December graduates are ready for the real world


Not even a pandemic can stop seniors from graduating early. Whether or not it was in their plans to earn their degree early, Ashland University will see some talented graduates leave.

Needless to say, it is a difficult time for anyone to find a job, especially fresh-out-of-college adults. How can they have three to five years of experience when no one gives them a chance?

AU has helped students who go out of their way to ask for it, and in Alyssa Srail’s case, they have gone above and beyond.

“Ashland helped me find some options in different districts and had given me the information in the first place to communicate with the Columbus schools,” Srail, double major in Spanish and early childhood education major with 4/5 grade endorsement, said. “Whenever I have gone to anyone for help, I’ve always been given the support I needed. I’m graduating early because of the amazing faculty who worked with me and saw my potential.”

AU’s Liberal Arts requirement has been an advantage for some. English major, Ellissa Chambliss, was grateful for this because her worldview is well-rounded, as opposed to only seeing the world through humanities, for example..

Chambliss was also heavily involved on campus, including AUGivs and the Orientation Team. All of these experiences will help her develop and adapt to situations as an employee and simply existing in a world outside of AU.

One major factor everyone, including these early graduates, will have to face in the real world is COVID-19. As a taste of following protocol, AU students, faculty and staff were sent specific instructions.

Positions on how the university handled COVID is diverse.

Sam Coon, double major in international business and Spanish, with a minor in global studies, felt that AU could have done a better job with these protocols.

“To be completely honest…I’m surprised we weren’t sent home early,” Coon said. “Let’s say that some people are better than others at following safety instructions.”

Chambliss, however, sided with a positive outlook on how AU handled COVID.

“There were some professors who were definitely better at the transition in general than others and other students who weren’t prepared to make changes, but a lot of the ideas that the university had were good,” Chambliss said.

It is important to note that time and energy was taken to transition and learn how to use software from all sides: students, administrators, faculty and staff. For some, the transition was easier than others.

This was a very difficult semester, and congratulations is in order for everyone who stuck it out and finished.

We wish all December graduates the best of luck as they leave the comfortable walls of AU and start…adulting.