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Graduating Class of 2011

Scientific and Technical Communications major of the Writing Studies department University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Scientific and Technical Communications major of the Writing Studies department University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2011, specifically my fellow classmates from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ Writing Studies department with the Scientific and Technical Communications major! I know all of you are technically commencing tomorrow, but I’m gonna write about it tonight.

Deciding to switch majors so late in my college career was a tough decision. And yet I’ve been extremely blessed for having done so. Now only do we all have a degree that is highly marketable and in demand, but one that will be relevant for years to come. And, it’s a a Bachelor of Science, not arts, so we can always claim that that makes us “better” than others! Joking aside, it is a pretty awesome degree.

I graduated high school in 2003. Not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, and being scared and uncertain of signing on to massive amounts of debt at a private school, I enrolled in community college. Through a combination of poor course decisions and life changing events, I didn’t end up graduating from community college with my Associate of Arts until 2006, the same year when most of my classmates in S&TC were graduating from high school. I then took a year off from school to work, before finally being accepted into the University of Minnesota at the last minute, having been informed that there was no available spaces earlier. My first year at the U of M (07-08), I tried unsuccessfully to be admitted into the School of Journalism, at which point I switched majors to Mass Communications (BA). After destroying my GPA with three failed attempts at a foreign language, I switched to the Scientific and Technical Communications (BS) major two to three weeks into the semester, and chose to use my existing credits as the Mass Communications Minor. And if I’m being honest, part of the reason I chose S&TC was because I had already fulfilled most of the requirements and credits from taking so many Journalism and Mass Comm classes.

I’m very glad I switched majors. The S&TC major is such a new and small major that I’ve felt like I was a part of a large family. I’ve made many incredible friends through S&TC that I hope will remains friends for the rest of my life. Not to say I didn’t make friends in my other classes, especially the Mass Comm courses, but S&TC was different. (I don’t think I talk to anyone I met in the Journalism courses…such a different environment.) You all were a family when I desperately needed one. I know I gained a reputation early on as being really quiet, sullen, sometimes seething with supressed anger, and also scaringly knowledgable at times, to the point of arrogance. And I was, and I’m not proud of it. I went through a lot in the summer of 2009, and making friends was low on my priorities. And yet I did, and many of us became great friends. You all helped me get over a terrible grief in my life, and were a support structure as my worldview and life came crashing down. I owe a great debt to many of you for your friendships. I’m a better person for having been around you all.

I was both grateful and disappointed to be graduating a semester earlier than all my friends. But now my friends are all graduating. Our group, all 20-30 of us, is officially graduating and moving on. Some are pursuing grad studies work. Others are entering into the workforce. Yet I have a feeling we all will maintain some cohesion to our group. These monthly “bar crawls” have been a great part of it, as both old and new students gather to talk, drink, and pass the time. They’ve been wonderful; true blessings.

So here’s to the graduating class of 2011. I love and respect you all, am grateful to you all for so much, and I wish us all the best in our future endeavors, no matter where the road may take us.


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