her degree will guide her where she belongs– no stress needed.

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Pictured above: Jones posing during a photo shoot for her senior pictures.

Jones also said in other words of advise, “don’t stress about GPA but always try to do your best.”

3.) Be a crazy college student first, reflect on how far you’ve come later 

In just a few months, most of the things you do in your spare time/nights out will not be considered socially acceptable. If you don’t care about society’s expectations, there is still the reality that it’s difficult to keep up your college habits while still holding down a job.

So, drink on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or even Sunday if you so desire. Make memories with your friends. Go on a road trip at 2am just because. (But DO NOT do that if you’re drinking). Make ridiculous music videos with your roommates. Smoke weed (if you wanna).

Do all those things that were on your college bucket list but you still hadn’t accomplished. Whether it’s as innocent as biking from one end of campus to another or experiencing some old school tradition you had yet to cross off your list.

Senior Traneshia Stromer said staying focused is important but so is gaining the college experience to the fullest.

“My advise would be to work hard and stay focused, but have fun. College flies by. Meet new people, experience new things, break out of your comfort zone and live life,” said Stormer. Remembering to make time for fun and relaxation should also be a priority.

Lastly, there are many reasons to think about the journey and progression you made in college. Remember to always reflect. College memories are many yet temporary, as I like to say– savor them responsibly!


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Out with old, in with the new? Print v. Digital

Don’t panic.

As a young journalist myself, i’m willing to bet print isn’t going to undergo any form of “extinction” anytime soon.

However, the drastic decline of sales in print newspapers both domestic and international has proved otherwise in even some of the most successful print publications.

The New Day, fairly new British print publication, is beginning a new trend.  I can sympathize and moreover relate to what this paper is trying to accomplish.

My colleagues and I and aim to achieve a  similar goal in mind  Hawkeye (ULM Campus newspaper.)  The New Day’s platform is simple yet difficult to cultivate– evolving print in competition with the digital new-age.

I can only compare what I know based on my own experiences. I know the Hawkeye, front to back and every blood, sweat and tear that’s poured into designing a weekly tabloid paper– it’s far from easy.

The New Day (like the Hawkeye) is a compilation of local, regional and national top news. It also provides a wide combination of human-interest features, coverage of pop culture, sports, entertainment, health and travel– even advice columns.

Yet the “British Upstart” has taken a chance on something most publications wouldn’t dare. They are strictly print, meaning no website and no app. They do not sell subscriptions and only circulate form newsstands for 70 cents each.

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The Hawkeye, though like the New Day, varies in the digital aspect. ULM’s campus newspaper updates it’s Facebook page as well as the Twitter account weekly and even daily for breaking news.

The Hawkeye staff, much like the New Day, believe in the tradition of print. I’m not sure that it will ever die but I know that I’m not concerned for its’ future.

Dr. Smith, Director of the ULM College of Humanities, said “I believe print became a difficult read for this generation. People began to dismiss traditional papers as the ‘old generation’ and opted out. Instead the switch to ‘digital-only’ has become apart of this society’s culture.”

Sure the convenience of free content online using our mobile phones and other devices is a bonus– some of us couldn’t manage life without it. But what drove people away from the preference of print versus digital?

According to the New York Times, Alison Phillips editor of The New Day, said ” there is still a significant number of people who have the habit in their blood of paying for content.”

Could Philips be referring to the pre-digital generation? Meaning, senior citizens and anyone else opposed to using technology, etc.?

The individuals who are loyal customers to paying for print content are those who prefer the experience of reading offline– hands-on readers, as I like to call it.

As Dr. Smith stated, could it be that print became unappealing and too difficult to follow so society is making the digital switch?

Or blame it on society and deem ourselves “too lazy” to flip through and read a traditional newspaper– “why buy the bulk when I can scroll for free?”

Mark Reedy, Junior Construction Management major said,”I enjoy the Hawkeye because it’s college-friendly. It’s topics  I can read in the headlines but I really enjoy it because the content circles back to me as a student.”

