Second Semester Senior: How to Approach Graduation Cool, Calm & Collected

There is a lot of pressure that a second semester senior faces- dealing with senioritis, trying to excel in your last batch of classes, applying to post-grad jobs, and of course, trying to savor your last moments as an undergrad.  With graduation looming near and the impending responsibilities of adulthood waiting for me,  I was a ball of anxiety about the  monumental life change I'm about to experience as a graduate. But there are several personal guidelines that I uphold to stave off graduation nerves and greet graduation like a good friend.

Do...Get a Mentor

There are many people who could be a mentor. Alumni, local professionals and even your professors. Seriously, utilize your professors! They have so much knowledge, experience and valuable insight and I’ve discovered most of the time, they are more than willing to share it with you.  There are also mentor programs that VCU offers like the Ram to Ram mentor program for alumni which allows you to have a one-time meeting with a professional and get a chance to ask them questions and pick their brain. 

Do...Lean On Friends and Family for Support

Surround yourself with people who are supportive and encouraging of you and your endeavors. My friends and family are my cheerleaders and keep things in perspective whenever I feel discouraged.

Do...Prepare

Life takes you in unexpected places but it’s still important to have a plan in place for when you graduate. Make sure your dreams have foundations underneath them! Make a list of goals that you want to achieve post-graduation then get to work. If you have company that you’ve always wanted to work for or a graduate program that you really want to get into, go for it but do the research and find out what will make you a desirable candidate.

Do...Get Excited!

Graduation signals a big life change but change can be great thing and leads to personal growth. The unknown can be intimidating and scary but it's also exciting! I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter, beginning a new job, moving to a new place and meeting new people. The possibilities and opportunities of where you want to go and who you want to be after you graduate are boundless. 

 

Don’t...Worry

Prepare and plan for the future but don’t worry about it! It’s so easy to become anxious about an uncertain future or just about how much your life is about to change. One adage that keeps being repeated to me when I become fixated on my worries is that “it’ll be okay.”  So simple and heard so often, that it’s easy to brush it off but people who handed me these words have always been right. Even if the outcome wasn’t something I expected or initially wanted, I’ve learned to work with the circumstances and have found that at times, everything worked out better than what I had previously planned. So don't be discouraged if your plans don't work out the way you wanted them to. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns in life. We just have to adjust ourselves and go with it! 

Don’t...Compare Yourself to Others

Everyone’s path is different and it’s counterproductive to measure your success by comparing your life to theirs. Success really is subjective and as long you’re focusing and working towards your goals then you’re doing what you’re supposed to. Give yourself a pat on the back every once in a while then continue on.

Don’t...Be Afraid to “Fail”

Put yourself out there. Seriously. Many times I’ve second guessed myself about applying for a job or taking on a promising opportunity because I feared that I would fail, but this is the wrong way to look at it. The times that I didn’t take chances were times I forfeited the possibility of success but also, I’ve missed out on the chance to grow from “failure.”

 

Photo Credits:

Cover Photo: Ego Tailer

Photo 1: Mashable

Photo 2: Mashable

Photo 3: Jennifer Eats RVA