YOU did it! This is your last year as an undergrad college student! The past three years have helped to mold and shape you into who you are today. Now that you are a senior, how will you make this year count? There are so many opportunities to better yourself and make a difference in the lives of others. Since graduating last May, I made a list of seven ways to make your senior year count.
- Enjoy Life
This is your only senior year in college. While it is critical to prepare for your post-college life, it is also important to simply enjoy time with friends, mentors, and opportunities available on campus. Make sure to be conscious of and thankful for the little things you will soon miss.
- Build Your Résumé
You may not have a lot of work experience, but even so, take time to build up your résumé. Your school may have a career development center or a professor who can help you. Making a résumé seems daunting, but the payoff is great! It can be very stressful to be forced to make a résumé in the middle of a job application or right before an interview. Be prepared and make one ahead of time! You can always add to it later!
- Get Used to the Business World Schedule
Let’s face it, you’ve probably had many nights where you were up studying (or hanging out with friends) until the wee hours of the morning. Most of the world operates on a very different schedule. It will be a rude awakening to suddenly change your sleep schedule for a job, so start getting used to it now! Go to bed earlier and get up earlier, rather than staying up all night and taking naps throughout the day. You will find yourself with more energy to take on the day, too!
- Master Time Management
With three years of college under your belt, you’ve probably become pretty good at time management. As you get closer to graduation, practice these skills whenever you can. Try listing and color-coded your tasks for the week on a small white board. The lists will help you to visualize your day!
- Give Back
You’ve lived in your college town for quite some time now and gained so much from that experience. Schedule some time to give back, thanking your community for everything it has done for you. There are tons of ways to give back, from picking up trash in a park or on a roadside, to treating the fire department or police office to fresh baked cookies or brownies. It doesn’t have to be boring or difficult! Volunteer at an assisted living community and spend time with the seniors living there. Or, spend a day walking dogs and playing with cats at the local animal shelter.
- Start Looking for Jobs
Although you think you have a year, you really only have nine months until graduation. Unfortunately, it can take months to get a job. Start looking now! Talk to your advisors and professors about connecting you with the right people or organizations. I landed my job straight out of college after speaking with a professor who knew of an employer I would love, and he was right! My job is wonderful! You can also find sources through college placement programs and thousands of online job postings through websites like Indeed.com or LinkedIn.
- Be Grateful
The people around you do care about you and your success. While professors sometimes seem like they are doing their best to break you, they are actually doing their best to help grow you so that you will be prepared for life after college. Take time to thank them for all they do. Thank all of the people in the dining halls who cook delicious food for you three times a day. Your friends, your RA’s, your parents – thank them all!
These tips will help you have a great senior year, finish strong, and be more prepared for ‘the real world.’
Jordan Haney, Class of 2017.Return to Blog Archive