Throughout your college career, your peers and advisors attempt to help you maintain a focus towards the future. I don’t know about y’all but in my opinion, the future is quite a scary thing to think about! Here are a few tips/advice/tools to ease the stress that is your “Senior Year of College” and hopefully these tips will help you find the strength to face the future head on and in a more positive light.
1. A Planner
I personally love and have had the most success with the planners on erincondren.com. I constantly found myself neglecting and losing any flimsy and ordinary planner that I bought from a grocery store or even Michael’s. These planners are personalized, detailed, include microscopic and macroscopic calendar pages (day-to-day and monthly), and also come with a zip-lock pouch and stickers to quickly label things in the back – not to mention a ruler for a bookmark.
Organization is key in life and writing down your goals and your tasks on every level will only help keep you on track and feeling prepared for what is to come.
2. Scrapbook / Photo Album
I know that nowadays everyone posts all their pictures on Facebook or Instagram and stop there when it comes to collecting memories, but I say don’t! Eventually Facebook and all the other internet sources we use will fade away or be replaced in some way or another. Or we might just grow out of them completely. But one thing that can never be replaced is having the chance to sit down and flip through pages of photos and memories with close friends. You will find it oddly satisfying when you tape that picture on the page and date it. Even more so when you have filled up multiple pages.
3. Make a List
Before the year starts, get together with your closest friends and put together a list of all the things you said you would do before you graduated. From simple things like going to that restaurant that is just a tad over your normal college budget but you hear is worth every penny, to taking a road trip on a random weekend.
4. Do the List
Now do them. Chances are you will never be this young, this free and independent, and without “major responsibilities” again so take advantage of all that you can. Start checking things off the list and don’t forget to take advantage of those student discounts people never told you about, or if they did, you always forgot about!
5. Have Fitness Goals or Plans for the Year.
“Senior-itis” is unfortunately not isolated in High School and physical activity and keeping yourself in shape and healthy will help boost your energy! At the very least buy some weights you can keep with you at home if you don’t make it to your campus gym. These inexpensive hand weights from Target are perfect for the College budget!
6. Be Open
Be open to new experiences and welcome diversity and challenge into your life. If college didn’t show you how many different walks of life co-exist or how challenging the smallest hurdles can sometimes be, than life after college DEFINITELY will.
7. Update Your Resume
Make sure that you have an updated resume! Use your school’s writing center for some help or have peers look over it to make sure everything looks just right. Having this ready to go will eliminate some stress when you start applying for jobs!
8. A Go-To Blazer
Along with your resume, you’re going to want to invest in a go-to blazer that makes you feel confident and ready to take on the world. Business casual attire can sometimes be costly especially when you’re on a college budget, and you have multiple different interviews to attend. A basic blazer can dress up an outfit within seconds, and will also allow you to present yourself professionally.
Check out your local JCrew or H&M for some guaranteed success!
9. Take Your Own Path
Many people around you will be applying for grad schools, law schools, even medical schools while you decide it is not for you. Regardless of the reason, be it timing, indecision, expenses, ignore the pressure that might come with taking a different path than others. Don’t apply or even attend grad school if you don’t know what you want to study. If you are looking into schools and need a bit of guidance, there are books available to help you through the process step by step (I’ve even found some that go month by month).
This book is for applying to graduate school specifically in interest of studying psychology: http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4313011.aspx
10. Enjoy It
Stress within the school year is inevitable and sometimes unavoidable. If you’re like me, stress isn’t isolated just to the school year and you happen to stress about the fact that sometimes you have nothing to stress out about (logical, I know). Everyone has their own way of relieving stress, and hopefully by this time in your life you have figured out your own personal remedy. It is important to remember to do them! Remember that you are not alone in this process, and this time of your life is going to fly by faster than you think or want it to, so enjoy it while you can!