As the end of a semester is quickly approaching, it’s important for seniors who are graduating this December to think about this upcoming chapter in their lives. The past four (or more) years of college have likely been a whirlwind for anyone at the end of their undergraduate journey, and while the final semester of college is a whirlwind in itself, it is important to start planning for what is coming next before next comes.
Many things come with planning for life after college, but first there is some housekeeping one must take care of before Friday, Dec. 7 arrives.
As a senior, after you apply to graduate, it is important to meet with your advisor to ensure that your Degree Works are in order and you are still on track to graduate. Throughout the semester, it is a good idea to keep up with advisor meetings, as well as meeting with professors one-on-one to ensure you are keeping up in your classes.
Senior year can become the busiest semester of an entire college career. Due to that, many can start to fall behind in their classes. Touching base throughout the semester is a good way to prevent that from happening.
Another important housekeeping task to take care of, is making sure that you have taken care of other important things you need to do through the university before graduation day. A good way of figuring out what to do is by visiting the University Registrar’s Office’s, “To Do List For Graduating Seniors” webpage at https://reg.uncg.edu/commencement-central/to-do-list-may/.
There you can find all the important tasks you need to do, such as informing the university if you plan to attend the commencement ceremony and purchasing graduation regalia through the UNCG bookstore
Now that you’ve gotten some basic housekeeping out of the way- what comes next with graduating? Well, that all depends on what a senior is planning to do afterward.
If you’re planning to jump into the workforce after graduation, now is a great time to start researching careers in your field of interest. Researching beforehand is a good way to see what certain jobs and companies require of you to be a good candidate.
An additional helpful thing to do, is to visit the UNCG Career Services Center (CSC), either in person or online at https://csc.uncg.edu/students/. There you can not only research jobs you’re interested in, but you can also build your resume, find out dates for career workshops to attend, and also learn interviewing and professionalism skills— important skills to have as you begin to apply and potentially be called in for make-it-or-break-it interviews!
Professionalism is all about knowing how to engage with people on a professional level, an important feat when it comes to the adult world. Which jumps into the next important planning strategy a graduating senior needs to begin to do— networking.
Networking is a great way to break into the field that you’re interested in, and to meet connections that can help you along the way. You can start this by speaking to alumni you know, professors in your major and mutual contacts you may know in your preferred industry. One good way to do this is by creating a LinkedIn profile, and connecting to the UNCG LinkedIn page where you can connect with other alumni and even get job alerts.
Another important tidbit when it comes to networking, especially online, is to clean up your social media. More often than we realize, employers check a job applicant’s social media page. It’s a good idea to make sure you don’t have anything that could be potentially job damaging on your profile.
What about seniors who plan to take a year off before jumping into a full-time career? Well, there are many things you can do in preparation for that year.
One thing you can do is look for internships if you have not had one already. Internships are a great way to dip your toes in the water without jumping all the way in. Find out if you’re truly passionate about the career you’re aspiring to be in.
Want to develop a new skill after college? Start looking into classes for skills you’ve always had an interest in but never had time to do due to school obligations. Or pick up that grade school hobby you loved to do before you went off to university. Sometimes that hobby or skill can go a long way and even turn into something you want to make a part or full-time career.
Or perhaps you want to backpack around a foreign country for a few months. Something many students dream of doing after school. If you’re financially secure enough to be able to do this, start planning for it right away.
Look up when’s the best time to visit the country you’re interested in. See if you need any immunization shots for the particular country you are visiting. Check into fees for things like plane tickets, hostels and transportation to get around. Start budgeting as soon as possible, so that when the time comes, you are prepared for your long-awaited post-grad trip.
The most important thing to take away from all of this is: to start planning and cultivating the life you want to live after school. While undergrad sometimes feels like the longest thing you will ever do, the tail end of it flies by quicker than you think. So, start preparing accordingly. Also, enjoy the time you have left while in college. Spend time with the friends you made in college this final month, because before you know it, you’ll be scattered all throughout the country, or maybe even the world.
December 7 will be here before you know it. So take some time to get things together, so when the day comes you can confidently turn the page (and your tassel) onto your next chapter of life.