So you've made it this far! The end is in sight and you can practically see yourself walking across the stage to get your degree. Maybe you have a job lined up after graduation or maybe you have no clue what you want to do with the rest of your life. Here are five tips to power through the last semester and beyond!
- Don't worry about everyone else. There will be people who will already have jobs secured going into your last semester. Don't let that affect you! As awesome as that is for them, leading yourself into believing that this is a prerequisite for graduating will only do more harm than good.
- Find a good routine. While reading through some articles providing advice for those in their last semester, I've seen a lot of people saying "live it up" or "it will never get better than this" or even "this is your last chance to do [fill in the blank]. To me that sounds pretty depressing. Sure life will change once you walk across the stage, but that doesn't mean you will have to radically change who you are. For some, the thought of post-college can be daunting and downright terrorizing. I've found maintaining a decent schedule helps with staying focused and in the present. Whether that's listening to a daily podcast at the same time every day or taking a break and doing something you enjoy, even for ten minutes, this can work wonders for those feeling nervous about what's to come. Providing a moment of stability in a hectic time of one's life can really make a difference.
- Change your mentality. It's tough growing up in the U.S. school system. Even just recently, we have seen the lengths some are willing to go to in order to try and put themselves in the best position post-college. "Take honors and AP classes in high school; add in some impressive extra-curricular activities; go to a target college; build your network; commit to summer internships; get a full-time offer"—the list goes on and on. None of these things are inherently bad, but when you find yourself in your last semester, with no next objective on the social timeline, it can be jarring. Explore your options, be excited about what's in front of you! Your timeline is your own and no one else can decide for you what that entails.
- Seek out your own interests. For four years, you have been told what classes to take and essentially what to learn. Sure, you've chosen your own major, but it still hasn't been done on your own terms. You've studied the text, memorized the notes, and taken the test. Don't let that be the end of your learning. Grades still matter, but for the first time in your life, find the things that excite and interest you; no grades or strings attached. Let college be a springboard to finding your true interests, not a piece of paper saying "I'm done".
- Tether yourself to friends and family. These are the people that will see your future maybe even before you; the ones who will believe in you before you do. They'll encourage, inspire, and spur you on to reach heights you never thought you could. One day you will look back and realize how far you've come—and your family and friends will be the ones there every step of the way!