Graduates part with more than an education

As the 4,300 graduates of the class of 2010 embark on a new chapter of their lives, a college diploma will not be the only thing they take from their journey at Liberty.

“My favorite professor has taught me not only about literature and writing but about friendship, family, marriage and just life,” graduate Kristi Taylor said. “Though, living on a hall with 75 girls also gave me a good sense of how to deal with girls I don’t really understand or get along with.”

Taylor, along with her fellow graduates have already begun the daunting process of making their future plans and setting in motion their careers of choice.

“I wasn’t very stressed about it,” Taylor said. “Actually that’s a lie.”

Taylor’s post-graduation plans include moving back home until she is able to afford graduate school in 2011. In the mean time, Taylor hopes to focus on her passion for writing and photography.

“Writing is something that I loved doing for myself in high school, and I have taken two classes in creative writing in the last year that have helped me rein in my skills a lot and become a better writer,”

Taylor said. “I also hope to hone in on my photography. These are definitely two things I’ll use in the future as a writer, and eventually a professor.”

Graduate Eric Mitchell set his future in motion on Aug. 2, 2009, when he proposed to his fiancée.

“Spring break (of freshman year) when I went home, we spent a lot of time together and began to talk more,” Mitchell said. “It quickly became obvious that we were both interested in dating each other. Our relationship officially started the fall of our sophomore year after she transferred to Liberty and her dad approved.”

Mitchell and Hill will be returning to their hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., for their June 4 wedding.

“I am getting married 20 days after graduation, then moving to Chicago, Ill., this summer,” Mitchell said. “I’m planning on taking one full year off of school to work full time and invest in my relationship with my wife before I begin seminary at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the fall of 2011.”

As many graduates will also be exchanging vows soon after graduation, Mitchell advises current students to be patient when it comes to marriage.

“Don’t be over-eager to just get married,” Mitchell said. “Be in love with the person, not the idea of marriage.”

With the current state of the economy and the unstable job market, many graduates will be settling for other than what they originally expected after earning their diplomas.

“Naturally what I thought I would find would be a job, because after all that is why we go to college so we can find the best job,” graduate Lindsey Ramirez said.

Ramirez will be returning to Liberty in the fall to continue with her education, seeking a master’s in human services, specializing in marriage and family. She will also continue her third year of being a Resident Assistant.

“I had not planned on immediately starting graduate school but right now with the economy and jobs, continuing my education is the best option,” Ramirez said. “It’s so easy to tell someone else to not worry about their future because it is in God’s hands and it is another thing to have someone say that to you.”

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