You are almost there. After four (or more) years of professors, papers, deadlines and dorms, you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. The uncertainty of freshman year has faded; the sophomore slump is long gone; and that hard work from junior year is paying off.
This is senior year.
Truth be told, this last leg of your college experience can be a comfortable, enjoyable time; after all, you’ve earned it! But, a period of major transition is just around the corner, so it is important to make the most of the time you have left. Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your senior year:
Get Out There!
You’ve made this place your home for years now, and there’s something comforting about the old, familiar college town bubble. However, if you haven’t yet had a chance to apply the theories you’ve been learning in the classroom outside of campus, now’s your chance! Not only do potential employers want to see that you have experience applying lessons learned to real world situations, it is extremely important to try these positions out for yourself. Research can only tell so much about a particular role or organization. Give yourself a leg up by earning some firsthand experience before entering a crowded workforce field.
Follow Your Interests
Hopefully, your required hours are all but locked up at this point. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, consider taking on a project or course that may be a bit out of the box, and connects to a personal passion. Maybe this means taking an independent study credit to research a concept you feel strongly about alongside a professor, or you could take an art class that lies outside of your typical comfort zone. Use this time to follow a passion and take a more personalized approach to your course load. Depending on your choice, you may even end the year with a new portfolio piece worth sharing!
It’s hard not to get nostalgic as you reach the end of your college road. But in reality, time will not stop once graduation day comes and goes. Corporations and other organizations do not follow a university schedule and careers are always on the move! Therefore, treat this last year as more of a bridge, than the end of the line. Prepare for your transition by reaching out to network connections you have been cultivating over the last few years, researching organizations you are interested in joining and making plans for living and working wherever your new home may be. Enjoy the ride, but be ready to hit the ground running once you cross that stage with diploma in hand.
Senior year is as much a time for preparation as it is for celebration. Take this final year to not only reflect on your entire body of education, but also to make a plan for the next phase of your life. Before you know it, just like terrible dorm food and random roommates, the support system you have come to rely on will be gone. Are you ready to embrace your passions and make an impact?
Do you have any tips for getting the most out of senior year? Share your college stories below!