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As a college senior, I find it difficult to believe how fast my undergrad years have gone. Four years feels like a blink, and now there is this familiar dread of ‘what now? What comes next?’ If you are a senior like me and have spent almost your entire life in school from kindergarten all the way to college, you may be wondering how to move on after you're tossed out into the real world. First of all, if you're anxious, it's completely normal. Big changes come with a lot of overwhelming feelings. I thought I was officially an adult after I moved out of my parents' house, but now I am just beginning to realize how much of an adult I will need to become after I graduate. Here is a guide with some tips and tricks on preparing for a new chapter after you graduate. 

Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts

Cleaning up your social media accounts can be beneficial when looking for future job opportunities. You don't want your potential employers to find something on your Instagram that they shouldn't have seen because it's way too inappropriate. Instead of potentially having a tainted image for your job setting, delete pictures and posts that could be deemed as unprofessional.

Get Work Experience ASAP

If you want to land a job after graduation, you need to start looking at work or internship opportunities. A great way to get experience is to attend college career fairs and look for internships. Professors and faculty advisors often have great resources for finding internships depending on your major. Take advantage of on-campus employment and get some experience working at front desks or with different departments. There are so many resources that are offered by universities to guide students through their senior year of college. The sooner you start getting more experience, the better your chances of landing a job.

Work on Your Resume and Apply for Jobs Early

Another benefit to attending career fairs at your school is having access to workshops that enable you to improve or create a resume. There are many different kinds of resume formats out there and they can also be major-specific. If you don’t have a resume already, consider building one with all the experience you currently have. If you already have one, be sure to review it and polish it so you’re ready to start applying for jobs. Getting a second and third opinion on your resume is always highly recommended.

Once your resume is ready, it is highly recommended to start applying for jobs at least two months before you intend to start working. Apply to as many jobs as possible.

Consider Attending Graduate School

This one should be taken with caution because there are many people who either feel pressured to go to grad school by their parents and peers or because it will prolong their time to figure out what they want to do. Only consider graduate school if you truly feel the degree will help you reach your career goals or if you see yourself continuing an education. It is also worth mentioning that graduate school can be a lot more costly than an undergraduate.

Remember to breathe

It's okay! Not being in school feels so strange to me because I've always been in school from a young age. School and academics is what gave me structure and somewhat of a purpose in life, and for it to be coming to an end can be very anxiety-inducing. No more free food, joining clubs, living in dorms, and getting to meet people your age easily are all things I will miss dearly. If you are having anxiety over graduating, its completely normal. Try not to hide away from your thoughts and emotions though. Day by day you will come to accept the fact that you are almost done with college and begin to take the next big steps in life. Enjoy the time you have left! Time can fly by so fast. Your college years are some of the few years you will miss dearly, so be sure to enjoy the last few months of being a student and enjoy your benefits.

I hope this article provides you with a helpful survival guide to things you should consider before graduating this year! I know that there isn't a lot of seniors who are pumped for virtual graduation but nonetheless, make this year count!

Mukobe Lukwesa

Washington '21

Mukobe Lukwesa is a senior majoring in cell & Molecular Biology at Central Washington University, and she is a writer for Her Campus CWU. Some of her hobbies include writing, cooking, science, and traveling. Along with her studies, she is also doing undergraduate research and is hoping to graduate in the spring of 2021.
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