Seniors Prepare For Graduation

As commencement season begins to creep up on Boston University’s Class of 2002, jittery seniors came in flocks to Commencement Information Day, held yesterday in the George Sherman Union.

Commencement is scheduled for May 19. As in years past, each of BU’s colleges will distribute its own diplomas at its own graduation ceremony.

The College of Arts and Sciences will also have departmental ceremonies, according to Dawn Pulley, academic adviser for CAS. The College Of Communication ceremony will be in its traditional spot on “Magazine Beach,” on the Cambridge side of the BU Bridge. The School of Management ceremony will be Nickerson Field and the College for the Arts will use the BU theater on Huntington Avenue for its commencement.

“I like how each school has their own ceremony,” said Megan Grenter, a senior in the College of Communication. “It’s not as overwhelming. It makes you feel as if you’ve achieved more in a smaller setting.”

Each college will also nominate commencement speakers that include faculty members as well as students. Distinguished speakers are also invited to the general commencement. Past speakers have included Henry Kissinger and former President George Bush.

BU is also offering seniors an “Essential Europe Graduation Tour” package that costs $2,389 for a 25-day tour of 11 European destinations. About 20-25 seniors go each year, and the program is operated in conjunction with 32 other American universities, according to a director of the program, Sarah Azizi.

Seniors talked of feelings of anxiety and relief among the numerous seniors who are about to embark upon what they’ve been told all their lives: “The Real World.”

“At this point, I am more nervous about graduating,” Grenter said. “It’s scary to seriously look for jobs, especially with journalism as my major. But I am excited about ending classes.”

Priti Garg, a senior in the College of Engineering, agreed the job market is poor and the job search very difficult. Garg is hoping to find a job in biotechnological engineering.

Many graduates will be spread across the country or even to different corners of the globe, they said. Grenter said she is planning on going to California in search of opportunities whereas Garg plans to stay in Massachusetts. Both said they would eventually like to go to graduate school, though they were salivating at the thought of a much-needed break from academia.

Along with all the hustle of graduation preparations, this is about the time when reminiscence and nostalgia infect most seniors. In about two months, more than 3,000 undergraduates will leave an institution that, for many of them, has become a second home.

“It’s kind of sad. You make a lot of friends and I started to really like Boston,” said Eric Manfoumbi, an ENG senior and international student from Quebec, Canada. “I would like to keep in contact with people. I would miss the ambiance of the city, college life, soccer and the freedom of not having a job.”

“The most memorable time about college for me is a sad one,” Manfoumbi said. “We were playing Northeastern University in soccer conference finals and we were sure we would win. We were about to tie it up but the person who was headed the ball missed the goal. It’s a sad moment, but I always will remember it.”

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