I remember what it felt like during my last semester. I remember looking in the mirror and seeing the reflection of someone stricken with terror and stress. Now that spring (and graduation season) is upon us, I am starting to see these looks again from soon-to-be-but-not-ready-graduates. As someone who would have killed for some advice during this time of year, here is what I wish I had done differently:
Finally Gotten Organized:
Still working out of one notebook with a wad of important papers at the bottom of your backpack (or worse, scattered between multiple purses)? Last semester is your last chance to get organized. Buy a goddamn folder! Or, if you want to go real crazy, buy a small filing cabinet. From one disorganized person to another, there is nothing better than knowing where your things are. Also once you start the job hunt it will make things a lot easier.
Here is a great article of tools you should have in your young professional arsenal.
Picked Companies I Like:
Admit it, you spend hours surfing the web no matter what kind of impending deadlines are approaching. If you are not one the “unicorns” (those who have a job upon graduation) make a folder (yes, another one) in your browser or a board on Pinterest named “Companies to Watch.” Then every time you stumble upon something or someplace you like, add it. By the end of the semester you will have at least a hundred companies and places that you could see yourself working that might have fallen by the wayside. This is especially useful if you are looking at job positions now but know that they will be filled by the time you graduate. Instead of just forgetting about the company, add them to your folder. That way, when application season starts, you can see if they have any open positions.
Tried To Attend Class:
Most of us are not sure about post-grad plans. We might consider going to grad school in a couple years or we might want to dive into the job market. Either way, you are going to need references. This means don’t be a dick to teachers you have now, or they will not help you later. Attend class on time, write an email or talk to the professor if you miss something. This isn’t high school; professors can be your best allies. You will thank yourself when applying for your dream job and you can think of three references, no problem.
Go Ahead, Black Out:
Okay, you don’t have to black out. If you are someone who chooses to partake in liquid libations, this might be your last season to black out…responsibly. Let loose (not on Tuesday nights) and give yourself at least one night a week to forget your stress and enjoy friends and fun. Because trust me, adulthood can feel like a giant rollercoaster of doom.
Ever meet someone that would rather go to the gym than finish a paper? Then that person is up all night when they could have been cozy in bed and complaining to you via text. We all know that person. I am not saying throw your health and looks out the window (despite above tip) but school should be your top priority. A pedicure is not more important than a paper. You can even make compromises. For instance, if you know that you will be swamped with work, admit to yourself that you will not be going to the gym but you will make an effort to walk more and drive/use public transport less. Those extra minutes of walking a day really add up. Plus staying up late and being stressed can actually make you gain weight and look like crap.
All joking aside, grades and fun and school are important, but don’t kill yourself. You will never look back and wish you had gotten an A+ instead of an A, but you will regret not making more memories and enjoying a milestone of your life.