For many students, the final year of college marks a period of great transition. As such, it can also be a highly stressful time—classes must be passed, employment applications must be submitted, and student loan paperwork must be completed. While it may feel like an enormous burden at times, a bit of planning can help to ensure that your senior year is rich with enjoyment, personal development, and reflection—as well as far less stressful!
Plan your year
Yes, your college or university career may have been easier had you planned your years from the beginning, but it is especially important that you do so now. If you begin to struggle, seek help, whether in the form of a professor’s office hours, a study group, or a tutor. Your selected graduation date likely depends upon successfully completing your final year of classes, and remaining organized is key. Here are 6 habits to help you become a more organized student. Create a calendar (electronic or physical) with your deadlines clearly noted. This is especially useful for tracking activities specific to senior year—ordering your cap and gown, mailing graduation invitations, and turning in final paperwork.
You will also wish to ensure that you meet with your academic advisor to review your course history and transcripts early in the year. Realizing in February that you have neglected to fulfill a requirement will not make your final year of college less stressful.
You may remember that disinterested, restless feeling from your senior year of high school—your final year of college is similar, but worse. While you will want to expend the least amount of effort, resist that urge. Your senior year grades will affect your final GPA, and—perhaps more important—they may represent subject matter that is central to your career. If possible, complete more difficult work in the fall semester so that the end of your college experience is less stressful.
The same is true of your extracurricular activities. It is simple to forget about them as college or university concludes, but the connections you form as part of these activities may be instrumental in securing a position in your field. By maintaining your membership responsibilities, you open yourself up to new opportunities that may benefit you professionally. Remember extracurricular activities can boost college success!
Your continued focus will aid in your transition from college to professional life.
Create a to-do list
A significant source of stress for many seniors is the overwhelming feeling that they have not accomplished everything they believed they would. Writing these items down can be a helpful way to move past or even complete several of them. While it may be too late to study abroad, you may be able to experience international travel with a student club—or arrange a celebratory vacation after graduation.
Ensure that your list includes activities that are entertaining and relaxing, qualities that are easy to forget during your final year of college. But they are so crucial to your mental well-being! There are numerous unique opportunities available to students, so take advantage of them while you can!
Perhaps your goals are academic, or perhaps they are community-driven or social—either way, crossing several off your bucket list will relieve stress and provide much-needed balance.
Visualize your future
By setting aside the time to ask yourself what it is that you desire, you narrow your options and reduce your stress. You will also be able to formulate steps to plan for the future you want. This might mean graduate school, an internship, or relocation—choosing a possible path (or even two) will give you peace of mind as you begin the next phase of your life. Here are some great tips on how to prepare for your first internship which you may find helpful!
Finally, embrace the chance to be flexible. All the planning in the world may not be sufficient to arrange every facet of your final year of college, and you are likely to experience some stress. Remain open to new opportunities and practice saying yes—life has a great deal in store for you.