Graduates gear up for life after college

By Adrian Stewart

Arizona Daily Wildcat

This weekend, tens of thousands of parents and friends will crowd into McKale Center, restaurants and graduation buffets to witness and salute their graduates as they leave the university.

While some graduates have jobs secured, some are looking forward to graduation gifts and exciting trips to exotic places.

Heather Dettman, graduating journalism senior, gets a special gift from her father for graduating. He hit a hole-in-one at Tucson Country Club and won his daughter her choice of a new car, as long as it's less than $18,000.

"I'm going to get a convertible Camaro, either in white or forest green," Dettman said.

Wendy Wright, graduating creative writing senior, is heading to the "last American frontier" right after graduating.

She's leaving May 15 for a four-month job in a seasonal hotel in Skagway, Alaska, a six-hour boat drive north of Juneau.

"I just wanted to get away and find myself," Wright said. "Alaska represents everything foreign to me. It's northern, cold and wet, while Arizona is southern, hot and dry."

It's almost a cliche for college students to backpack across Europe, but Jamy Hoff, graduation communication senior, doesn't care.

"My trip is all I think about these days," she said. "We're going to nine countries, including Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece."

When asked what she is going to do, Hoff said, "everything!" She plans to see the running of the bulls in Pamplona, the Mona Lisa and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

"If we get sick of a town, we're just going to get up and go," she said. "We figure we won't need much food, just a bottle of wine and a baguette every day and we'll be fine."

Back in Tucson, the local economy will be pumped up by thousands of dollars spent by visiting family and friends.

Dirtbag's, a local bar, opens at 6 a.m. on graduation morning and should be standing-room-only within minutes, according to Kristen Renaud, a bartender.

"Basically, we'll have a line before we open," she said. "I'm working 10 hours that day and hoping for good tips."

Graduation morning is the "busiest day of the year" for The Buffet, another bar, a bartender said.

Read Next Article