UW grads face challenges, looking forward to the future - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW grads face challenges, looking forward to the future

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UW graduates seated during the 2018 spring commencement ceremony at Camp Randall. UW graduates seated during the 2018 spring commencement ceremony at Camp Randall.

CAMP RANDALL (WKOW) --- UW-Madison introduced its class of 2018 Saturday during the spring commencement ceremony at Camp Randall Stadium.

More than 6,500 received their degree during the spring commencement, crossing over from life as a student to begin the next phase of their journey.

“I'm going to be a professional, going to be a real adult. Unfortunately, gotta stop being a student eventually,” say graduate Vishna Varadarajan.

“We've been working towards this for the past four years and taking a lot of really hard classes. So, now we get to graduate and go start doing what we want to do,” Emily Newman said.

Family and friends filled the stands, proudly watching as graduates received their degrees.

ABC World News Anchor David Muir gave an inspiring commencement speech, encouraging students to use their voices to help those who might need a little help with theirs.

“You are the generation who will have your voices heard. I see it in the faces of the young people who are on the news every night. They are taking a stand. They want to make their communities safer, they want to make them smarter, more connected, not more divided. After all, that is the Wisconsin idea, isn't it?” Muir said.

Some, like Newman, may face an uncertain future navigating the nuances of finding work.

“It's always hard because you apply for all these jobs and then they want you to have experience. But you don't have it yet,” she said.

But others, like Arissa Milton, are lucky enough to already have a job lined up.

“I'm actually going to be working at the hospital in the UW Carbone Cancer Center as a clinical research coordinator,” she said.

Vishna Varadarajan is going to extend his education.

“I'm probably going to get another master's degree and a public health degree,” he said.

Milton has student loans to repay, so she's lucky to have found a job quickly.

“I was also a People Scholar and a Powers Knapp Scholar. So, they're able to help me out a lot. But I definitely did have to work throughout the time here and get out some loans,” Milton said.

But for now they want to put all that aside – grad school, a new job, or trying to find one – and enjoy their big day.

“Graduate, have fun and just soak it all in,” Milton said.

Nearly 42,000 people were in attendance, including the graduates.

Mother Nature was kind to the students, as the rain held off for mush of the afternoon.

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