Jan. 28 marked the beginning of the end for the class of 2011.
With the realization that May 7 is fewer than 100 days away, seniors gathered in the Great Hall for Senior Countdown to gamble, win raffle prizes and get drunk, not just on what was in the flasks they snuck in, but also nostalgia.
“The thing I’ll miss most about UMW is playing basketball in the auxiliary gym,” said James White. “[It] is the crème de la crème of all sporting facilities out there. And if it’s good enough for the fencing team, it’s good enough for me. I will truly miss the auxiliary gym.”
White, a self-proclaimed “UMW’s elite pick-up ballers,” might be alone in his dedication to the school’s auxiliary gym, but his attachment to something uniquely UMW is shared by many of his classmates.
Colleen Trachy works in the Annual Giving office and is not looking forward to finding a new job after graduation.
“It is hands down the best place I have ever—and probably will ever—work in my life,” Trachy said.
Elena South confessed that there’s really nothing she won’t miss, but what she anticipates missing the most might be the most inherently UMW of all.
“I’m going to miss the complete unity our school has in not having any school spirit,” said South.
South spent much of her time at Senior Countdown controlling the Black Jack table, thanks to lessons from her uncle Pepe.
“I never realized how exhilarating it is to keep on winning and because of this I will probably never play again, to avoid addiction and possible homelessness that comes with said addiction,” South said.
Rather than breaking into the online poker circuit, South plans to spend the remainder of her time as an undergraduate “not having a nervous breakdown.”
“I don’t know what I am going to do with myself [after graduation],” said South. “I am double majoring in English and Spanish, [so I will be able to] ask, ‘Do you want fries with that?’ in two languages.”
South may not want to hand in that McDonald’s application just yet, though.
According to a December survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which conducts research and offers support for college graduates seeking employment, the anticipated hiring activity from December 2009 to December 2010 increased by 26 percent.
This study is conducted regularly and surveys employers across the country about how many new employees they intend to hire each month.
Additionally, according to the NACE “Job Outlook 2011,” there is an expected 13.5 percent increase in hiring from the class of 2011 compared to the class of 2010, based on employers’ responses to the survey.
Although this news is likely a welcome relief to many, not every soon-to-be graduate is looking forward to suiting up and being thrust into the workforce.
“I’ll miss the fact that it’s currently acceptable to sleep in until noon and get through most of the day still wearing what I wore the previous night,” said Ryan Forbes. “The thought of having to wake up to be to work by 8 a.m. five days a week makes me sick.”
Many seniors also still have a number of things they’d like to accomplish before “being kicked into the real world,” as Catzby Pitzvada put it.
“In the next 100 days I will be trying to fit in as much partying as possible,” Pitzvada said.
Others will be using these final months to complete a few academic pursuits they’ve been meaning to get around to.
“I want to write something that is amazing or finish writing something that I’ve started so I can polish it,” said Trachy. “I also want to write a paper a whole week before it’s due,”
Though, Trachy admitted, this has been on her bucket list for quite some time.
Kathryn Schmidt, on the other hand, intends to use her last 100 days to prepare for what’s in store starting May 8.
“I’d like to acquire new coping mechanisms for dealing with the future other than shaking and crying,” said Schmidt.