Seniors: Don’t Forget These 7 Things Before You Graduate!

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We can’t believe it either, but May is a month away — which means the countdown to graduation has officially begun for seniors across the US! While we’re totally thrilled to walk across that stage with cap and gown on, there’s just so much we need to get done before we get that diploma. To keep you on track, here are the seven things you simply can’t forget to do before graduation day.

 

7 Things on your To-Do List Before May Graduation

1.   Prep for Finals

The last few months before graduation aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. There’s one big hurdle in your way: finals week. Luckily, there are ways to make it so much easier on your nerves and your stomach. Ordering a finals week care package for you, a friend, or your favorite senior can help ease the stress of those last-test jitters.

2.   Check-In With Your Advisor

Most colleges have some specific requirements when it comes to graduation. You may need to apply to be considered or have an advisor sign off on it. If you’re unsure what you need to do make it official (or you may be on the cusp of not completing a requirement for your program), the sooner you make a meeting with your advisor, the better off you will be.

3.   Order Your Required Graduation Gear

Caps and gowns are not something that just pop up the day of graduation! Be on the lookout for emails or mailers about how you will go about ordering your graduation regalia. If you’re part of any honor societies, you may have extra steps to get your tassels or pins. And finally, don’t forget to pick out your outfit for underneath. Since it’s a summer graduation, you will want something light and airy that will look great — even if it’s slightly wrinkled.

4.   RSVP to the Parties

From new alumni parties to your BFF’s family celebration, you’ll be rolling in invitations from all over. Don’t be rude and show up unexpected (or miss out on an awesome free event hosted by your college). Instead, RSVP early and keep your calendar updated with all the festivities.

5.   Update Your Resume

Speaking of “update,” have you checked on your resume yet? You can change that “anticipated graduation date” soon (if you haven’t already). As soon as you’ve gotten word you’ll be graduating, change that date and send out to your prospects. It’s never too early to get a jumpstart on the job search.

6.   Purchase Commencement Frames

Of course, you will want to show off your hard work when it’s all said and done. A graduation frame is an awesome gift to bring with you to your first apartment or a new office. Add a little personalization by picking a frame custom to your college.

7.   Send Out Thank You Cards

It’s an old-fashioned idea, but handwritten thank you cards make a huge impression on the important people in your life. Take a day and write out a heartfelt note to those who got you through the last four plus years. It may be your mom and dad or it may be your favorite professors. Either way, they shouldn’t be forgotten on this special day.

Reflecting on Senior Year: Planning for the Next Steps

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Reflecting on Senior Year- Planning for the Next StepsIf you’re anything like me, you’re about to start your last semester of college — and you’re totally freaking out about it. I know my last semester will likely be the most exciting one yet. I’ll be finishing up my year as the Online Media and Communications Coordinator for the St. Michael’s College Founders Society — a role that I’ve truly enjoyed taking on so far — and I’ll be writing a book for my senior research project as a Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts major. By the end of the semester, I’ll have graduated from my dream college a smarter, wiser, stronger person and I couldn’t be more thankful.

And as excited as I am to be embarking out into the “real world” soon thereafter, a lot of stress and pressure tend to accompany the idea of taking the “next step”. As I start preparing for this myself, here are a few of the tips and tricks I’ve found helpful and hope you will as well…

 

1.) Update and/or beef up your resume and LinkedIn profile.

As crazy as it sounds, you’ll be applying for real world jobs soon. Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and effectively representing your accomplishments and professional identity.

2.) Keep an open mind.

If you’re one of those college students who doesn’t have an exact idea of what they might want to pursue post-grad, you are certainly not alone. I’m right there with ya. As you’re searching around for job opportunities, keep an open mind about where you’re looking and for what. Chances are you won’t find your perfect, lifelong career straight out of the gate. It may turn out that the career you’d always thought you wanted isn’t all it was cracked up to be, and another one is everything you’d ever hoped for. Leave your options open.

3.) Make an appointment with your college’s Career Services center. 

Get professional advice on every step of the process- resumes, job applications, interviews, what to look for, what to avoid, etc. This person won’t have any personal relation to you, so he or she won’t have any preconceived bias or preference on where you end up and what you end up doing.

4.) Confide in your friends.

Talking with friends of your’s who are also graduating can be helpful as well. They’re going through the same stresses, experiencing the same anxiety and confusion, and have the same questions that you do. Take comfort in knowing this is a step we all take. Four years in college doesn’t guarantee it will be easy, but it will guarantee that you are prepared to go through everything it takes to find your first post-grad job.

Best of luck!

 

What are your post-grad hopes and dreams? How will you get yourself there?

Help! I have Senioritis: 4 Ways to Get Your Semester Back

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It’s your last year as a “student”, and your last semester stuck in classes. It’s time to celebrate! A new adventure lies ahead, and you are probably more than ready to get it started. There’s a name for being so focused on what comes next that you lose sight of what is going on during your last year of college: Senioritis. Symptoms include losing interest in clubs or activities, failing to do homework, or dreading day-to-day tasks. Luckily, there are cures for senioritis to get yourself back on track and focused for your last few months of school.

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  1. Branch Out Just Because

You’ve been a student for 12 or more years now. Think of all the textbooks you have been forced to read, or the papers you’ve turned in. That’s a lot of forced learning, and it’s no wonder you’re eager to get everything done and over with. You can get yourself back to loving learning by letting yourself learn on your own.

 

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Take a class in something totally unrelated to your major or join a club that teaches you a new skill you’d never pick up on your own. When you remember why you love learning new things, you are more likely to focus back on the things you have to complete to graduate. In addition, you’ll also feel more self-satisfaction and confidence in your abilities.

  1. Make a Bucket List

A bucket list is usually reserved for things to do or accomplish before dying, but you can make a senior bucket list as well. This special list is designed around things you could only do as a student or with your friends in this time or space.

Some ideas may include going swimming in the famous water fountains or seeing a play at the school’s theater. It might even include writing a letter of thanks to your favorite teacher or professor or sitting in on one of their old classes. When you make this list, you’ll remember what it is you love about your school or your student status, and this can help you come back to the present instead of being a senior waiting to graduate.

  1. Research the Consequences

Then, there is the dark side. Senioritis can have disastrous consequences if you go too far. For one, if you are a senior in high school, failing to maintain your GPA in your last semester could mean forfeiting a much-needed scholarship or even losing your place at a dream school! College seniors may have to explain a loss of GPA to a future employer or even take an extra semester to make up for a failed class.

 

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Not taking your last year seriously can affect so much of your life if you are not careful. So stay sharp, stay focused, and enjoy the good times as they happen. Your big day to celebrate is only months away!

  1. Plan the Rest of Your Time

Having senioritis isn’t all bad. For one, it lets you recognize that time is short and that a countdown is beginning. However, as you know, there is still stuff left to be done before you can get that diploma. Instead of trying to keep it all straight, turn to your favorite planner or calendar to keep it all on track.

 

Write down due dates of your term paper or milestones of a group project. Be sure to include special events you’re looking forward to as well, such as an award ceremony or a pre-graduation party. Having everything planned out in advance may help you see the times when it is okay to slack off a bit or when you need to work harder than ever to get it all done.

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