I graduate in less than a week. It hit me when I turned in all but one final project and started thinking about decorating my graduation cap. My senior year has flown right by. College, in general, has flown by. I started questioning if I made the most of it. Did I do everything I said I would? Have I made enough friends? Have my grades been good enough? Have I done enough within my major to land a job? It's all so bittersweet. Ball State has been my home. Whatever school you call home, here is everything I've learned, and what you should remember for your senior year.
1. Don't let your grades slip.
I know you're having fun, and I've had fun, too. It's so important to live it up, make memories, and go out with a bang, but don't ruin it before the rest of your life begins. This is the time to be serious about school. If you've never made Dean's List, shoot for it. Land that dream Internship. Make your resume pop. Make the first three years really count for something.
2. Take pictures.
I've made friends over the last four years that have become family. They're about to go off and be teachers, entrepreneurs, nurses, and journalists like me. They might change the world from a million miles away. Capture those memories with the people that kept you going. Someday, you'll look back at the goofy picture from Wednesday night dinner at Woodworth Commons, or the 2 a.m trip to Insomnia Cookies, or the concert where you narrowly avoided death by alcohol poisoning. All of these memories shaped your college experience.
3. Make connections.
Keep in touch with your favorite professor. Make friends with your coworkers from your internship, or even the boss from the restaurant job you hated, but that paid the rent. Every person you meet could lead you somewhere, including your dream job. Make a good impression, get phone numbers and emails, and reach out as often as you can.
4. Don't be afraid to grow as a person.
Every year of college could be different from the last. You might find a whole new friend group. You could meet the person you're meant to spend your life with and get married. You might decide to go Greek, or you might have a full course load and lose touch with people and things you loved. Not every person you meet is meant to be permanent, and that's okay. I learned that a lot this year. Your best friend could be a stranger the next day, but change can also be a very good thing. Figure out who you are senior year, and the people that grow with you are the ones who are meant to stay.
5. Finish strong.
It's so easy during your last semester to say, "I'm acing this. I'm going to graduate. What's a missed class or a skipped assignment?" Well, it's still important. Put everything into your last semester. Show the people who are buried in exams as lost freshmen that it does get better. They will graduate, and the next four years are going to be over in the blink of an eye.