Photo illustration: Brooke Morrill
In a short couple of weeks, many students will be walking out of the campus doors for the last time as an undergraduate. With this can come nostalgia of this experience and the question of what’s next?
It’s normal to feel a flood of emotions as students look back and reflect on the classes taken, relationships built, networking done and friendships made that will likely last a lifetime.
There’s a lot of stress and pressure to find a job, if you don’t already have one, and to figure out what’s your next step. I’m graduating this semester and the questions people ask are, “What are you doing after graduation? Do you have a job? Are you moving back to New York?” Most students, myself included, don’t have answers to these questions at this point in time, and that’s okay.
Take a moment to do some small things for your family, friends and those you care for most around. This can be more beneficial than stressing about the job you don’t have and student loans that you need to pay off.
Handwritten ‘Thank You’s are always a good idea— Give yourself some time to compile a list of people that have guided you through your college career, the people you literally wouldn’t be graduating without. This list could include your advisor, specific professors, president of a club you were in, old roommates and your parents. Take the time to let them know the influence and impact they had on your college experience and express your gratitude to them. It will mean more to them than you realize.
Make a portfolio rather than burning your schoolwork — Graduation is this crazy and overwhelming yet anxious and exciting time. At the end of a few school years, I’ve gone up Provo Canyon with friends and had an end- of-year bonfire and burned old work from classes. It’s always felt good and while that is still an option, take some time to organize things you’re proud of from your years here: papers, photographs, UVU Review articles, press releases etc. Compile them into a binder to showcase, share and remember the work you did and be proud of it.
Create a playlist that sums up your college experience — Music is something that we often associate with memories. Why lose those memories when you could put them all in one happy place and listen to them when you’re missing college and the flexible life of a student? This could be especially helpful for that day you land a desk job to get your foot in the door at a company you love. Take your spring break trip memories, road trips, summer barbeque moments, game nights with friends and whatever you cherish most and think of the songs that make you remember these. This will be a playlist to remember forever.
Stop questioning yourself and start treating yourself now— College graduation is more than receiving that diploma that you frame and display at your parents’ house. You pulled all- nighters, cried over break-ups while devouring Ben and Jerry’s, gave your sweat blood and tears, laughed until you cried, dated a moron, made a lifelong best friend and more.
A degree is hard work and at the end of it, you deserve to treat yourself for your had work. Whether shopping, getting your nails done or being pampered with a massage is rewarding to you, do it. You deserve to relax for a second and realize how much you’ve accomplished.
Can you believe you’ve reached this point of college graduation? I know I can’t, but take the time to do these things before it’s all but a memory; save and preserve these years in the best way you can.