Being a recent graduate myself, the pressure and stress of senior year is still very fresh on my mind. Senior year of college is at once one of the scariest, most exciting and most nerve-wracking periods of life. As much as I tried not to, I still made a few mistakes that made my year a lot more difficult than it had to be. Here are some tips that will reduce the stress and make the most of your last year of school:
1. Do away with the unnecessary pressure to “live it up” your last year, because your GPA is still on the line.
At the beginning of my senior year, I was spending a lot more time than usual on social events because I was afraid that it felt like my last chance to have fun in college. Very soon, I realized that I was jeopardizing my grades by being spending so much time on other things. It might be your senior year, but school is still school is still school.
What to do: Find a reasonable balance between enjoying your last moments on campus, and still being a committed student.
2. Whether you’re applying to jobs or to graduate school, applications are not an organic process. If you like to “go with the flow” like me, this might be a place to rein in your free spirit, and pull out an excel sheet.
One mistake that I made was being very disorganized with my applications. If you’re used to going with the flow and doing things last minute, applications that are done last minute are more often than not unsuccessful, and the whole process of applying is a very demanding one. What to do: Pull out the excel sheets, the google docs, the phone reminders, whatever has worked for you so far.
3. Not saving enough.
Fair enough, many people don’t have enough money to save, but if you do, not saving would be a mistake. Your fist few months outside of college might come wth expenses you’re not prepared for, so it’s wise to have enough money set aside, just in case things don’t work out as smoothly as you might expect.
4. Quadruple check to make sure you have all the credits required to graduate and to walk during commencement.
At my university, there was a difference between “applying for a degree” and “registering for commencement”, and many people regularly confused the two. Make sure you’re well aware of all the technicalities on your path to successfully completing your time at your school so that you’re not taken by surprise towards the end.
5. Do not panic.
Fear is an incredibly paralyzing yet extremely unproductive emotion. I missed a number of application deadlines because I was so anxious about just doing the necessary thing and applying.
One of the best pieces of advice I was given is that the decisions you’re making right now seem way more consequential than they really are. Commit your year into God’s hands, prepare yourself, and then trust your preparation. Trust that God has a specific plan and purpose for your life. Every thing might not turn out the way you hope but you have the rest of your life to get it right.
All the best!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.– Jeremiah 29:11