Graduation Guide: K-State alumni recount memories, offer advice for graduating students


The university experience is unique in many ways, including the fact that college somehow manages to simultaneously seem like the longest, yet shortest years in one’s life. As members of the ever-fighting K-State family, we know all too well that despite the countless all-night study affairs, hopeless essay exams and endless research papers, our Alma Mater will never cease to be a spot that we all love.

This year’s graduating class knows this paradigm of “slowly fleeting” semesters all too well. Soon, they will be making their voyage first across the stage in Bramlage Coliseum to receive their diplomas, and then into the real world where they will put all of the practical knowledge they have acquired over the past several years to good use.

Exiting the Manhattan bubble in the transition away from college life can be a tricky one. To aid in this transition, K-State alumni from across the nation offered advice to our newest group of Wildcats who are finally poised to leave the nest.

Kyle Landau, who graduated last year and is currently pursuing a career in Texas, said that he misses the atmosphere and various organizations that he was involved in at K-State.

“I miss everything!” Landau said in a phone interview on Monday. “I miss having the ability to pursue what I’m intellectually curious about. And obviously, I miss performing with the K-State Singers. It’s a lot harder to find places that have that same kind of outlet outside of college.”

Landau also added that maintaining contact with college connections is an imperative priority, especially for those who might be moving away from the Kansas area, as they’re often some of the best guides for career and life advice.

Rachel Day, a 2010 graduate in advertising, echoed Landau’s advice on keeping your college pals a priority, but added that she also just really misses Manhattan in general.

“I think I just miss the small town community of Manhattan,” Day said. “I miss the spirit of the community as well. It’s so great that isn’t just the students that show support for the school.”

Most current students do not need affirmation from recent graduates that the genuine atmosphere of our university has been one of our central values for the past half-decade. Conversations with alumni who attended K-State many years ago confirmed that the K-State family is truly a legacy that has been fondly passed on from one generation to the next.

Steve Liebl graduated from the KSU Vet Med program in 1981 and has been pursuing his career in veterinary medicine all the way in Torrance, California ever since.

“Some of my favorite memories at K-State were at the football and basketball games,” Liebl said. “Vet school was long, hard hours, and being out there with friends, doing the Wabash and celebrating the comradery we had, that’s college.”

Liebl also said that he feels that it is important to reflect on the fundamental elements of K-State that have not changed since his time here.

“I think K-State is still just down-to-earth, grounded people,” he said. “On the west coast, I don’t think people have a real idea of what that means. I like the Midwest attitude, and I only hire Midwest vets. But K-State is just full of good people, and that hasn’t changed at all.”

Liebl said that while students can be sure that the university will keep track of them even after graduation, it is important to keep track of the values that the university has provided us all with.

“Be proud of where you came from,” Liebl said. “You’ll have to get your feet dirty to move up. You won’t start off making six figures. But if you keep your values and core ethics the same, you’ll make the university proud of you.”