Ahh fall has begun! This means Bath & Body Works fall scent candles, sweaters, cardigans, boots, cooler temperatures, and of course a less expensive electricity bill for those out there paying the bills which I’m looking the most forward to. Fall also signifies a time of renewal for many young adults by beginning another school year. I remember the excitement that came with a new school year. You get to see friends that you were apart from all summer, share summer experiences, and begin a new grade. Fall semester is even more exciting when you can finally say you are a college senior.At first you feel like the big man/woman or campus, and then you start to think what happens after this year. You will no longer be an undergraduate student, so then it sets in……responsibilities are on the way! I know that feeling all too well and while at the beginning of my senior year of college I wasoverwhelmed by the “what’s after this” thought, I slowly learned to embrace being a senior and enjoying my last year without an attained Bachelor of Science degree on my resume. So here are 4 tips to help you embrace the moment and look forward to the “what’s after this”.
- It’s okay to be unsure. Everyone has this notion that by the end of college if you haven’t figured out your next step then you should be ashamed of yourself. When you go to events or see people you haven’t seen in awhile they immediately ask you about your plans after college. Then you have friends that have their life after college completely planned out whether it is grad school, programs, or jobs. When I was a senior I was still discovering how I wanted to apply my degree. I knew I wanted to further my education, but you will soon learn that as you progress in your subject field you begin to narrow down on a particular interest within that subject. That part is what had me stuck. I knew I loved chemistry, but where do I go from there? What branch of chemistry did I want to go into? I couldn’t answer this question and so I put a pause on the idea of going to graduate school. Instead, I decided it’ll be best for me to go into industry first and get my feet wet. I graduated and I didn’t have a job secured and that was fine with me because it all came on God’s timing.
- Live in the moment. This is your last year of college so enjoy it! You’re going to look back on these days in the future. Make sure you don’t regret not doing things. Yes I get you have to graduate and so school work comes first, but by now I hope you’ve mastered being able to juggle school and having a social life. Go to that party! Now I’m not saying go to that party every night lol, but give yourself time away from school work because you deserve it. Not even just attending parties but become more active on your campus. You’re the person first years are now looking up to so give them something to admire. Lead organization, organize events, partake in events, and don’t just sit in your own bubble.
- Become a mentor. Mentorship is so important in today’s society. Everyone needs help and guidance, and who better to do that than someone that was once in their shoes not too long ago. You might have a mentor yourself, but realize you are never too young to become a mentor yourself. You are months away from attaining your degree and you know the hurdles you had to overcome in your field so find someone that’s trying to get to that level as well. Encourage them, guide them, and mentor them. Don’t become that senior that feels like they can’t be seen or associated with an underclassman. You are a leader so be one!
- Solidify your relationships. So many life-long friendships are built in college. Once you graduate everyone begins to go their separate way as they work to pursue their goals. You go from seeing someone every day to not seeing them for months. Take this time to cherish the friendships that you have built and make new connections as well. There are other relationships that you need to grow as well. Besides the friendships with your peers make sure you are solidifying relationships with your professors and school staff. It’s about to be almost two years since I graduated and I’m still able to contact my professors and they are willing to assist me in my transition into graduate school. These relationships are just as important because you never know who they may know that can get you to where you want to be.
So there you have it! If this is your final year of college I wish you nothing but the best! If you find yourself overwhelmed make sure to take deep breaths, talk to someone, and realize that you are not alone in this. I didn’t mention the importance of staying focus academically during your senior year because I think that should be a given especially if you are planning on attending grad school. From what I’ve read they pay more attention to your academics during your junior and senior year when you are more into your major classes so don’t start slacking now! You’ve made it to the home stretch and you should very proud of yourself so enjoy.