Chapter 1: A Few Weeks Left Before Grad School
[Editor’s Note: Kyle Ruedinger ’13, Amy Browender ’13, Elizabeth Brown ’13, and Jessie Lillis ’13 are writing alternating monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their post-graduation experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life After Ripon!]
Wow! What a ride. I hate to admit it, but dad, you were right; those four years of college most certainly flew by fast. Here we are now, nearly three months after commencement, and it seems like just yesterday I was on campus with all of my peers studying well in advance for an exam and writing that first draft with days set aside for revisions before the due date (nobody ever crammed or delayed any work…!) At the time, many of us just could not wait for the end of the week, fall/spring break, or the end of the semester. I’m willing to bet a fair number of recent grads wish they could be having just one more year at Ripon. Me, I’m signed up for four more years of school. Current life plan: keep putting off “adult” life for a few more years.
Throughout the last four years at Ripon, I was provided with countless opportunities to expand my knowledge of the world, obtain experience working with people, lead student groups, and develop meaningful relationships with fellow students, staff, and professors throughout all of campus. Before I get too far ahead, a little background on my life is due for any who don’t know me.
I grew up in Oshkosh, WI. At Ripon I double majored in Farr Hall with chemistry and biology. I also obtained a minor in leadership studies. Throughout my time at Ripon, I worked a variety of campus jobs and was active in even more student groups. I had the opportunity to serve on our student senate in several different capacities. I also had the pleasure of representing our college at both regional and national ethics bowl competitions through the Ethical Leadership Program with other fantastic students and two of the best coaches we could ever ask for (thanks Deano and Lindsay!). The experiences I had at Ripon helped shape me as a student and an adult. I know that after Ripon all of us grads are fully prepared for whatever the crazy world out there has to throw at us.
Life after Ripon means different things for different people. Some find full time work, some complete internships, some serve their country in the military or volunteer in a mixture of programs, and yet others go on to more school. I will be joining the “go on to more school and obtain a few more degrees” crowd or, like I said before, putting off the inevitable of having to fully join the adult world. In a few short weeks, I will begin classes at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I will be working towards a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine. I’ll be rooming with an old high school buddy who is in a different doctoral program. From the sounds of it, I’ll also have plenty of fellow Ripon friends in the area as well!
This summer I have been taking it slightly easy. I do some part time work at a local dentist office, specialize in various landscape maintenance work, volunteer around town, maintain a tasty vegetable garden, and am spending some high quality time with my wonderful adopted black lab. I’ll also throw in that I have quite enjoyed terrorizing my parents for one last hurrah before I move away for school. It’s always good to have a place to sleep at home between graduating from Ripon and the time leases start in Madison! Thanks mom and dad for always being there.
Packing up for Madison is nearly complete, and I’ll be heading down next week to get settled. My next post will be after six weeks of intense coursework; if I can find time to write…
I’m confident our Ripon professors have prepared me and all of my classmates for any level of academic rigor that any other school could possibly present, or for any workplace endeavor any employer could ever pawn off on the new guy/gal; and that is surely saying a lot.
Enjoy the rest of summer everyone, and live life to its fullest every day!
Kyle Ruedinger ’13
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