You Graduated! Now, What?

Congratulations! You did it! After years of classes, midterms, finals, and group projects, you’ve finally completed it all and graduated college. We are so proud of everything you accomplished while at MTSU! No more long nights trying to finish assignments, no more trying to avoid registering for 8 a.m. classes, and no more academic stress! Well, unless you decide to go to grad school. But what comes next for those who don’t continue school? 

I had the opportunity to speak to two recent graduates from MTSU. Aubrey Zurhellen graduated with a degree in Theatre Education and the highest honors at MTSU. She was also a student in the Honors College. Carmen Dennison graduated with a degree in Theatre with a performance focus. 

What have you been doing since graduating?

Carmen: I’ve been preparing for an acting summer intensive at Stella Adler in New York City. I’ve also been thinking about what I’m going to do after I return from New York. And let’s not forget apartment hunting!

Aubrey: Carmen and I have been looking for apartments together outside of Murfreesboro. I’ll be teaching at LaVergne in the fall, so it’s more convenient if we move. Since graduating, I’ve just been enjoying my downtime with friends. I also got a kitten, Macavity!

Aubrey Zurhellen (Photo: Submitted)

What are your feelings about graduating?

Aubrey: It’s a little sad being done. Not to get cliche, but MTSU is where I found my people. I still have them, but it’s weird not seeing them in the space where we met. When I was student teaching, I got a little emotional telling my students about how much I love MTSU. 

Carmen: It’s scary and exciting! I’ve been at MTSU for four years. I got used to my routine here, and now, I have to adapt to a new one. It’s okay, though, because I don’t have to do this alone. I am working on my career with the support of my friends I met at MTSU! 

Carmen Dennison (Photo: Submitted)

What was your favorite moment at MTSU?

Carmen: One of my favorite moments at MTSU was performing at Tucker Theatre. Going to the library with my friends was also a fun time.

Aubrey: Like Carmen said, performing at Tucker Theatre was one of my favorite moments. My favorite moment, though, was ringing the bells after defending my thesis with my support system there. 

Why do you love MTSU?

Aubrey: I love MTSU because of the moments of connection you find with one another. I’ve connected with so many of my peers and professors, like Kate Goodwin!

Carmen: I love that I’ve made friends I know will be in my life for a long time. I have also loved building relationships with professors. A big moment for me was joining the choir and getting to see Angela Tipps every Tuesday and Thursday. I really admire her. 

MTSU is a place of connection. Students have the opportunity to build connections with their peers as well as their professors. We hope our graduates will use these connections further than MTSU! 

Author Stokeley Ellison is a Public Relations major with a concentration in the Recording Industry.