Congratulations! You made it through years of college lectures, living off weird campus food, and late nights studying. All that hard work has paid off and you’re about to come away with a degree (finally!). No matter if you’re heading to graduate school, starting a new job, or taking some time off, you should be proud of this major life accomplishment!
Even though you should totally celebrate, also make the time to take care of a few things before you leave college. Here’s a list of a few to-do’s to consider for your final semester.
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Sign up for an exit loan counseling session
This session is mandatory for students who’ve taken out federal student loans and provides important information on how you can pay back what you owe. Luckily, the exit counseling session is easy to check off your to-do list. The entire process can be completed in roughly 25-30 minutes online.
Fill out the necessary graduation forms
If you’re walking in your school’s commencement ceremony, it’s important to file the necessary paperwork so that they’re ready for you to walk the stage. Check your university website to find out what date you need to apply for graduation by. Also, make sure to purchase your cap and gown — you may need to schedule a fitting for the gown — by your school’s deadline.
Visit your school’s career center
If you’re applying to jobs right after graduation, get in touch with a career counselor at your school for advice. The counselor may be able to provide you with contact information from alumni who pursued similar career paths — people who would be great for you to set up informational interviews with! Also, your career center can help you polish a resume or cover letter and prep for any upcoming job interviews.
Review your online presence
Whether your next step is graduate school or the job market, there’s a good chance someone will Google search you at some point. Make sure you’re giving off the right impression. Same goes with your social media profiles: Delete any posts you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to see — and make profiles private if you don’t think they give off a professional vibe. Also take the time to give your LinkedIn a refresh! Add any missing information — awards, internships, etc. — to enhance your profile.
Ask professors/faculty members for recommendations
Regardless of your next step, you’ll probably need a letter of recommendation at some point. Determine which faculty members might be good to ask. Do you have a mentor on campus? Is there a professor you’ve taken several classes with? Those are good folks to ask! Be sure to write a thank you letter — and maybe give a small gift — to anyone who agrees to help you in this way.
Prepare for move-out procedures
Unless you’re attending graduate school at the same place you went for undergrad, you’re likely moving to a new neighborhood, city or state following college graduation. This means you’ll need to move out of your dorm or apartment. Instead of putting unwanted items in the dump, re-sell textbooks online and donate gently used clothing. To avoid having to move heavy furniture, see if the new resident of your apartment wants your stuff.
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