CSC Graduates Told Finding A Career They Love May Take Perseverance


Chadron State College Grounds Supervisor Lucinda Mays addresses graduates in the Chicoine Center Dec. 17, 2021. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)

By TENA L. COOK, CSC Marketing Coordinator

Chadron State College Grounds Supervisor Lucinda Mays advised graduates at the school’s Winter Commencement ceremonies that figuring out their future careers may take time, patience, and trial and error.

More than 200 undergraduate and graduate candidates were honored in a combined ceremony December 17 in the Chicoine Center.

Mays, the Commencement Speaker, used her own life to give the graduates examples of how plans can change and how you need to be ready to change with them.

“The first job I had out of college was selling high school soccer tickets for six dollars an hour just to pay rent. Ten years later, I was standing in front of a television camera doing a national gardening show for PBS. You can’t plan this stuff, but you can be willing and you can be ready to try,” Mays said.

She said she knew after a short time working in a botanical garden that public horticulture was a career she would love.

“Keep trying things. Some you’ll love, some you won’t, and when you do find your love, that’s the way in. That’s when things start falling into place. That’s when you begin to figure out how to make a career doing what you love,” Mays said.

Additionally, Mays encouraged graduates to follow their own dreams and not the direction of others.

Chadron State College Winter Commencement Dec. 17, 2021, in the Chicoine Center. (Photo by Tena L. Cook/Chadron State College)

“Spend enough time alone so the voice you hear giving you advice is your own voice. Quality time alone, screen time doesn’t count. Time to go off by yourself, take a walk. Not with other people; you want it quiet so any conversation you have is just you with yourself. Or maybe take a dog. Any walk is better with a good dog,” Mays said. “Walk until your head gets clear, then begin to think about what you’re good at.”

She also urged the graduates to be willing to repeatedly practice skills they want to acquire and improve.

“When you’ve decided what work you want to try, work hard at it. Bring your whole self. Show up, be curious. Watch a colleague do something, learn from them, then practice until you can do it, too,” she said.

Mays concluded her remarks asking graduates celebrate moments like commencement and purposefully bring the good qualities they seek, such as laughter, to their workplaces.

The opening moment of reflection at the graduation ceremonies was offered by former CSC football player DeAndre Barthwell of Westland, MI, who received his bachelor’s degree.

The closing moment of reflection was given by master’s degree recipient and Academic All-American wrestler Caleb Haskell of Madison, NE.

Between the presentation of the graduate and undergraduate degrees, ROTC cadet and CSC football player Chase Thurness of Rapid City, SD, was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Thurness will be stationed at Ft Sill, OK, as an active officer in the field artillery.