Samantha Bachman is a Site Merchandise Coordinator for the clothing company rue21, based in Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY with a degree in Communication & Journalism and a minor in Digital Cultures & Technologies.
If it hasn’t hit you yet, just wait a month and then it will really set in. Graduation notices, job applications, loan payments, and the constant questions of “So what are your plans after you graduate?” All of it can be quite over-whelming; I just went through it myself no less than 4 months ago. There are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate your last semester as student, so here are my top 5 pieces of advice.
1) Make the most of it. So cliché, I know. But if graduate school is not a part of your post-grad plans this statement can’t be any more appropriate. As much as doing your work and finishing out the semester strong is important, also is creating memories with the people you’ve experienced it with the past 2-4 years. Take advantage of it while you can. People move, have crazy schedules, and just have less time in general to spend with friends as careers start to take off.
2) When your work load gets heavy just remember: it’s your last semester. My last semester of college was my most stressful in regards to the amount of work I had, and that might be that true to some of you. It can be hard to “make the most it” while balancing a heavy work load, but this is where the time tell-tale of time management comes in. You might feel like you’re in over your head, but just keep in mind that you might never hear the word “homework” again, so how relieving is that?
3) If you haven’t gotten involved, it’s not too late. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be involved in school, and if you haven’t yet you should find whatever you can, even if it’s volunteering here and there. It can most-definitely make getting a job or internship much easier in the long run. This can also fall under making the most of it. After you’ve left your school it’s cool to look back and see that you were a part of more than being just a student.
4) Stay ahead of the graduation countdown. Don’t wait until the last minute to order your gown and get your graduation information. Most schools have graduation fairs or information sessions that are a one-stop shop for all your graduation needs. I highly recommend attending one of the earlier ones so it’s out of the way.
5) Stop stressing over job applications! This is my most important piece of advice. Coming from a person who always has an organized plan of attack, my last semester in college taught me that sometimes you have to let go and wait for things to fall into place. You should be proactive when it comes to applying for jobs and internships (don’t think taking an internship after graduation is below you, it’s perfectly acceptable) your last semester of college, but don’t get stressed if things don’t fall into place right away. It’s always great to have a plan, but sometimes plans shift to something you wouldn’t have expected before.
So what are you waiting for? Stop stressing and go make the most of your last semester, good luck!