Graduating college can be summed up in the emotions of enthusiasm, hesitation, anger, happiness and any of the combination of the above. Leaving college can be a delighted feeling on one hand and yet on the other the thought of bills, work, student loans and the final string between the connections with parents is finally broken. But before you graduate there are a quite a few things that you should do, the least of which include finishing up that report/research paper that is due at the end of the semester.
Work on a resume
Although a resume is one of the worst ways to judge an applicant’s readiness for a particular job, it has become to de facto standard in setting up an interview or even securing the job itself. A resume not only sheds light on your education but your culture, views etc. Of course, to the untrained eye this is hard to see but those who go through resumes on a daily basis are able to pick up these subtle signs and notice trends.
If you want to have the best chance at landing a job, you’ll need a solid resume because it is your first impression. It’s not overkill to start working on your resume from your junior or even sophomore year. As time passes by there will be a lot more things to add to it and no doubt you can expand it with experiences gained in and out of class.
The best thing about working on your resume before you leave college is you will have something to place into employers hands as soon as you receive your diploma.
Take a course just for the heck of it
No doubt you’ve seen at least one class offered at your university or college that got you curious. You might have even done some research on the class and decided that you wanted to take it. So why haven’t you? These will be among the four best years of your life and needless to say, these are the years that will help define you as an adult.
So why not go for it. Maybe you wanted to learn the basics of acting, directing a film, photography, philosophy, business administration or some other course that does not directly relate to your major. Who knows, maybe this might fuel some interest into a particular field that you had no interest in before.
There is nothing quite like studying in a foreign country for a year and the experience gained is invaluable. You don’t have to study abroad for a year, you could do a semester or a summer but whatever you decide, spending a considerable time in a foreign country will not only increase your vocabulary (taking that the country which you choose speaks a different language than what you know).
Study abroad programs are great resume boosters as well. If you and another applicant have almost identical resumes in terms of skill sets and positions held etc. stating that you did a year stint in Germany, Spain or some other country can give you that extra oomph to put you on top.
The great thing with study abroad programs is that they apply to a wide range of majors from computer science to the sciences, not to mention the arts and history.
Spend spring break outside of the country
It’s become so cliché to spend spring vacations in Mexico, but there are many other areas that provide great deals to students on a budget who want to experience the awesomeness of another country. If you shop around, you can find budget deals to London, Canada, The West Indies and other South and Central American countries.
This will be one of the few times in your life that you will have the ability to travel to another country unless your profession is a pilot or international business where you’re actually played to fly around the world.
Just remember a few rules of safety. Travel in groups, do not go anywhere off the beaten path unless you speak the language and are confident that you will be safe. Of course, don’t talk to strangers and definitely do not invite them to your residence and last but not least do not carry expensive equipment or jewelry on you.
Leave your mark
We all want to be famous don’t we? Well not all of us but for the most part we want to know that we have left our mark on the world in a whole or on at least part of it. What better way to do that then at your college where generations from now people will still see that mark.
There are quite a few things both good and bad you can do to leave a mark on your college and after thinking for a while you might come up with some, but to start off with you might want to consider some type of statue in your honor. Disguise it as a work of art, or create an infamous fraternity or better yet, become famous and your school will boast about you then.
Whatever you do, make sure it’s not something to get yourself in too much trouble!
Learn to keep your dorm room clean
If you can’t keep a 24 x 24 dorm room clean for a few days, how the hell do you think you’ll be able to keep that 3600 square foot home clean, or keep a handle on that desk of yours at work, or have any idea of the importance of cleanliness when you graduate?
I’m probably sounding like your mom at the moment, but it’s the truth, habits follow you for life and the best way to stay clean later is to begin by now. Don’t overwhelm yourself, just go a day at a time and the best way to keep any place clean is put whatever you used away as soon as you’re done because before you know it, all those things will add up and sooner or later it will look like a tsunami passed through your dorm.
Join a fraternity/sorority
You might not be able to get into the Skull and Bones, but that doesn’t mean you cannot join an awesome fraternity and enjoy the benefits of exclusivity for life. Almost every major college has their fair share of fraternities and sororities and you can be a part of and of course get into trouble with.
But one of the biggest benefits of a sorority or fraternity is that sense of exclusivity and family. For the most part, these guys/gals will have your back for almost anything they official condone.
Find an internship
Employers are not looking for those who can read everything from a book and regurgitate it to them. They want real world experience and there is not a better way to gain this experience than to get an internship. From your sophomore or junior year it is a good idea to work on internship programs during the regular school year or the summer. You want to have at least 2-3 internship experiences to boast about on your resume, the more the better.
Conduct Research with a professor
This is a valuable activity for picking up interest in Ivy League grad schools. Grad schools just like employers are not looking for students who are only good at the books, but rather those who have real world experience and research with a professor can be valuable. Not only that, but if that research gets enough notoriety it could be published in a journal/magazine/newspaper and no doubt schools and employers will start to take notice.
Ask him/her out
Even if you’re the outgoing type, you might be scared to ask that one person out who you’ve had classes with at least three times, seen them in the cafeteria, library or working at the campus bookstore but couldn’t really come up with enough courage to ask them out.
Almost everyone runs into this problem at least once in their life so you’re not the only one, but in the end would you rather ask them out and they declined than you failed to ask them out and wonder for the rest of your life what could have happened if you did?
Keys to being successful are to play it cool, do not over react and as they always say “be yourself.” Don’t ask them out directly first. Arrange a study date or eat lunch together, maybe even attend an intramural game together. The key is to become acquaintances first and move on from there.
Final words are brief, college is a place for you to broaden your horizons and explore things you’ve never done before. If you did not than you can say you missed about half of the true college experience. Not saying you have to go overboard, but come on, it’s not every day you get to have a dorm party with your closest buddies until 2 in the morning is it?