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Ole Miss Graduating Seniors Share Stories

As many students are working on final projects and papers, graduating senior Nena Hawkins is already looking forward to taking a little break before starting the next chapter of her life.
“Being done. No more school work. No more consistency. None of that. I can finally pick a corner and do nothing. That’s what I’m looking for the most.”
Senior Jada Oliver says she’s still feeling a little frazzled right now. She didn’t realize there would be so much to do at the last minute before graduation.
“The craziest thing is everything leading up to it — getting prepared, invitations, pictures and getting my family in from all over the place,” said Oliver.

Oliver is also thinking ahead to what’s next.

Ole Miss graduating senior Jada Oliver.

“I’m excited, hopeful, grateful, thankful, blessed all of those adjectives, but I’m a little stressed. With graduation comes adult life, finding a job, moving to new cities, building new friendships, all that.”

Hawkins says she’s somewhat relieved to be getting her diploma at all. She says she once considered dropping out of school but changed her mind after one of the university’s custodial staff shared some words of wisdom one day.
“Use me as an example to stay in school and graduate,” said Hawkins, describing what she was told. “There’s not a week that does not go by that I don’t think about her.”
Hawkins is getting her Bachelor of General Studies after just three years. Saturday will be a proud but bittersweet moment for her. Her entire family will be cheering her on, including her dad who has Alzheimer’s.
The main commencement ceremony takes place at 9 a.m. in the Grove with the university expecting about 15,000 people to attend. The complete graduation day schedule is available online.
Contributed by Thomas Goris, Andranita Williams, Miranda Crosby and Asia Herrod.

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