8 Lessons For The College Student Approaching Their Final Semester

8 Lessons For The College Student Approaching Their Final Semester

The end is in sight.
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I’m approaching my last semester of college and it’s giving me mixed feelings.

On the one hand, I’m really excited to never have homework again and to be done cramming for final exams.

On the other hand, I’m going to miss being a student, going to class with my friends and staying up until 2:00 a.m.

The end is in sight. It's time to make the most out of your final semester. Here are some last-minute bits of advice:

1. It’s okay to be afraid of growing up.

Adulthood means paying your own medical bills, filing your taxes and saving up for a mortgage.

For most students, a college diploma means financial independence, and that’s terrifying when you’ve never experienced it before.

2. Prepare yourself for the working world.

Start searching for jobs during your last semester. Put effort into your resume and cover letter. Show up early for your job interview and master a firm handshake. Update your LinkedIn profile regularly. Remember to say thank you.

Success in the working world is all about respect and reliability.

3. Think about the future.

And I mean really think about it. What kind of future do you want? Where do you want to live? What are your financial goals? What are your personal goals?

These are huge (and unanswerable) questions, but they're important. It's the best way to make sure you're on track to succeed.

4. Start saving money, like, yesterday.

Easier said than done, I know, but you're going to need it. You can't do anything without money as an adult, so start pinching pennies.

A five-dollar coffee or five dollars toward paying off your student loans? You decide.

5. Make time to call your family.

There's a lot going on during your final semester, but don't forget to call the people who have supported you since day one.

I guarantee that they miss you and want to know how you're doing.

6. Don’t slack off.

It’s easy to imagine that diploma already in your hand, but don’t get lazy. You need to devote just as much energy to your studies as you did every other semester.

This semester is probably the most important one yet. It’s crunch time!

7. Remember to have fun.

Make time for yourself. Do things that make you happy.

Sleep in, do yoga, hang out with your friends, go to the gym, buy a bottle of wine, binge-watch something on Netflix…Your brain is going to need a break after three and a half years of hard work.

8. Be a kid.

This is your last chance to make bad decisions, shirk responsibility and get drunk on a Tuesday before it's no longer socially acceptable.

Wear sweatpants to class! Post a swimsuit pic on Instagram! Send your crush a risky text! You're only young once.

Now get out there and make some memories!

Cover Image Credit: Jonathan Daniel

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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I Cannot Wait For My College Graduation

An important milestone in my life is complete.

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On December 8, 2018, I along with thousands of other Sam Houston State Univerity's (SHSU) students will be walking across the stage to earn my Bachelor degree, notably that of Bachelor of English.

It has been a long six and a half years for me, filled with indecision about my future and how I will contribute to society after the college bubble pops. In two months, however, the fight will be over and I will move on to the stage in life where the whole world is my oyster.

Nothing makes me more excited than to see the finish line and while I have considered dropping out at several points in my time in post-education, you don't quit at the final stretch. With that in mind, it's best for me to reflect on what this means for the future.

The first thing is that I hope to get more involved in writing in the future. There are all sorts of opportunities for writing out there aside from "do you want to write a novel?" There's copywriting, comic book writing, writing for publications (like this one), and the list goes on. As someone who writes for "Smashboards," that's a video game website I will already be writing for in the future.

Another thing is that I would love to find ways to get involved in my local community. Huntsville, Texas has fortunately proven to be a welcoming community that gives fellow residents a chance to prove themselves. Slightly over 40,000 is hardly a huge city, but when a town is as small as this, it takes everyone involved to make it as great as it is.

I expect to be in the city for at least a few more years.

The great thing about all of this is that I will actually have friends in the future to talk to. I'll be able to reach out regarding my writing if I have any questions, get advice on how to join Huntsville and Houston's writing scene, and to talk to people about my goals in the future.

As I said before, my time at SHSU will prove valuable towards building the network I already have and I am excited to keep in touch with the people that I already know.

I want to thank everyone who gave me the opportunity to make this graduation possible. I want to thank my family for putting me through college as far as they did, my professors for helping me to expose myself to challenging ideas, and my friends for giving me a community I felt I could be a part of.

Everyone who has chosen to be involved in my life means a lot to me and I say this with sincerity.

The six and a half years, especially the last two and a half, have prepared me for the rest of my life.

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