University of Minnesota, Rochester students celebrate graduation - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

University of Minnesota, Rochester students celebrate graduation

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

University of Minnesota, Rochester students waited four long years to get their degrees.

They received them at a ceremony at the Mayo Civic Center Saturday morning, but for them and their teachers, it was bittersweet.

They were thrilled to see all their hard work pay off and excited to start the next chapter, but they were a little sad they had to say goodbye to the place they called home for four years.

"You are sitting next to the peers who have been through all of this with you. You are graduating today. You have worked so hard for everything to get to this point," said Kristina Tauer, who received a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences.

She asked her fellow students to look back at the memories they made.

"I remember being very excited, a little nervous, actually terrified. But also empowered," she said.

She reflected on the tough times, but reminded her fellow graduates that they made them stronger.

"We have all experienced failure at one time or another. I know it hurts, but try to remember what that failure was for you," said Tauer.

Despite failures, they all supported each other.

"We got through it together. We got through it with the help of the late night calls home to our families, we got through it because of the personalized attention from our faculty members, and we got through it from the help of our student success coaches," said Lynsey Guse who received a Bachelor of Science in Health Professions. "We got through it because we knew this final day would be our to celebrate."

And as one chapter ends and another begins, they bid the university farewell.

"It seems like just yesterday I moved in to my first apartment at 318 Commons, apartment 707 and was attacked, with a powerful hug by my new roommate, Nicole, or nugget as most of us know her. And with that first hug, I knew that UMR could be my new home," said Tauer.

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