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As usual, winter break FLEW by and it’s at the point where most of us college students are preparing to go back to school for the spring semester.
For those of us who are graduating in May, this will be our LAST semester of undergrad… this is both incredibly exciting and incredibly scary.
Now, I obviously haven’t done this before (this as in getting ready to start my final semester of college), but I’m lucky enough to have had a super incredible senior advisor who has been there for me every step of the way in order to prepare me for graduation.
I’ve had a few super shitty advisors along the way and I can’t imagine going through my senior year without the helpful tips of my current advisor, so I just wanted to share what has been shared with me for those of you out there who weren’t as lucky!!
Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you need to be super productive over break.
This upcoming semester is about to be the most frantic semester ever, so make sure you are mentally AND physically ready for it!!
Over break we all need to catch up on some sleep. We also need to prepare ourselves for the beatdown that I know is coming…
Take hella naps, get a massage, eat well, take baths, do the things that you love to do and that relax you, etc.
We will thank ourselves for it in a couple weeks.
2. Finalize Your Schedule + Prepare
Double check that you got into all the classes that you need to graduate.
Know what your weeks are going to look like. I like to have my calendar and planner ready to go by the first day of classes.
Check Blackboard (or whatever system your college uses) and be aware of anything your professor wants you to have prepared by the first day of school (hopefully nothing).
If you have a job or an internship, do the same thing!
The number one thing that leads to that dreaded feeling of being overwhelmed is being blindsided by allllll the things you have to do. Be prepared and know what’s on your schedule ahead of time!
If you need some ideas on how to do this check out this post on how I stay organized.
3. Double Check Your Finances
I’ve heard tooooooo many stories of someone almost not graduating because they had an unpaid campus parking ticket or because their financial aid didn’t come through for their final semester.
DON’T LET THAT BE YOU!!
Check in with financial services to make sure you’ve taken care of or are in the process of taking care of any outstanding balances on your account.
4. Know How + When to Apply for Graduation
Most schools require you to formally apply for graduation.
Make sure you know how to do this, when the deadline to apply is, and what all you need to do be approved to graduate.
Your university’s website or any advisor at your school should know this information!
I REFUSE for any of us to be blindsided this semester. So make sure you know what’s going on and what you need to do!! Please!!
5. Start Thinking About + Working Towards Post-Graduation Plans
By no means do we need to have this all figured out at this point… but lowkey we all need to figure this shit out like SOON.
Graduation is going to sneak up on us, I can promise you that.
Start talking with any mentor’s that you have and doing research on what your next step is going to be.
If that’s graduate school, then figure out what degree you’re going to pursue, where you wanna go, how to apply, how you’re gonna pay for it, etc.
If you’re ready to start your career, then figure out how to do that. Do some preliminary job searches to see what employers are looking for, find some career paths or employers that you could see yourself working for, go to career fairs and networking events, perfect your resume, create a LinkedIn, clean up your social media, do mock interviews, allllll dat and more.
This is by far the most nerve-racking part for me… by far.
6. Meet With Your Advisor
Try to make an appointment with your advisor within the first couple weeks of school.
Go over pretty much all the things on this list and anything else you can think of!!
Your advisor is there to HELP you and if they’re lackluster don’t feel bad about requesting a new one.
I know when I meet with my advisor in a couple weeks that I’m going to literally record her saying that I have done everything I need to do in order to graduate in May.
7. Make a Bucket List
This last one is all about ENJOYING your final semester of undergrad!!
Make a bucket list of all things you haven’t done or things you want to do one last time before you graduate!
It’s all gonna be over before we know it, so go to the corny tailgate, spend one last night in the library, eat at all your favorite on campus food spots, chill in a hammock on the quad one last time. People swear we’re gonna miss it.
I hope all of us going into our final semester of college do so prepared and full of positivity!
Congrats to us all!!