5 Tips for Future Fifth-Year Students

College is said to be “the best four years of our lives,” but is it?! Maybe not …  Perhaps it’s more like the best five years of our lives. Yes, being a fifth-year may seem like a stretch to some, but now it’s more the norm now than ever!

At Ohio University, more and more Bobcat ladies are finding out that they’ll have to complete an extra year of school just to be eligible to walk at the Convo. In some cases, they found this out because their advisors said they didn’t have enough credits to graduate on time; in other cases, they’re finding this out because they either took time off from school or because they chose to change their majors late in the game. Regardless of the reason, the feeling of needing to complete an extra year of school leads to many mixed emotions: some exciting and others semi-terrifying.

If you happen to be one of these ladies, too, then worry not — here are five tips of advice we have to help you be the best SUPER-senior you can be:

Be ready to buckle down.

Photo from Babington

Not that we’re trying to break the records again, but Ohio University is a “party school.” Chances are that your Wednesdays often revolved around Liquor Pitchers and that you regularly went to Dollar Shot Nights, but this year you’ll need to focus this extra time elsewhere. Senioritis is definitely a real thing and with so few credits left, it’s time to focus your energies on them. Sure, keep going out, but definitely make doing well academically a priority… You’ve got this!

Remember that you are wiser and older than many people at this school, and that you should set the example as you’ve seen everything from #Fests to Opening Weekend already. Besides, none of these activities will sound fun anymore; getting proper sleep and living responsibly actually will.

Be open to meeting new people.

Photo from King Pin Lifestyle

Soon-to-be fifth-year social work major Brandi Thayer is worried about all her friends leaving. “I think that one of the hardest parts about this transition will be saying goodbye to my best friends that have become, like, my family these past three years,” she said. “I’ve lived with them and shared everything with them and it will be hard to continue that with other people.”  

While Thayer along with many other almost SUPER-seniors are worried about their fourth-year pals leaving, it’s important to spend time this semester meeting other people. Now that all your soon-to-graduate pals are thinking about graduation, go out and get close with some second and third-years. These great folks aren’t much younger than you and they’ll be awesome people to hang with during your extra year in school.

Additionally, remember that staying in touch with those who will be leaving is golden, too. Thayer concluded, “For anyone, I think it’s important to continue those friendships as much as possible after graduation because they are the strongest friendships I think I will ever have.”

Overall, fifth-years are more likely than anyone to walk out with a great network of friends. The beauty of this extra time is that you’ll be able to continue to meet people after your original network of friends graduates. #TheMoreTheMerrier

Be willing to work, even if you don’t have a career figured out yet.

Photo from Her Campus

Sure, you may be longing to have your own title at some company somewhere, but all the jobs that will be available to you while still in school will help you. Having to complete an extra year often means more loans to pay off and more time to fill a resume even more. Even though many jobs on campus aren’t what you ‘want’ to be doing with your life, they’ll fill the extra lines on job applications while teaching you plenty of skills that’ll be useful in any job you may do later on.

With all the costs that this extra year will bring, many campus jobs at the university allow student employees to work up to 20 hours a week and have advanced-level positions to help you get your leadership fix in. Go ahead and apply today!

Be excited about your bright future.

Photo from Slice of Advice

This extra year of school can be used to your advantage, as it allows you to prepare for your real “big person” job. Fifth-year strategic communication major Gary Bridgens said, “Being a fifth year is great. The extra time gives you a genuine opportunity to hone your skills and set professional goals for yourself.”

Rather than looking at this year as time that’s keeping you from the real world, look at it as a way to continue learning and keep striving for more. Use this time to keep getting involved, keep adding to your resume and gaining experience; it’ll really prepare you for the things in life you really love doing. Whatever skills you gain this upcoming year, the professional world will be thrilled to benefit from later.

All you can do now is hang in there, because there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Smile. Your friends would beg for the extra year you have … Trust us!

Photo from Ohio.edu

A number of people graduating this year are probably saying just how much they wish they could either change their major now or fail some classes. You, on the other hand, have it better than they do, because you actually get to spend some extra time in town.

Use this time to explore other areas of town and campus that you didn’t the last four years. Create other projects for yourself that can turn into cool side jobs after you graduate. Go to bars you never got a taste of (after you get your schoolwork done). Eat at all the great restaurants in town, and don’t stop living it up this year.

Cheer up my almost fifth-year. You, my dear, are the real lucky one here!