Taking advantage of your final year of college isn't difficult, it just requires that you make planning memorable events a priority. (Image via Pixabay)
College /// Thoughts x

Get more bang for your buck and own that final year.

People tell you the time will fly by, that college will be over before you know it, but you don’t believe them. “I’ve got four years,” you think. “I’ve got loads of time.” Then, boom. It’s the summer before your senior year. Where did the time go? Right now, I find myself asking this same question.

Whether you’re ready or not, September is around the corner. You’ll probably start to consider grad school or begin your job hunt. In the midst of all that, it’s still your senior year, and you’ll want to make the most of it! Here are five ways to make that goal a reality.

1. Join an On-Campus Club

Maybe you spent the last three years buried in papers or maybe you hung out with friends from class; either way, if you want to be more productive and open another door, consider joining an on-campus club. The clubs are a great way to make a new friend, add something to the resume, ignite or reignite a passion or just to try something new.

Perhaps you’re a movie buff and there is literally a club that goes to the movies or watches one on Netflix every week. Group members might talk about the film afterwards or just share in each other’s reactions as the flick rolls. There are tons of clubs that take place every day on college campuses. If you’re unsure where to start, ask that friend who’s a member of three clubs or look on your school’s website.

2. Sign Up for a Class Outside of Your Major

I know that there are a certain number of classes in different subject areas that you need to hit, but there is definitely time still for you to take a class you might have been hesitant to sign up for freshman, sophomore or even junior year because of those requirements.

Phew! Well, now that those classes are finished, it’s time to take advantage and sign up for a hip-hop dance class or even a one credit ice-skating course. Why? Because you can. College is the best place to explore and take chances that you might not be able to (at least for a while) after graduation when you’re trying to figure out your first post-college move.

3. Maintain Contact with Your Favorite Professor

Hopefully by now you’ve had at least one professor who you really like. Maybe this professor changed your life, which would be awesome. If not, think about your past professors. Who do you remember? This is being asked for a good reason, of course! It will suit you well to have one professor who you can go to during your senior year and beyond.

Perhaps you need a job reference or grad school recommendation. You’ll know exactly who to ask. Then maybe if you’re been fortunate enough to receive multiple job offers, you could ask their opinion on what they think.

Upon graduation, it certainly won’t hurt you to stay in touch with a beloved professor. You don’t know how they could possibly help you down the line. Don’t sever important connections just because you won’t see them every day or two.

4. Go on an Adventure with Friends

Maybe you studied abroad. If you decided not to, that’s okay too. There’s still time to squeeze a weekend or road trip in before you don a cap and gown.

Grab your best friend or a group of friends and choose a destination two or three hours away to kick off your senior year or wind down at the end of the semester before the graduation song plays. Maybe you head to the beach or the mountains. Either way, you’ll create more special memories to take with you after long after you throw your cap in the air.

5. Take Part in Senior Week (or an Equivalent)

Every year, just after finals, when the underclassmen are preparing to evacuate campus, the seniors are gearing up for Senior Week. Senior Week is an incredible opportunity for the seniors to spend time together and celebrate their impending graduation, through a variety of activities thought-up especially for seniors.

I glimpsed a number of friends’ Snapchat profiles where seniors were dancing, drinking, sitting down for a formal dinner, drinking again and more. Senior Week is a special time for seniors to reflect and look back on the place where they spent their last four years. Your school will surely have something similar planned for you, so don’t miss it.

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