5 Things to Do Before Graduation
by Garret Fettig
’23 English & Communication
You’ve probably heard it all before:
“Soak it all in!”
“These are the best years of your life!”
But as students approach graduation, they often want a little more useful advice than the familiar cliched sayings. As a graduating senior myself, I’ve compiled all the advice I’ve gotten, and even thrown in some of my own.
#1 — Enjoy it all — as best you can.
It can be overwhelming, the sheer amount of things going on towards the end of the year. You’re being asked by friends to hang out one last time, but you’ve still got final projects you haven’t turned in. All you can do is check in with yourself — if you go watch a movie tonight, could you realistically squeeze in final edits on that paper tomorrow morning? Only you know what you can get away with.
#2 — Have at least a partial plan for after graduation.
If you found a job, do you know where you’re going to live? If you don’t have a job, have you started looking? If you aren’t sure what you want to do, have you thought about what field you want to work in? None of these questions need concrete answers at this very minute, but at least mull them over a little bit in the coming weeks.
#3 — Update your resumé and LinkedIn profile.
You’ve probably had to go over your resumé in a senior capstone class, and hopefully you’ve seen the potential in job hunting and networking on LinkedIn (make VCSU your first connection!). Still, have someone read through your resumé one last time to make corrections, and then you can throw in any last-minute, recent accomplishments.
#4 — Take advantage of your current network.
On LinkedIn and in real life, connect with your professors and job supervisors one last time. Ask them if they’re willing to be your references for future job hunting. Even if you don’t need a letter of recommendation for anything specific, you could ask them for a digital letter of endorsement that you could keep on file and use in the future. It’ll take you a little while to rebuild your network once you start someplace new, so it would be beneficial to formally make use of your current connections.
#5 — Say “thank you” and “goodbye.”
The hardest part of graduation is leaving behind some of the casual, daily interactions you’ve gotten used to. These are the weeks to make sure you say “thank you” to Pat when she hands you a morning coffee, and tell Paul in Kolstoe that you appreciate how clean he always has the dorm. Provide yourself and others with closure by finally giving credit where it’s due to the people you care about around campus.