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Jackie Chalmers

Hometown: Metamora, Illinois

Major: Secondary Education and Math

Plans after graduation

This summer I am teaching at Sylvan Learning Center. I am also fortunate enough to teach three classes (and design my own curriculums!) through my local community college's program College for Kids. I am still seeking full-time employment for this fall, hopefully as a high school math teacher somewhere in Illinois. If that doesn't pan out, I will live at home and substitute teach for a year.

How did Augustana prepare you for life after college?

In so many ways, I was not prepared for life after high school graduation. I also think that in so many ways I am not prepared for life after graduation from Augustana. I am emotionally not ready for my "Augie bubble" to pop. If Augustana did not prepare me emotionally for graduation, it definitely prepared me in other ways. Most importantly, Augie taught me how to be independent. I learned to live on my own, do my own laundry, make sure I make it to class on time and with all of the proper supplies, etc. I remember wandering campus my freshman year trying to find Olin (I think I confused it with Denkmann?). It was then it hit me that I have to figure things out for myself. I found Olin and never again doubted my ability to be self-sufficient.

What are you looking forward to about life after graduation?

I am just excited to enter the next phase of my life, whatever that may entail. Specifically, I am looking forward to a full-time job and the chance to do what I love while earning money.

What will you miss about Augustana?

I actually graduated after winter term but will still walk this spring with the rest of my class. In the past two months, I have already discovered that I miss so many things! I miss the campus, the professors, my fellow students and friends, and the leisurely college life. I can only imagine I will miss these things even more when living at home completely detached from Augie's campus.

What was your favorite memory from Augie?

There are so many memories from which to pick! One of the first to jump to mind actually occurred far away from Augustana's campus in Portland, OR. I traveled to Portland to present my senior mathematics seminar topic to a group gathered for the Mathematical Association of America's MathFest. One night, a few professors and students gathered over late-night snacks. We proceeded to talk about math, education, and anything else under the sun. It is those kinds of spontaneous discussions with professors and fellow students alike that I will remember long after my Augustana years.

What advice would you give to current students?

Live it up! Before you know it, you will have graduated! You can never have your time back as an Augie student. I wish that a few times over the years I would have put my book down and just spent some time with my friends. It's the time spent with friends, and not the good grades, that you remember come graduation. Academics are important-that's why you're here-but friends are important as well.