Seniors reflect with coming graduation

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

Reflections. That’s the theme of these last few days of the semester as seniors think back on their experiences and time on campus. After some time at Point Park, the graduating Class of 2022 is getting ready to wander through Village Park for the last time.

College is certainly an adventure filled with many ups and downs. For senior business management major, Roben Lewis, an adventure is putting her experience lightly.

“My time at Point Park has been a rollercoaster, truly,” Lewis said. “From being on academic probation to getting on the Dean’s List and even changing fields of study from time to time. But overall, it’s been a huge learning experience about perseverance in and out of the classrooms.”

Lewis isn’t the only student to describe their experience as turbulent. Senior theatre arts performance and practices major Shannon Krise also had a whirlwind of an experience but looks at it in a positive light.

“Relationships bloomed and withered, a pandemic happened, and my major wasn’t necessarily what I thought it was going to be,” Krise said. “But I learned to water my own garden instead of waiting for it to rain.”

Even though there have been low points, the educational experience has been able to ignite passions in students. Lewis looks back on experiences outside of her major that helped her to learn skills she wouldn’t have picked up otherwise.

“Off-topic from my major, I have an LGBTQIA+ course this semester that required us to take part in planning and organizing an event on campus for pride week,” Lewis said. “The event we organized, a Pride Poetry Slam & Pop-up Shop, was honestly bigger than anticipated. The whole process was fun to become involved on campus … [and] gave me the ability to work on organization and planning on a bigger level.”

Krise also found joy in her useful experiences during her time in school. Being surrounded by a number of creative and talented people helped them to figure out things they want in the future.

“This semester, I had the opportunity to be a part of a couple of shows put on here,” Krise said. “The two experiences were vastly different. I learned in those moments what kind of environment I wanted to be in after graduation, who I wanted to be as an artist, and what kind of people I wanted to be surrounded by in the creation process.”

Though not everyone’s time here has been what they believed it would be. Senior screenwriting major, Amber Schnupp, reflected on the shortcomings of their school experience.

“I would have to say that my time has been average or even disappointing at best,” Schnupp said. “I had really high expectations coming into the school, but I was met with a lot of broken promises and many shortcomings. Classes are listed to draw students in, only for us to find out that they never existed or hadn’t been offered in years, the buildings are falling apart, and the dining services are inconsistent.”

However, Schnupp does share a commonality with Lewis and Krise: a sense of excitement for the post-graduation experience.

“Graduation to me marks the end of a part of my life, and the start of my professional career,” said Schnupp. “I am very excited to not have homework and begin to focus on what I really want to do. I am most excited to explore the career paths and choices that are available to me, and I’m also looking forward to not having classes every week.”

It’s not just the professional world that students are looking forward to. For Krise, graduation leaves time to explore things outside of Pittsburgh.

“[I’m looking forward to] seeing friends and family, having more time to read my fantasy novels, being with nature after spending so long in the city, and seeing what possibilities are out there,” Krise said. “The next chapter of the book is blank: how terrifying and wondrous!”