So I'm graduating . . . now what?!
By Michelle Butler
March 31, 2009 | Ah, it's the moment we've all waited
for. For years (in my case five excruciatingly long
years), we've toiled and dedicated our life to a far-off
goal. We've spent so much money, time, and perhaps even
some tears on our pursuit to graduate. And now, like
a slow-moving train, it's quickly bearing down on us,
threatening to plow us under, a force to reckon with.
At least this is how I feel!
I've waited and waited for that long-off day when
I would finally be free and off into the real world.
And now it's here and I won't lie, I'm a little nervous.
For some time, many people would tell me just what I
had to do to graduate, and I of course filed it into
some deep, dark recess of my brain. Of course it's gone
now that I need it. So here are a few pointers I've
picked up over the years, and mostly my last few months
First, everyone always told me that I had to decide
on my career and then jump fully into the industry.
I did this . . . three times. Yes, it's kind of lame
to change your major and retake a few classes, but I
must say that I will be so much happier in the long
run graduating in a major I like. So, take the time
you need to figure out what exactly you like and want
Second, be the captain of your own destiny. You can
either expect someone (such as a counselor) to keep
you up to date and tell you the important stuff, or
since the counselors have hundreds of other students
to advise, you could just take control. Visit your counselor
often and make sure you're on schedule to graduate.
Bug your teachers, university staff, anyone, for the
information you need and feel like you understand what's
going on and what else you need to do.
The closer you get, say the final semester, pay attention
to important grad announcements. Remember several hundred
others are also graduating, so make sure that you are
on top of things and don't wait to be told what you
have to do.
As far as graduating goes, it's really important (if
you don't want to pay an extra $50 to $100) that you
apply to graduate the semester before. And start the
process early, since it can take a few weeks to get
all the important papers signed and what not.
After that, all you really have to do is sit back,
do well in your classes, and attend the grad fair.
Yes, this is helpful to attend. For one thing, you
can buy your cap and gown, and there's other cool stuff
to check out. Mostly, it just gives you the feeling
that you're one step closer to that big day.
One final word of advice: use the resources available
to you. The university has awesome services that can
help you get a job. There are many career fairs you
can attend. The career center can help you perfect your
resume and apply for jobs or internships. Don't try
to do it on your own; there are people there to help
who know what they are doing.
Well, now we graduate and enter the real world. Kind
of makes you want to stay in school a little longer!