Graduating senior

Hello, my name is Tyvia Chandler, and I am currently a visual merchandiser in retail, as well as a freelance writer. I have my BS degree in journalism and mass communication from Texas State University, where I also minored in fashion merchandising. I hope to one day combine my love of writing and fashion, doing editorial work or different projects in fashion media.

As the fall semester swiftly approaches its end, many seniors are graduating or anxiously awaiting for their last semester of undergrad. Now is the time for those last few meetings with an advisor, rushed appointments with career services and to give the best pitch of your life to those recruiters that have been visiting the university since freshman year. It truly is crunch time, not just to get a good final grade, but to get your life in order.
It really can be a difficult concept to grasp, however life is about to get real, real fast. No one is saying that you have to have all of your ducks in a row, but there should be at least a general plan for your next steps post-graduation. This is probably one of the most difficult things about college: finishing in a way that pushes you to the next level. It’s hard because for the last 15 or 16 years all you’ve probably known is school, but now you’re being thrown into the real world, where you’re expected to be entirely responsible for yourself. There won’t be any more pats on the back for minimal effort and having gotten that “A” in chemistry isn’t as impressive.
It’s important to understand that like you, there are many others that have done well in school and gotten their degree. While this is a great accomplishment, it is becoming the standard for many fields and you now have to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition. Creating relationships with different employers earlier on in your college career can be incredibly beneficial when it comes down to your final semester and planning your future. Having created that positive relationship is a sure way to set yourself apart from others because employers are already familiar with you and your work. Another important thing to consider is doing internships. This is great not only to create familiarity between you and the company, but it also allows you to learn a new set of skills, unique to your peers because these skills were learned outside of the classroom. Many degree plans at various colleges and universities require an internship for good reason. Setting time aside to work on your set of skills, whatever they may be, is beneficial regardless if they were taught in school or otherwise. Your degree is what gets you the interview, but your skill set is what lands you the job you want. If you’re truly passionate about something or are determined to reach a certain goal after graduation, you will do what it takes while you’re still in school to accomplish that goal.
Although graduation can be scary, preparation is key to a smooth transition into the world, free of essays, professors, dorms and dining halls. No one has it all figured out and even if you think you do, life has a way of showing you don’t. Try to be proactive, while still enjoying these last few semesters. The world will soon be yours.

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