The Stress of Senior Year Kicking in? How to Capitalize on Your Free Time
Lacey N. is our Campus Ambassador at Minnesota State University Moorhead. She is studying mass communications with a dual emphasis in public relations and advertising, along with a minor in leadership studies. She will graduate in May 2012.
As I’m approaching the end of my college career (tear), and see the bright future ahead of me (yay!) I can feel myself stressing out about the future and my plans after graduation.
Since it seems like my course load is getting lighter, my student organization is running smoothly, and my internships are going to be wrapping up in a few months, I feel like I’m on top of the world. But, I still feel a little nauseous when I think about walking across that stage and accepting my diploma. What happens next?
Now that I’ve found a lull in my schedule, I’m not going to waste it! To ease my stress about graduation, I vow to do these things:
1. Think about my future. Where do I want to be? What do I want to do? Lauren’s blog once gave me all the most simple and genius advice: make an Excel list of my dream jobs and places I want to work and find out how to apply. Include the general company info and things like a link to their website, any contact people, dates for application deadlines, etc.
2. Look for professional organizations to join after graduation. Do you belong to a nationally recognized student organizations like PRSSA or the American Advertising Federation? Many of these professional associations have job postings on their website for members only. Look into these opportunities for networking and career advancement.
3. When was the last time I updated my resume? Business cards? Take some time to update these things.
4. Connect with the Career Services office on my campus for guidance. They typically offer resume and cover letter writing assistance, mock interviews, and job postings.
5. Have I thought about graduate school? Perhaps this would be a good time to entertain the thought of more school in the future. Again, I will connect with the Career Services office for more information.
6. Make a list of professionals I’ve connected with, such as professors at my university, those I’ve met in passing, professionals at my internship, etc. On my list, I will make sure to keep current contact information and connect with these people. You never know how your connection with them could change your future. I once read a statistic that 80% of jobs are not even advertised. This is because when people know of a job opening, they reach out to their network to find people who would fit in that position.
7. Contemplate travelling. Should I go somewhere for Spring Break? What about a graduation gift of travel that I give to myself? I should start shopping for deals now.
8. Most importantly, relax. Don’t stress about finals. Spend time with my friends before we all head off in different directions after graduation.
If I take the time to digest what I want, it’s not as scary to go out there in the real world and attempt to get it. You can do the same thing, too. Push yourself and use the time to make wonderful plans about your awesome future. That way you’ll be so excited to start the next chapter of your life that the mere thought of graduation won’t make you dry heave anymore.