Although Reedy is a fan of picking up a print copy of the campus publication, he also said he likes the digital aspect because he can follow up with campus events and other news through social media.

“I love getting the news to my phone because it’s easier. I’m always on my phone so print switching over to digital makes sense… it’s the world we live in now,” said Reedy.

But even a low-cost newspaper like The New Day needs loyal readers. It’s survival of the fittest. If most people are consuming news on mobile devices this will change news for everyone– print, digital and its’ readers.

But if print is “dying out” as the tabloids claim they are than how has the New Day proved to be substantially successful as a print-only publication?

Perhaps the New Day has survived as long as it has because of it’s well seasoned leadership. Phillips was the former editor of two other major weeklies under Trinity Mirror Publications.

Although the Hawkeye is mainly funded through student fees, the campus paper circulates more traffic than it’s website. But how if the digital age is allegedly taking over?


Not to promote, but the Hawkeye (a lot like the new Day) works towards Philip’s philosophy, “evolving print into more of a visual, photo-driven publication by toying with color, design and typography is what I believe print needs in order to survive in this digital era.”

I stand with Phillips. I too believe with the right strategy and a heck of an experienced staff, there is still room for success in print publishing.

Is the New Day and other print publications like it standing for the rebirth of a “new pint-beginning”  or is this a fated attempt to save what many believe to be a dying tradition?

Out with the old? In with the new?

Print or digital. Journalism will never die.




Interracial relationships still flare up ‘#HateNation’

Scrolling through my Twitter feed about or a day or so ago I was taken back by what I read. A mere cry out to the “Twitter public” on what one of my close friends considered so unfair.

Maddie McCammon, a 22 year old from Canada clearly posted this tweet out of her own anger and frustration of what she sees to be a problem in our society. Being her friend, I reached out to her to confide in her.

Maddie’s culture and upbringing was far different from mine. Being from the south and growing up biracial was far from easy. Maddie on the other hand, came from a nation where race, skin color or any other means of ethnic background are simply irrelevant.

She prefers dating the “tall , dark and handsome” type, where as I’ve always seemed to date white men– dark hair, athletic build and tall (enough so I can wear heels!) Maybe I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but my point being that we all– male and female– regardless of race, have a preference in who we chose to date.

So why should we allow society to dictate who it is that we chose to date? My solution is that we shouldn’t.


American history has always exercised a great hatred for interracial unions. Dated back to the beginning of when this country was founded, some things in our “evolving” society has ironically never changed.

We seem to slowly warm up to change, but new generations shouldn’t have to suffer from the old ways this country doesn’t want to rid of.


After talking with Maddie I felt her frustration– I, too, have gone through the emotional roller coaster of battling with society’s opinion of who I should and shouldn’t be dating.

Just because she is a young, white female doesn’t mean that she can only date white men. She should be able to date black, asian,hispanic or even yellow, green or purple men if she wants to.

Our society has done a fine job of manipulating what is and isn’t accepted, but when it comes to interpersonal relationships and love– the judging has gone too far!


Maddie shouldn’t be profiled by her dating preference and neither should anybody else. Who we chose to be with is a freedom of choice. And freedom, from what I’ve always understood, was supposed to be what this great nation was founded upon.

Sadly, young men and women still receive scrutiny from the public about their dating preference. Before I came to an a point in my life where I accepted my race and grew confident in my dating preference, I was suffered from society’s torment just like Maddie.

As if getting the heat from friends, family or even just random people in public, interracial relationship-racism is very much alive and who knows when the viral disease will ever die out.


As I explained to my friend, it shouldn’t be about the color of the person you’re dating but about how that person treats you and more importantly– if you’re happy.


Classifying young women in Louisiana by if they “f&%$ black guys or not” should be irrelevant and is rather ignorant to me. More or less, is this the way we judge people now a days? Something needs to change, and it’s going to have to start with our generation making a difference.