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Six Tips To Prepare College Seniors for Graduation

Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

Your life is your story, and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfill your purpose and potential” — Kerry Washington

When I come back in August, I will be a college senior. I will also walk across the stage in my cap and gown, and get my Bachelor’s Degree in May.

My three years of college have been incredible!

I made many friends, went to counseling, studied abroad, changed my major, and participated in campus events such as Spring Fling, Christmas Tree Lighting, and Homecoming.

I am excited to graduate in May, but I don’t know what I want to do after college.

If anyone asked me what I wanted to be, five years ago, I would reply to a pediatrician without hesitation.

Here are five tips I used to prepare myself for life after college.

Update Your Resume

The resume is an important asset to highlight work experience, skills, and unique qualities for employment.

Make sure to make the resume as recent as possible by adding new skills, work experiences, and references you have recently.

It is imperative to create one if you don’t have one.

Your career path will be different from your peers

Many people you know will plan to apply to graduate school during their senior year.

Others may decide to take a gap year and use it to travel or join the military.

It’s normal to be concerned about your future especially when your peers seem to have their paths figured out.

Don’t worry about what other people are doing and focus on your interests and skills.

Contrary to popular belief, career paths are not in a straight line.

I know a friend who changed her career path many times.

She entered college as a pre-dental student who majored in Cell and Molecular Biology.

By the second semester of freshman year, she changed her major to Biology.

In our sophomore year, she decided to pursue medicine instead of dentistry.

That same year, she switched her major from Biology to Kinesiology.

Before the end of sophomore year, she switched back to Biology.

After evaluating her passions and interests, she realized a career in nursing was best for her.

Look out for Deadlines

Deadlines contribute the most to the stress of graduation planning.

It’s easy to forget to fill out your graduation application when you have an upcoming Chemistry test.

A person may want to retake the MCAT before submitting their application to medical school.

A person may have to worry about scheduling a job interview after coming from a research lab.

Balancing prior commitments and graduation deadlines will help you stay organized.

The best way of organizing priorities is to invest in a planner to keep track of deadlines.

College Career Services

It’s never too late to use your career services center on campus if you’re unsure about your future.

They can lead you in the direction of the right career path based on your personality, skill set, and interests.

Some professionals can lead you to internships and volunteer organization which would strengthen your resume.

It won’t hurt to take advantage of these services before graduating.

Use your Contacts

Reach out to professors, acquaintances, and mentors for internships and job opportunities.

I applied for an opportunity to be a student researcher with my Sociology professor in March.

Although I didn’t get the position, I reached out to the director of Social Science Research for research opportunities.

She connected me to a professor who had conducted health prevention research projects for minorities.

The network interaction resulted in an internship with a medical school.

Take Care of Yourself

While the United States has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, precautions to protect our health and those around us are essential.

If you are returning to campus, follow university guidelines to keep you and your classmates safe.

Use college counseling services whenever you feel overwhelmed or distressed.

Remember to eat right and exercise to improve your physical health.

If you are residing at home, find a quiet room to study, and do classwork.

You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all the world’s problems at once, but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” — Michelle Obama

Six Tips To Prepare College Seniors for Graduation was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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