ABILENE, Texas -

Thousands of university students graduated today with smiles and high hopes for the future.

"It's exciting, it's something I've worked hard for and I'm just ready to celebrate," Abilene Christian University graduate, Natalie Giroir, said.

"It's surreal, it's unbelievable," Evan Webb, ACU graduate, said. "It hasn't completely hit me yet, I just feel so accomplished and proud that I was able to make it through college."

Congressman Mac Thornberry was the commencement speaker at McMurry University's graduation and he said the feeling of anxiety some student's face after graduation is normal.

"A lot of these graduates have a lot of anxiety about what's next, so part of what I want to tell them is just take it a step at a time and try some things," Thornberry said.

During his speech he also told students to not be afraid to try new things, most graduates hold about 20 jobs during their work career, however, some former students are already planning for their future.

"I got a full time job offer from Hendrick Hospice, so we're gonna be staying here in Abilene," Alex Reed, ACU graduate, said.

"I plan to go back home to the metroplex, right now I'm looking for hopefully a teaching job," Anita Williams, Hardin-Simmons graduate, said.