A Guide to Your Last Semester of College

The end is in sight! You may finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel—with this excitement, though, also comes a bit of worry. Were you able to accomplish everything you wanted in your college career? Are all of your post-graduation plans set in place? Worry not, it isn't too late to still make the most of your college career and to plan for the future.

It’s crucial in your final semester to make a plan or checklist. Take a look at where you have been, where you are going, and what other steps you need to take to make these last few months everything you have hoped for.

Grad school

As you start your final semester of college, you’re most likely examining what you want your life to look like after you walk across the stage. If the grad school route is right for you, this is a good time to make sure you’ve tied up any loose ends for the grad school application process. Make sure all appropriate documents are submitted and begin preparing for admissions interviews at various schools. Also, consider looking for any graduate assistantships at prospective schools; this is a great way to not only help pay for your schooling, but to also help you fully experience the field you are entering.

Jobs and internships

If you’re eager to get into the workforce post graduation, this is a great time to begin closely looking into internships in your field. Keep in mind that more than one internship can only boost your resume, so if you have already completed one, don’t feel like you should shy away from looking for more opportunities—along with internships comes networking. Your final semester is a key time to begin to network and utilize any connections you have made at previous jobs or elsewhere. You may think January is too early to begin looking for post-graduation full-time jobs, but it can be argued that it is never too early to go through your contacts! Get a feel for what types of jobs are out there currently and how you might be able to tailor your resumes and cover letters to make you the ideal candidate.

Securing your degree

Now is also a good time to check in with your academic advisor to make sure all of your graduation requirements have been met. The last thing you want to learn halfway through spring semester is that you forgot to take one of those gen ed classes. By inquiring now, you still have time to sign up for summer classes to fulfill anything you may have missed, in a way that shouldn’t interfere too much with your plans after May. Long story short: triple-check that you’re all set to receive that degree!

It’s not too late

While the above information is important and you’ll want to spend a sufficient amount of time planning ahead, you also owe it yourself to make an effort to relax and embrace your final semester of college. Really take the time to examine everything you have accomplished so far and see if there is anything that you missed. Did you really want to join the equestrian club, but never got around to it? Or perhaps you dreamt of getting an opinion piece published in the school paper and never took the time to submit one? Take a look at clubs and opportunities you may have wanted to pursue and don’t be afraid to try them out now. Check those things off your bucket list while you’re still on the campus—you won’t want to regret missing out on them later!

[RELATED: 5 Myths About the Last Year of College]

Regardless of what path you choose to take, all will require a substantial amount of growing up and responsibility. Before you move that tassel on your graduation cap, be sure to appreciate this time you have left to take advantage of everything your college has to offer. Whatever it may be, use this opportunity to achieve all of your college ambitions.

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