Seniors Salute: Goodbye College Life, Hello Real World

Pre-graduation gitters?  So relax, it’s very common. There’s something about earning that diploma that makes things so surreal– it’s life changing, and quite frankly, your career and future especially depend on it.

Graduation for millions of college seniors across the country will begin next week. Thinking about the real world becoming quite the reality mom and dad have threatened us with is nothing shy of scary; however, the most exciting moment of your life yet.

As the days of my collegiate career draw closer to its’ end each day, I can’t help but to reminisce on lessons learned, memories cherished and horrid hardships surpassed.

I thought it’d b neat to give back to those who will be in my very position one day– a graduating senior, on the verge of finally breaching the real world. Though my experiences or my advise may not be expertise, I myself wish I would’ve known what all to expect or had someone tell me what to stipend pay close attention to or what to put behind me and move forward while looking at the bigger picture.

I want to help.

What better way to do that than of that from the tongues of college seniors themselves.

Learning has many dimensions. Understanding how a new environment functions in terms of its expectations and culture sometimes requires more imagination, flexibility, maturity and judgment than working through a course syllabus. This is true particularly but not exclusively in employment situations.

 

1.) Keep an eye on the future 

Senior year goes by incredibly fast. One minute you’re crunching around in the fall leaves, mystified by the fact that you are the oldest group of students on campus, and the next you’re donning your cap and gown and staring the Real World in the face like a deer in headlights.

It’s important to think about what you see yourself doing after G-day. Research jobs or other opportunities — you have the entire Internet at your fingertips. Search through job descriptions and requirements to get a feel for the kind of opportunity you are qualified for.

Reach out to your school’s alumni asking for advice. Reach out to your professors, talk to your counselors, talk to your friends’ older siblings. Go for informational interviews (but first research how to properly and professionally ask for one!), ask a ton of questions.

Network. Spend time having someone critique your resume and cover letter. Revise your resume and cover letter. Figure out what makes you stand out. Try to connect with someone who has a job you might eventually want, and be a little sponge soaking up information from them.

Senior Mariah Mitchell said she’s anticipating earning her degree in May, but still isn’t sure of her post-graduation plans.

Mariah Mitchell

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Pictured above: Mitchell posing for graduation photos on campus.

 

Although she too doesn’t have a set plan after graduation, senior Caitlin Jones has her sights set on moving back home to Texas where the job opportunities are abundant.

Jones is focused on pursuing her career and is confident that her degree will guide her where she belongs– no stress needed.

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Pictured above: Jones posing during a photo shoot for her senior pictures.

Jones also said in other words of advise, “don’t stress about GPA but always try to do your best.”

3.) Be a crazy college student first, reflect on how far you’ve come later 

In just a few months, most of the things you do in your spare time/nights out will not be considered socially acceptable. If you don’t care about society’s expectations, there is still the reality that it’s difficult to keep up your college habits while still holding down a job.

So, drink on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or even Sunday if you so desire. Make memories with your friends. Go on a road trip at 2am just because. (But DO NOT do that if you’re drinking). Make ridiculous music videos with your roommates. Smoke weed (if you wanna).

Do all those things that were on your college bucket list but you still hadn’t accomplished. Whether it’s as innocent as biking from one end of campus to another or experiencing some old school tradition you had yet to cross off your list.

Senior Traneshia Stromer said staying focused is important but so is gaining the college experience to the fullest.

“My advise would be to work hard and stay focused, but have fun. College flies by. Meet new people, experience new things, break out of your comfort zone and live life,” said Stormer. Remembering to make time for fun and relaxation should also be a priority.

Lastly, there are many reasons to think about the journey and progression you made in college. Remember to always reflect. College memories are many yet temporary, as I like to say– savor them responsibly!

 

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