Graduation means closing one chapter, beginning another

“I’ve met so many different, amazing people” at UIC, says Rana Khatib, who graduates next month. Photo: Alex Rauch/UIC News

It’s crazy to think how fast these past four years have gone by. As cliché as it sounds, it honestly feels like I graduated from high school just yesterday.

I remember my freshman orientation and not being able to remember any of the buildings once school started. I remember my confusion when it came time to register for classes. I remember my four-hour breaks between classes and going to school every day.

It didn’t take me long to become accustomed to all of these changes. Luckily, I had friends who were older and able to help.

Recollecting my memories at UIC throughout the years has strengthened my contentedness in choosing this school. I’ve met so many different, amazing people and have created friendships that I know I won’t forget.

The diversity here helped me meet a variety of people each day and I’m grateful I was able to experience it.

Starting at UIC right after high school was definitely different because I attended a small, private school. I knew I was entering a huge school with large classrooms. I looked forward to a new experience.

UIC offers a diverse array of classes that expanded my knowledge on subjects such as jazz, Latin American studies, the Harlem Renaissance and more.

I loved all of the events offered at UIC. They were welcoming and let me experience a wide range of activities, speeches, music and food. Attending these events expanded my circle of friends and social network, which also broadened my curiosity to learn more.

Thinking about my plans after graduation brings on different emotions: I’m excited, nervous, happy, anxious and sad. I hope to work in journalism and newswriting.

My dream job is writing for the Chicago Tribune and I’m striving to do as much as I can to gain the experience I need to get there.

I’ve learned not to be picky, to broaden my horizons and try not to shun opportunities because it’s not what I want. One of my friends once told me, “Never say never,” and I apply that saying as I apply for jobs.

If I don’t get a job in newswriting right after graduation, I plan to teach at my old high school.

I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, but I know it won’t be the living room couch in front of the television.

Being a UIC graduate is something to be proud of. I’ve worked hard and feel I deserve my diploma.

Many of my peers tell me, “I don’t know if I want to walk the stage,” or “My parents are making me go to graduation.”

But I cannot wait to put on my cap and gown, grab my diploma, shake hands and shift my tassel.

Graduating from UIC is honorable and I know it will help with my future endeavors.

A few pieces of advice I would give to future graduates are not to procrastinate, continue making appointments with your adviser and make connections with professors. I found that internships are an amazing way to get a head start on your career and boost your résumé. Remember, finding a job is a job itself, so don’t think you have much time until you enter the real world.

As excited as I am to be graduating from UIC, I can’t help but remember all the fun, educational, interesting memories I’ve made.

I’m eager to see what life has in store for me after graduation, and I won’t forget UIC as all of it unfolds.

• Rana Khatib is a senior in English.