What is one thing that the global pandemic and graduate school have in common? Testing. Senior year of college is always a daunting stage of life, but now the added concern of Covid-19 has joined the mix. As a college senior, I often ask myself, “How am I going to figure out my post-graduation plans while the world is falling apart? Do I want to go to graduate school? Do I want to enter the workforce?” To be honest, I have yet to find the answer to those questions, however; I have added certain things to my daily routine that are helping me stay productive and plan for the uncertain future.
- A Planner (aka My Lifeline)
The first part is the fun part - getting a planner. In my opinion, planners are a necessity for any student, especially seniors. Students in this day and age are known to have jam packed schedules full of school, work, and socializing. Obligations begin to overlap and since the work doesn’t stop coming, things can quickly get disorganized. Now, imagine adding graduate school and job applications on top of that chaos. It can become overwhelming. With a planner, there is a central location for life’s many demands and a guide for organization. Luckily, this lovely item is available in many forms and in many stores like Target (which is the best place to go get your life together). If you are trying to save money this year, there are also free templates online. Most importantly, pick the best planner for you. Trust me, you and your planner will be spending a lot of time together.
- A GRE Test Prep Book
Although you probably have plenty of required books to study for class, there is one more to add to the list. The “Graduate Record Examination,” or GRE, is a standardized test and admissions requirement for many graduate schools. The best way to prepare for it is to study and practice. Bookstores and Amazon offer a plethora of college approved prep books for a reasonable price. If you are applying to graduate schools, I would recommend purchasing this item as soon as possible.
- A Desk
I never realized how important it is to avoid doing work in the bed. Fortunately, desks are a great alternative to this bad habit. Desks can be little tables, folding trays, or the traditional furniture item. No matter the style, desks come in handy. Having a separate space to get work done is very beneficial because once your work is complete, you can leave it there for the next time. Your bed is where you rest and your desk is where you work. Try to keep them separate.
Hopefully, you will find one of these items useful for your last year of undergrad. If not, there are countless other tools, tips, and tricks that can be incorporated into everyday routines. Ultimately, it is about implementing habits and tools that help you get everything done to the best of your ability and make you work hard consistently. Good luck!