Senior Year Secrets, As Told By Recent Grads

Okay, seniors, now let’s get in formation.

You’ve done the whole freshman orientation thing.  You’ve conquered the sophomore slump.  You (somehow) survived the junior year from hell.  And yet, gearing up for your final year of university is still pretty daunting.

I gotchu.

I hit up seven recent grads and racked their college-educated brains for advice on showing senior year who’s boss.  Here’s what they had to say:

On Networking

Try to seize opportunities to meet anyone in your senior year, and let them know your interests and goals.  You never know, they could be the one helping you land a job in 6 months!” – Christina, Marymount Manhattan College ‘15

Make connections and keep those connections going throughout and past your college career because those are so valuable.  Also, probably get close or stay in touch with some of your fav professors too, because you never know how they can help in the future.” – Alanna, Fordham University ‘16

Tell people about your post-grad dreams and ambitions.  By letting people know what you’d like to do after graduation, you’re opening up the lines of communication in a network that just might help you find your next step!  You never know what connection one person might have that can lead to a really amazing opportunity.” – Biz, University of Maryland ’16

On Landing a Job

Going to the career fair is a great way to snag a job or internship!  The company you intern with should ultimately be a company you could see yourself possibly working for.” – Victoria, Kansas State University ‘15

“It’s a balance between “good things come to those who wait” and actively putting in effort to get your name out into the working world.” – Christina

Set aside some time every day to apply for jobs.  I kept telling myself I would look for jobs when I was less busy with schoolwork…but that NEVER happened.  Setting aside an hour every day will help you find that post-graduate job and also cause you not to go crazy spending all day looking for jobs.  Also, make looking for jobs more fun — I would turn on some fun music or put on a movie while looking for jobs to help the process.” – Alysha, California State University, Fullerton ‘16

On Academics

“Work hard on your academics, but also make sure that you’re prioritizing a healthy amount of fun.  You’ll kick yourself when you realize you didn’t have to spend all night studying for a midterm when you could’ve been out having a fun adventure with friends.” – Biz

Don’t take academics too seriously, but also study hard and finish off strong — end with a bang.  Because seriously, there’s no greater feeling than acing a final test or paper a week or two before commencement.” – Christina

On #Goals

“Plan your goals, and be very specific.  Write it out, write the steps it’ll take to accomplish them, and set tangible dates.  Go back and look it over daily.  It’s easy to become unmotivated because unlike school, you may not have a specific schedule to follow.  If everything is drawn out in front of you, things are more likely to get accomplished.” – Markiea, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania ‘15

“Start thinking about post-graduate plans, the earlier the better!  If you’re not sure, talking to your parents can ease some of the uncertainty and anxiety and give you a better understanding of their expectations, if any.  I, personally was greatly relieved after talking to my parents about my goals and plans for the future.” – Alysha

“Take it one step at a time.  You don’t have to have your whole life plan figured out by the time graduation rolls around.  It’s impossible.  Instead, just work on figuring out what the next step is and how you’ll get there.  There will be plenty of time to figure out the steps after that.” – Biz

On Friends & Stuff

“Spend time with the people that matter most.  Don’t waste time trying to get people to like you — nurture the important relationships because those are the ones that will last past graduation, not the superficial ones.” – Danielle, Villanova University ‘15

Plan for fun, but use that spontaneity.  Senior year was super super stressful.  But I promised myself I would make time for fun.  That included getting together with my roommates and friends after the first week of class and coordinating days for adventures.  We planned events months in advance, attempting to avoid exams and the like, and those dates were pretty much set in stone.  Those adventures gave us something to look forward to with all the craziness of classes, homework, and exams.  However, there were plenty of times where I would wake up and my friend would randomly be like, “let’s go to a coffee shop and do homework.”  So spontaneity is super important, too.” – Alysha

Live in the moment and spend quality time with your friends because this time next year, chances are they won’t be living right down the hall from you.” – Biz

Make some new friends in your senior year & talk to people you haven’t met yet.  Some of my closest friends are acquaintances or classmates that I got to know toward the end of senior year.  And now I see some of them more than the friends I’ve know for years.” – Christina

Enjoy the company of your college roomies and friends as much as possible.  Watching Disney movies and spontaneously deciding to go get froyo on late nights with your roomies all jammed into one car together are the nights you will remember the best.  It’s those simple adventures that mean the most.” – Victoria

On Appreciation

“Participate in everything your school has to offer and treasure your time left.” – Danielle

The biggest thing I’d say is to really enjoy it because it goes SO FAST!” – Alanna

“Enjoy your senior year.  Senior year of college is amazing and the last time your life will ever be like this.” – Biz

Image via Clara Early

Brenna McDonald

Brenna McDonald

Editorial Contributor, Fordham University Major: Communications & Media Studies Her heart belongs to: early mornings, window seats, & Sunday brunch Her guilty pleasures: re-watching Gossip Girl, collecting mascara, browsing lifestyle blogs, & having breakfast for dinner

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