Thoughts from a Soon-To-Be College Graduate

I'm terrified. I graduate in less than a month, and I'm terrified. Obviously, I'm relieved from final papers and studying for hours, but life after college still seems daunting. I don't quite have a job lined up and I still have bills to pay.

I already live with my partner, so at least I'm not worried about moving out of my mom's house. I have most things that are required of a home, including two decent couches, a dresser, TVs, an okay microwave, a desk, and all that jazz. I'm good on that end. However, I still have some thoughts.

 

What am I going to do with all of these textbooks?

Freshman-me said that I would keep the books that were relevant to my major. Freshman-me didn't know yet that most information could also be found on the internet. As a computer science major, I've discovered many things I needed to know for homework through Google. Even during my internship last summer, coding websites and working with Photoshop, I learned most of what I know (and still forget) by looking up information online.

For every class that wasn't related to my major, I've tried to rent books rather than buy. Unfortunately, that method hasn't always worked. What am I going to do with McKnight's Physical Geography (Tenth Edition) once I graduate? The school bookstore didn't buy it back because it was outdated, and I'm not about to pay for shipping online so that some other poor student can buy it and not be able to sell it later. I've yet to find a good Facebook group to offer my books in. They shall sit on my packed bookcase until I find good owners for them.

I should have talked to ____ more.

This one is just sad. I transferred to Augustana as a junior, so I didn't have as much time to meet people as most of my peers did. I'm still meeting people and finding out what we have in common just weeks before I graduate. The most I can do is talk to them before I leave and add them on Facebook or Snapchat, both of which are, in my opinion, terrible methods of communication. I'm really going to miss all of these people.

Am I really prepared for a career right now?

When I started college, I was eager to get A's and learn all that I could. I'm still trying hard, but my memory has gotten worse somehow over the years. I've diligently taken notes, created study sheets, and discussed course material with other students, but tests often destroy me. Sure, I won't need to study for a day at work, but the interview process may require me to recall things on the fly, which isn't something I'm very great at, unfortunately. For now, my solution is to practice being interviewed on my own.

I should have visited Core and the EDGE Center more often.

If you weren't aware, Core is center that offers career services. The people who work in this department help students with their resumes, do mock interviews, and help them find internships and jobs. If I had more spare time, I would have contacted them more often than I did for obvious reasons.

The EDGE Center allows students to build their job portfolios. Students help design and/or code websites for area businesses and others. During my internship here last summer, I saw a lot of computer science, graphic design, and marketing majors working hard on their projects. I would have worked more in the EDGE Center if I had more time, but I'm glad I learned the skills I did during my internship. There are several great people who are in the EDGE Center, starting with Doug Tschopp himself.

I should have been more active in this group.

"This" refers to any campus group that seemed interesting to me but was never near the top of my priority list. I added my email to several lists at the activities fair before fall term last year. For the past three terms, I've been involved with many of these groups, actively going to their meetings and events. If I could have joined during my junior year, I may have connected with these individuals earlier, had more fun, and felt less alone on campus. I love them all so much--Latinx Unidos, Black Squirrel Productions, and even iStem (which I've never been able to attend)--and the people involved with each of these groups work so hard to make them great.

Am I still invited to future campus events?

Sometimes I get obvious answers. Some events are open to the public, so I could go regardless of my alum status. I also feel like I'd be welcome to events hosted by the Gender and Sexuality Alliance because of my involvement in the group and because of the people in it. It's not that I'm obsessed with the college and need to be present at its events, but some things are just fun and I'd love to attend if I have the time and opportunity next year.

 

As I finish the term with no remaining credits left to earn and just a little bit of anxiety, I hope that fellow and future seniors feel the relief setting in and have accomplished what they desired to. Good luck to senior students across the nation as well! (Also, is anyone in the market for textbooks?)