Senior Year: The Final Stretch

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Senior year: the ultimate homestretch of school for eager college students. The summer before senior year may even be considered the “final summer” before students graduate and move on to the real world with full-time jobs, opportunities to travel the world or anything else they may want to pursue after crossing the stage and receiving their diploma. Preparing for senior year can be tough, though, with a heightened anticipation to experience all the “lasts,” as well as start to think about what direction life will go when classes are finally over. If you’re feeling excited about embarking on this last year of school, or may be hesitant to approach life with open arms, VALLEY has some tips on how to mentally prepare yourself for (possibly) one of the best years of your life.

Plan Out All the “Lasts”

Whether it be tailgates, football games or even that late-night pizza run, senior year comes with all the “lasts” of college. Of course, no one wants to give up all the fun they’ve had over the past four years, but at some point it must come to an end. So, go all out for football games, stay out a little later than usual at your favorite bar, check out any upcoming concerts or get that extra large pizza so you have leftovers for the next day. You don’t want to look back and think “what if” when it comes to the best of the “lasts.”

Make a Bucket List

Along with all the “lasts” of senior year, why not throw in some “firsts”? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try that new restaurant downtown and never got the chance to, so why not do it during senior year? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to set some personal goals such as getting a certain GPA at the end of the semester, or even taking extra fitness classes at the gym. Senior year is the time to make a list of all things you want to do before the glory days of college come to an end.

Do Some Career Prep

Aside from all the fun events that come with senior year, it’s important to think about any future careers (if that’s the path you’re intending to take). Some ways to prepare for employment opportunities would be to do mock interviews by yourself or with others, stock up on business casual and professional clothing items to look your best, spice up your resume with all relevant experience and leadership positions, and most importantly, apply, apply, APPLY! Depending on the field in which you’re desiring to pursue, applications could open as early as October, or even as late as April. Either way, keep and an eye out for anything that may spark your interest, and make sure to put your best foot forward when looking for a job.

Learn to Say “Yes” More

Since senior year is the last year of college, and school in general, it’s better to say “yes” to anything that may be asked of you: going out on a week night, making a late-night food run or even driving a short distance off campus to go out for breakfast. You don’t want to look back on your last year of “freedom,” per se, and have any regrets. Say yes to staying out later than usual, or even say yes to helping a friend with some of their schoolwork. You’ll be glad you did.

Check In With Your Emotions

With all the overwhelming feelings of dealing with the end of college and school in general, it’s good to check in with your emotions every so often. Just a heads up: you will be swarmed with questions about what you want to do after graduation, how you feel about this being your last year in college and even what you thought of your college experience as a whole. Some of the best ways to check in with your emotions include journaling, talking them out with family or your roommates, or just keep yourself preoccupied with things that make you feel good and take up some time. Overall, you want to make sure you’re able to feel your best at all times during your senior year.

Look Forward to the Future

Of course, aside from all things sad that come with senior year, there’s some excitement that comes with approaching the future. You may have an awesome job lined up for you that’ll require you to move to a new place, or you may have a trip planned to explore various countries around the world. No matter what your plans are for after graduation, just know that the path you’re on is the right one for you.

Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, with what you’re looking most forward to senior year!


Penn State Alums’ Best Advice for Seniors

What Seniors Have to Look Forward to

VALLEY’s Senior Year Bucket List

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