Dear Seniors… advice from a recent College Graduate.
The end of one chapter and the beginning of yet another exciting one.
By Diana Odero, Chapman University.
So Summer is gradually coming to an end and sadly so is my time with the College Tourist. Can’t believe how much time has flown since the start of June. Anyway in the spirit of the new school year starting in a few weeks, I just wanted to reach out to the senior class of 2014, to just give you a look into what senior year consists of, the challenges and the fun aspects as well… just a bit of advice to get you guys going on your last leg of college. I recently graduated last spring and have lived the post-grad life for albeit just a few months but even in this short time I can say I have learned a lot, I have experienced so much and I have gained so much as well.
But on to more important things i.e. the seniors. This is your last year, the last stretch, the end of one chapter and the beginning of yet another exciting one. Here are just a couple of tips to hopefully guide you throughout this next school year.
1.Senioritis: Worst. Thing. Ever. I don’t think you’re feeling it just as yet as none of you are back on campus but give it a few months, after Fall semester… the ‘Itis’ as it’s commonly referred to, will hit you like a ton of bricks! You literally feel like not doing anything at all. You don’t see the need of going to class anymore, you don’t feel like homework is important, in fact for some people who have little to no credits to fulfill in their last semester, they basically only show up on the 1st week of class and during midterms and finals. My advise to you, DON’T DO IT. Don’t follow the crowd by letting senioritis get to you. Treat these next 2 semesters just as any other semester in your past 3 years of college and you’ll finish strong. One disadvantage of senioritis is that once it hits you and you take a chill pill on school, it may ruin you for life. It starts with small things like skipping classes, not turning in papers, not being as involved in and out of class as you were before, and soon enough, you may end up failing one or two classes when you did not even see it coming. You may decide to rebel a bit against the professors you really hated or the co-workers you couldn’t stand, again.. little things to do with conduct can also bring you down in the end and cause you not to graduate. Or you do get to graduate but with a bad record which unfortunately is part of what you’ll need to get into grad school. So my advice to you, stay on track, get your work done and on time, keep a good cordial relationship with your professors and chill out on the chilling out. You’ll have the rest of your life to relax and not write papers or go to class once you graduate.
2.Time Management: I know, I know… I’m sure you’ve all been hearing this since your first day at orientation 4 years ago. But its extremely important especially on your last year to be on top of your academic game. You should have meetings with your advisor once a month, every month. Analyze your program evaluation fully, as soon as school starts this Fall, find out what is entailed for your capstone class.senior thesis/senior presentation/senior project. Note the deadlines for those projects and find out if you can start early, most people start as early as junior year or as late as spring semester of your senior year. It all depends on you as a person. I know someone who didn’t even know she had a thesis to do until April of her senior year… suffice it to say she had to come back the next fall semester to complete that class. Divide your time well amidst the holidays and breaks you get and amidst your various engagements with clubs, greek life or school government duties. Have a balance, have a structure, have a formula and you’ll get everything done on time.
3. Network: By now you should have one or two or more internships under your belt. Keep in touch, follow up with them especially because it is your graduating year. I recently attended the Intern Queen’s Intern party here in New York and one thing she said that really stuck to me among many other things was… ‘Follow up with your former employers/supervisors THREE times a year at the least.’ Don’t stalk them!! Just be cordial and proper about it by sending them an email once in a while, strike up conversations, find out about any new intern/job positions they may have, ask them for advice and just maintain a good professional relationship with them because you never know where it will get you. Network a lot more during your senior year. Every school I’m sure has a bunch of career fairs going on during Spring especially giving students a chance to meet with prospect employers in their respective fields. For my major, the Art department put together Portfolio review shows together with AIGA, and various executives from different agencies and companies. This gave us a chance to showcase our work to them via debuting our final portfolios and also allowed us to mingle and network with different professionals in the design world. Network; you never know where a simple Hello can get you!
4. Make Memories: It is your senior year after all! It’s not all about the books and the job hunting but also about this being the last time you and your friends will ever be in the same place TOGETHER. Senior year is very bittersweet mainly because of that. The friendships you have formed while in college are friendships for life and it’s really hard to fathom the thought that in a short 9 months most of you if not all of you will be going your separate ways. This thought never hit me till one of the friends in my circle of friends decided to leave for a teaching fellowship in Korea one semester away from graduating. Her leaving meant we were not going to graduate together as we planned and may never see each other again… Her leaving reminded all of us of the short time we had left with each other and we decided to make the most of senior year with each other. Travel and explore new places together, have movie nights, study together, take a fun irrelevant class with your best friend, have a girls night every end month, throw a random party in your apartment, things like that to keep the friendship alive and intact. People tend to disappear within themselves during senior year because of the work load but as I mentioned above, with good time management, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Think that’s a good summary of what I got from my Senior year. Wishing all of you all the best in your senior year and in all your endeavors after that, enjoy these last few weeks of summer because after that, it’s crunch time.. one last time:)