If you are reading this, you are probably a college senior. Congratulations on making it thus far! These four years at college really do fly by and now you may have mixed feelings about this period in your life: you might feel nostalgic and reminiscent of your good-old college days and memories and wish to stay longer. On the other hand, you might be itching to get the heck out of there and move on and open the next chapter. Whatever your sentiments are, here are a few suggestions on what you should do before walking across the podium and picking up your college degree:

  1. Start thinking and planning
    As a senior, you are most likely fretting and slightly panicking about your post-graduation plans. Should I go to grad school? Get a job? Take a year off and backpack across Europe? What do I want? Where do I want to be? What do I want to do with my life? Senior year is an excellent time to start considering these questions, making concrete goals, and creating a plan on how to achieve them. Begin with a notebook and a pencil and think about the things you want to do in life. It does not necessarily have to be academically or professionally related. Say if you have always wanted to go parachuting out of a plane in South America, put it down. Or if you want to learn to speak Swahili, write that one too. Create your own bucket list and go for it.
  2. Form close friendships
    After you graduate, you and your friends will go your separate ways, be busy, and most likely in another city, state, or even country. Take advantage of the time that remains where you are together and spend time to strengthen your relationships with them: hold lunch or dinner dates with them at the cafeteria; organize a Friday movie night; or attend that classical music concert or lecture together. If you don’t have any close friendships as a senior, now is a good time to start developing them. Build on the friendships you have already started or get to know new people. You may be a senior, but there is still time to make good friends.
  3. Take a class for fun
    Have you ever wanted to take Mandarin but never had the time to because you had to take other courses to fulfill your major requirements? Or sign up for ballroom dancing but it interfered with your schedule? This is your last chance to take those classes while you are still at school. Unless you have major catching up to do to graduate, I highly recommend taking a class for the sake of enjoying it rather than for credits. It would be fun!
  4. Take advantage of what your school offers
    Take advantage of the opportunities your college or university has to offer! Attend lectures, go to concerts, see a student play, or join a club or two. Learn, laugh, and enjoy- create memories that you will cherish after you are long gone from college.

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About Connie Ip