When most people think of graduation, they do not think about the month of December. Instead, graduation for most people falls in the month of May when the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. For a select group of Fontbonne students (myself included), graduation is coming in the dead of winter, when the leaves are mostly fallen from the trees and the warmth of the sun is not guaranteed.
While graduating in December may seem anti-climatic to some, there are definitely a few benefits that come with the territory. And yes, there is one downside, too.
Here are a few perks to graduating in December.
Getting a “leg-up” on job competition
Because there are fewer students graduating in December, the job search can be less competitive.
Haley Currant, who will be graduating with a Master’s of Arts in Family and Consumer Science, says that “it is nice to be graduating in December. I think this is going to put our class at an advantage for finding career opportunities because we are coming out of school at an unusual time compared to most graduates. We can jump on those job opportunities and get started in the new year!”
Jennifer Cuddeback, who will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree of Science and Dietetics, will begin her career with an internship. “Part of [my] career path is to attain 1200 practice hours through an accredited dietetic internship program before taking the RD exam. I have been accepted into a program beginning Spring 2018.” Cuddeback’s internship will surely give her the skills, and credits, she needs to find the position that is right for her.
Time to relax, unwind and actually enjoy the holidays
Unlike May graduates, December grads have a little bit of time to unwind after graduation. The holidays are a perfect time to de-stress, and for those who do not need to worry about going back to school in January, relaxing will come even easier. Cuddeback notes this benefit to graduating in December, as she looks forward to “relaxing before my internship begins in April, continuing to volunteer in the community and reading books for leisure.”
Although the holidays should be an enjoyable and relaxing time, they can be stressful. Knowing that you have extra time to relax and unwind without having to worry about daily stressors, like school, will only add to the excitement of the holiday season.
Extra time to consider your next step in life, whether it’s grad school, a job or something else entirely
Not everyone who graduates knows what their next step will be after graduation. December grads get a little extra time to consider their next moves before the pressure of finding a job really kicks in. If you’re graduating in December and aren’t sure what you want to do next, don’t fret; you have time to think about your next move and can join the job search in May with the rest of the graduates.
Regardless of your prospects, graduating certainly takes a weight off your shoulders. Currant notes that she “still in the process of looking [for a job],” but that she has some job interviews lined up and is “hopeful.”
Not sure what your next step should be? Here are some tips for a successful graduation experience.
More of a focus on you
Not many people graduate in December, especially here at Fontbonne. Because there are fewer graduates this time of year, you will likely be unique to your inner circle. You can have a grad party that people will be excited about because it’s not the fourth one they’ve attended this weekend. You can get a seat at your favorite restaurant to celebrate because there aren’t 100 other grads there on the same night. So go ahead and treat yourself—you’ve earned it!
And one downside: Fontbonne does not have a ceremony just for December grads
If you’re graduating from Fontbonne in December you will have to wait until May to walk at graduation. Because there are so few December graduates, we don’t get our own ceremony. But look at the bright side—it will be even more exciting to come back in May and see all the familiar faces.