You’ve finally made it to senior year. You’re older, you no longer have to carry a map of campus, and you’re starting to get wise to those myths about the last year of college. As a senior, you have college all figured out. However, it is never too late to make a few improvements or to prepare for the next stage—the real world. Let your year of “lasts” be your year of “bests” with these four senior year college resolutions.
1. Finish college stronger than you started
Senioritis can drain your motivation and shift your focus, but you know better than to let it take control of your last year of college. Instead, take all the wisdom and experience of the last three years and use it for good. You have had three years to experiment, make mistakes, and hopefully learn from them. You know which subjects you excel in, where you do your best studying, and how much work you have to put in to get the grade. Put this knowledge to use to have your best semester ever.
To finish your college experience on a strong note, take time to make a list of habits that have worked for you in your first three years. Did you take advantage of your professor’s office hours? Did you pursue honors projects and extra credit opportunities? Likewise, take a moment to reflect on which classes were the most difficult for you. What mistakes did you make? You now know better, and recognizing the mistakes can ensure you don’t make them again.
2. Gain real-world experience in your prospective industry
Senior year is a great time to step off campus and gain some real-world skills in a professional setting. Consider finding an internship in your area of study. Many colleges and departments provide help in the form of an internship coordinator, who may assist students to find potential opportunities and make connections. Get to know this person well during your senior year. You can also personally reach out to local businesses and inquire about any internship opportunities. As an intern, you can gain the experience and communication skills needed to succeed in your field. Having an internship can also give you an edge over other candidates when it comes to applying for jobs in the future.
If an internship isn’t in the picture for you, consider job shadowing. A job shadowing opportunity allows you to observe the day-to-day duties of a person in your prospective industry. Reach out to a professional in the field to see if you can shadow him or her throughout the week, or even meet with him or her over coffee one day to discuss the nature of his or her job. Plus, in the real world, who you know is important. Finding connections while you are still in college can give you a step up when it comes to searching for jobs.
Volunteering is another great way to gain experience—while helping others. Find a cause that you care about, then reflect on how your skill set can contribute to that organization. Are you a journalism major? Help the organization with their social media needs. Studying business and economics? Any organization would appreciate assistance with fundraising. Volunteering for a cause gives you experience and connections that can help you in the future.
3. Fully utilize campus resources
There are tons of resources available to students on campus. Often, these resources are either free or rolled into your total tuition cost. Once you are “on your own,” you may need to front the cost of comparable resources, so use them while they are still free and readily available! For example, your college gym can help you reach your fitness goals and expand your fitness knowledge—something you’d pay a pretty penny for in the real world. Likewise, mental health services, a student health center, or entertainment on campus are all opportunities to take advantage of as well.
In addition, your career services office can provide assistance and tools to help you succeed in your job or graduate program search. Through career services, you can make connections in your dream field, create your first resume, and plan for post graduation life. Also, be sure to schedule a mock interview—your career counselor can provide feedback on your performance to help you master an interview. These resources, like a professional resume consultant or career coach, would cost hundreds of dollars in the real world.
4. Give back to your university
Make this year the year that you make a difference on campus. After everything your college has given you, it’s important that you give back to your college as well. Four years may seem like a short time to leave a legacy, but there are several ways that you can ensure you change your college for the good before you leave.
You could implement a new program in your student organization, or raise money for a scholarship fund for students from your hometown. Maybe you mentor a freshman, helping him or her through the first year of college, or you assist a professor with a research study. These are all ways to have an indelible effect on your college for years to come.
With these senior year college resolutions, you are making a commitment to make the most of your last year of college. Your senior year is a time to gain experience and prepare for your future in the workforce—utilizing campus resources, seeking internship opportunities, and reflecting on your best academic habits can ensure you have the tools needed for future success.