As microbiology major Yolanda Brooks walked across the stage, her friends couldn't help but smile and wave -- hoping she'd notice them, despite blending into the crowd of thousands. After four years at MSU, Brooks says receiving her diploma was bittersweet.
"I'm going to miss all my friends and all the camraderie."
But it won't be long before she's off on a new adventure -- 27 months in the Peace Corps.
"I think it would be beneficial to help people, to learn more about different cultures, and to get an understanding of the world today as a whole."
The College of Natural Science's graduation ceremony was just one of seven that took place Saturday. In all there will be a total of 17 ceremonies with roughly 11,000 graduating. Still for many this isn't the end of their schooling.
"I've always wanted to be a doctor since like I was five years old. So I'm staying here to go to the Osteopathic College," says Rebecca Klesmith, a human biology major.
Andrew Vaneenenaam, also a human biology major, says, "I'm going to take the optometry admissions test this summer and hopefully go to optometry school."
Others, like Zoology major Jennifer Stevens, are ready to hit the workforce. She's landed a job as a surgical assistant at Cedar Street Animal Hospital in Lansing.
"It's a relief. It's definitely a relief. I don't have the headache of searching and interviewing and finding out who knows who."
896 graduated at the CNS ceremony -- closing a chapter in their lives. And when asked to sum it all up, Brooks had this to say.
"It was surreal. It was surreal."