EUGENE, Ore. -- Smiles and celebrations surrounded Matthew Knight Arena after Monday's University of Oregon commencement ceremony, even though many of the graduates are walking into a very daunting job market, one that each of the speakers touched on.
Linguistics major Nathan Masunari knows all too well how tough breaking into the work force is.
"Just got to look for a job though now," said Masunari. "It's stressful."
Sarah Higgens feels the pinch too. She's the first person in her family to graduate from college. She said the prospects intimidate her.
"It's exciting and a little bit scary but I have faith that work made it through this, I can definitely find a job too," said Higgens.
Every person who took the microphone mentioned the dim job market this record setting class is entering. Featured speaker state Rep. Jefferson Smith didn't beat around the bush with his message.
"I said you might be screwed," said Smith. "But it's up to them to get unscrewed and that they have what it takes to do that."
Smith said the key is to work hard, define success differently and work together. Maria McGoldrick is trying to do just that via a different route on a different continent.
"I'm moving to Milan to be an au pair for a year and do some networking within the design community," said McGoldrick.
Many of the graduates told KVAL News they are putting that bleak economy aside for right now. They are going to enjoy the moment and remember that all their years of hard work in school is done for now.