My last year of college was spent writing for my university's blog as well as for Her Campus, meaning I was so focused on gaining experience to prepare me for graduation that I wasn't fully enjoying the experiences happening in the current moment.
Over the past few months I've been sorting through Facebook posts, photographs and notes to myself from that period of my life, in the hopes that I can take my mistakes and successes to help you have the senior year you deserve.
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1. Be part of an organization for at least a full academic year. If you haven't yet joined a campus organization now is the time to start!
2. Visit the career center or better yet, attend the networking events and workshops hosted by the career center. You'll thank yourself later.
3. Don't graduate without first having your resume revised by a career counselor.
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4. Find three professors to write you a letter of recommendation either now or in the future.
5. Take graduation photos weeks before graduation. It will save you the stress of having to deal with crowds.
6. Try to earn some relevant experience, either through work or internships.
7. Go back to your freshmen year dorms and soak in all the nostalgia. If possible, attend a welcome week event.
8. Don't buy your cap and gown on campus, just like books, buy that shit online.
9. Say 'yes' to every free event on campus. Stuff in the real world ain't free and it requires an RSVP.
10. Make sure to visit your academic counselor to make sure you're on track to graduate on time.
11. Did you study abroad? You might still have the chance too! Visit the study abroad office to discuss your options.
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12. Join the alumni association.
13. Sell whatever textbooks you no longer need/want before you're off campus. Doing so will be so much harder once you're not in a university setting.
14. Visit your freshmen year dining hall one last time.
15. Attend graduate school fairs, even if you aren't ready to apply.
16. Research the deadlines for medical, law and graduate school. Don't be caught off guard at the last moment.
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17. Think about retaking that class that impacted your GPA negatively.
18. Start looking for jobs before you graduate, just to get comfortable with the process.
19. Spend time with friends as much as possible. Soon most people will go different directions and reunions will be rare.
20. Explore the area your university is in. Chances are you won't stay in the area, so make the most of the time you have in that city.
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Bonus tip: Enjoy this last year/semester/moment.Without a doubt, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my four years of college. Between meeting new friends and exploring foreign countries, my time at my university was spent both enjoying the moment while doing what I could to prepare for the future.
My last quarter in college was spent in Washington, DC, where I interned in the city and eventually learned this is where I was meant to be. While I dreamt of this experience since I was 13, the internship program meant I wasn't able to enjoy the last few weeks with my college friends.
With graduation coming up and friends announcing their postgrad plans, don't get caught up in figuring everything out just yet. Enjoy the moments you can only have when you live blocks away from all your friends and your only responsibility if passing your courses. Now that I'm out of college I almost never see my friends, my days are soaked up by my job and I envy the days where weekends were for more than rest and relaxation.
Senior year is important, and the actions you take can have an impact on your postgrad life, but make sure to leave a little room for fun and spontaneity in your schedule. Ask anyone who no longer is in college or lives in their college area and they'll tell you things are never the same. Life after college is great in it's own ways, but no time will ever be as carefree as the four years I spent earning my degree.
Are you a senior in college, or have you already survived that tough time in your life? If you are currently a senior, leave any questions you have in the comments below! Otherwise, share a tip you wish you knew your last year of college.