As some of you may not know, my tenure as a Quaker is quickly coming to an end. With my college years nearing their conclusion and the icy cold grasp of the real world upon me, I’ve decided to put together a list not only for the benefit of my fellow seniors, but also for my soon-to-be-seniors and the rest of the student body. Without further to do, the five things you should do before you graduate college:
#5 – Work on your resume, cover letter(s), etc
There’s nothing worse than finding a job you would love to have and not having your resume ready to go for it. Sadly, the actual job world doesn’t work in online applications and filled out paper forms. For most jobs, you’re going to need a resume, and having one ready sooner rather than later is always a plus. Having your resume done ahead of time allows you to show it around to your friends, and I would definitely show it off to a trusted adult. Why? Simple: It’s going to need work. No matter how awesome you think your resume might be, it is always going to need a little tweaking. Doing this before you send it off for your dream job will help make sure that you stand out for all the right reasons. At WC, we’re lucky enough to have a career services office that will not only evaluate your resume, but also offer workshops on making them as well as cover letters. Practice can’t hurt you, and having a sharp resume is one of the best things you can do for the start of your adult life.
#4 – Let the people who mean the most to you know
It might sound sappy to say it, but, you never know when you will see your friends from college again. You have no idea where the next step of your life is going to take you, and keeping the gang together may prove ultimately futile. If you’re nearing the end of your college career, take some time to let the people who matter to you know just how special they are. Tell your favorite professor just how much you have learned from them, and thank your RA for helping you out of a jam. Let your close friends know just how much of an impact they had on your college career. Give a friend a hug, or even do something special for them. Make sure you get together and have fun together as much as you can before you leave, because you never know what the future holds. Thank them while you can, and make sure they know just how important they are to you.
#3 – Start really strapping down on your finances
While it feels like the end of college is going to be one big party after another (and if you graduate in the spring when the weather warms up, this proves to be true due to the collegiate reaction to warm weather) but at the same time you can’t blow all of your money on beer and video games. Start saving up a little bit of money so that you aren’t struggling when you graduate. Leave yourself enough so that if you don’t find your next job, you still have a little bit of money to float you before starting a summer job or that career you’ve been waiting for. Make it a goal to have enough for a security deposit and a month’s worth of rent in a decent apartment, should you feel like moving somewhere. However, this doesn’t mean that you should spend your last month pinching your pennies. Have fun, but be responsible. [Responsible, a word that haunts you from elementary school and becomes your reality after graduation]
#2 – Take one last “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” day for yourself
Round up your friends, play hooky on a beautiful day and drive to Cincinnati, or Columbus. Catch a baseball game. Go to a movie, a restaurant, a bar, it doesn’t matter. Take one day for the sole purpose of having a good time with people you love. That saying that “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again” is very true. So be a kid one last time while you don’t have to worry about being an adult.
#1 – Enjoy every moment that you can, the good and the bad
This is it. This is the end of your college career, and in many ways the true end to your childhood. Your real formative years are about to begin, ones where you are constantly tested by bills, trials, careers, lovers, friends, spouses, etc. After this the party is over and the hard part of life begins. It can be scary, and I’m not saying adulthood is something to fear. However, it is something you should respect. Make it so that you can live the kind of life you want to live and not have to worry. Make it so your future is the one that you always dreamed of it being, the one you wanted it to be. Every door in the world will be open to you once you graduate, so take the time to enjoy walking down the hallway before you make the choice of which door to open. Life should be an adventure, make sure that’s what you let your life and your future become: one grand adventure.