Spartans Reflect as Graduation Weekend Commences

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Michigan State University’s spring graduation ceremonies were held the weekend May 5-7. This year’s graduates have been through COVID-19 lockdown measures, halts on multiple school years and more recently, a shooting on campus. Despite the challenges, the spring 2023 graduating class stands over 9,500 strong across bachelor, master, doctorate and professional programs. 

While junior Madison Reinhold is not graduating until next spring, many of her close friends and peers are graduating this weekend. While she is both excited and sad to see her classmates go, she chooses to look toward the future. 

“It’s really sad because I’m losing both friends and mentors,” Reinhold said. “They’re people I look up to. I’m going to be a senior, and who am I going to look up to now? But I am looking forward to being a senior again because my last senior year, class of 2020, was kind of ruined, so I’m excited to get that feeling back.”

Madeline Allen described her college experience as atypical. She didn’t get the traditional four-year college experience – she graduated high school a year early, spent two semesters at a community college and transferred to MSU for two years, where she is now graduating with a degree in media and information.

“I focused on myself and where I am and exactly where I need to go,” Allen said. “I tried really hard not to let other people, and comparing myself to other people, set me back. The time really did go by so fast. My experience at MSU has definitely been shaped by the people I’ve met and the connections I’ve made. I was only at MSU for two years and it felt like no time at all.”

Marlana DeClaire is graduating this spring, but returning to MSU in the fall to get her master’s degree in microbiology and molecular genetics. After a freshman year full of trial and error, DeClaire spent her sophomore year learning organic chemistry, physics and biochemistry remotely from her childhood bedroom before returning to campus for her junior and senior years. 

“This last year I’ve spent at MSU has been maybe one of the best years of my life,” DeClaire said. “I wouldn’t trade the chaos of the last four years for the world. I have met some of the best people I’ve ever known here, and I’ve formed stand-up-in-my-wedding friendships here. I’ve fallen in love with East Lansing and Michigan State, and even though I’m lucky enough to get another year here in grad school before I have to leave for good, I’ll be forever thankful for the years I’ve gotten to spend here and the people that have come into my life because of this place. A piece of me is always going to live at MSU.”

Whether it be graduating to go onto graduate school, going right into a career or not being sure what to do after graduation, every senior should be proud of what they have accomplished and all they have yet to do. 

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