Done in December

Contributing Writer

More residential students graduate in May compared to those graduating in December. 

As someone who is graduating in December, the difference between the timing of the two life events is an interest of mine. Is the celebration the same? Is the job market better or worse? How should I plan my life after graduation? 

Senior theatre major Jeremy Douylliez said, “a lot of [theatre] companies aren’t prepared to hire in January because they’re accustomed to hiring in May.” 

Sophia Allison, who graduated with degrees in English and music in December of 2012, was concerned because “for teachers there are fewer jobs.” She did however go on to say, “…but it could be good because not everybody is looking for a job at the same time.” 

Fox Business did an article in December of 2012 titled “Job Hunting Tips for December Grads.” The article mentions that businesses are in a more comfortable position to hire new employees since they have finalized their budget for the following year. 

Also, the article suggests that if graduates don’t find a job immediately to do volunteer or internship work in order to gain experience. 

Danielle Morgan, senior mass communications major set to graduate in December said, “I think I have an advantage graduating in December because there are less people applying for jobs because they are still in school.”

One of my concerns about graduating in December is the transition into graduate school. The schools I aspire to attend only enroll during the fall. So what am I supposed to do for those eight months? 

Ashley Cleere, Chaplain of Piedmont College said: “use the time and [saved] money wisely.” She added “it could be a chance to get a head start professionally, save money for graduate school, indulge in an activity you’ve always dreamt about, or a combination of pursuits.”And now for the important aspect: the celebration. 

Allison describes the negatives to graduating in December: “I didn’t get to graduate with any of my friends, I missed out on doing fun graduation activities with them.” 

Douyilliez said that, “For December grads, it feels much more like a formality; required, not celebrated.” 

Unfortunately, the Baccalaureate Ceremony and Senior Send-off for December graduates are in May. However, we weren’t notified of this. Why don’t December graduates get to have the same experiences that spring graduates do? 

Douyilliez reminisced about his brother’s graduation in the spring of 2012. His parents were “impressed with the amount of hoopla. They appreciated that the graduation felt like a celebration.” He hopes his experience will be the same and I share this hope. 

Allison eased my mind when she spoke of her graduation ceremony: “It’s a smaller ceremony so it didn’t last forever. My parents were comfortable while watching it and they enjoyed themselves.” 

Students and faculty still have a positive view on graduating in December. Douylliez said, “Ultimately, I think I’m well equipped to enter the work force and I’ll always be grateful to Piedmont College for preparing me in just 3.5 years.” 

Ashley Cleere congratulated December graduates on “saving a semester of room, board, and tuition fees.” 

“Even if you do graduate without your friends, do something special to celebrate it because it is a big deal,” said Allison. 

December graduates will face the same challenges as students who graduate in May. Though they left Piedmont a semester early, they will leave prepared to accept a role in the job market and contribute to their fields.