The day is almost here. You have spent 12 years (or more, if you went for the victory lap) preparing for this momentous day. You’re excited, nervous, incredibly sad, relieved and maybe even in denial. While it may feel like the best years of your life are coming to a screeching halt, it’s important to enjoy this day and your huge accomplishment! Only 34.08% of people ages 25-29 in the United States graduate with a bachelor’s degree; Who knows, you could be on your way to becoming the CEO of a major company on Wall Street.
There are a few important things to keep in mind when mentally preparing for graduation:
- Live the last few weeks of college like you’re a freshman- take any chance you can to visit your favorite watering hole, go to a baseball game with your pledge class, visit the best local restaurants, spend all day Saturday outside on the roof and stay up late watching movies with your roommates. Go out with old friends, go to class (but maybe skip if it’s sunny) and take advantage of your student discounts.
- Create a to-do list. No one wants to graduate with 600 things left to do. Finish all your schoolwork, set aside any grudges, resolve issues with professors, return your books and clean your room. Most importantly, pass your finals. Nothing will be more satisfying than graduating college knowing that you have nothing left weighing you down.
- Enjoy this time of uncertainty (or relax if you already have a job). At this time in your life, you have the freedom to go in any direction you desire. Take advantage of this time to travel to a foreign country, take a road trip, try a new hobby and meet new people. Search for jobs that genuinely interest you and don’t settle. Take this time to recognize what you DON’T want to do so you can learn what you DO want to do.
- Clear your clutter. Are you really going to wear that crop top again? The answer to that should be no (and if it’s “yes” then it should only be worn in Vegas). Toss anything you’ll never wear again. Go beyond your closet and relish in recycling your class notes, projects and papers. Have a bonfire in the backyard and roast some marshmallows over the ashes of your 50-page thesis paper. Go wild on Craigslist and sell your old hand-me-down furniture or park it on the curb with a giant “for free” sign. Whatever makes you feel accomplished and clutter free!
- Say your goodbyes. The sad reality is that you probably won’t see many of these people again. Fill your last weekend in town with grad parties, delicious free food and a chance to reminisce over your favorite memories. Laugh, cry and make plans with those you want to see again. Visit your favorite places on campus and thank the professors that have made a difference in your life. Enjoy time with your family and walking in your ceremony. Last but not least, DON’T forget the obligatory selfies.