We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.
Graduating from college is an incredible accomplishment – your years of hard work will finally pay off and you’ll have your degree. However, leaving school can sometimes also feel overwhelming because your life is changing so quickly.
You don’t need to feel overwhelmed as you tackle your last year of school. Here are four ways you can make the most of your senior year:
1. Identify Feelings of Senioritis
Many seniors experience feelings of boredom, frustration, and decreased motivation during their last year of school. If you’re feeling this way as you contemplate your last few semesters, you’re not alone. This phenomenon is known as senioritis, and many students deal with it each year.
College is a fairly large chunk of time to invest toward one goal. Most conventional degrees last four years, but some students take even longer to finish depending on course load and grade performance. By their last semester, many students are burned out and ready to be done.
If you’re experiencing senioritis, your feelings are real and deserve to be acknowledged. However, that doesn’t mean you should let them take over your last year of school. There are many strategies you can use to fight off senioritis and graduate on time.
Some solid strategies include getting off of campus and trying something new every week. Another good practice is to keep a gratitude list posted where you can see it and update it daily. Expressing gratefulness for what you’re experiencing will help you maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated to finish your final courses.
2. Spend Quality Time with Friends
College is a unique and powerful environment for making friends. Students go through a lot together, and their shared experiences can lead to deep, life-long relationships. However, like all friendships, these relationships don’t just happen – they take work.
Friends can help you fight discouragement and feelings of senioritis, give you direction in your job search, and support you as you consider your future and make life decisions. Plus, spending time with friends is just fun, whether you’re studying, exploring a new place, or talking about life together.
After graduation, your friends will scatter as they return home, search for jobs, and move to new locations. Strengthening your bonds with college friends during your senior year makes it more likely that you’ll keep in touch after school as well.
Although it’s exciting to be almost done, don’t forget to appreciate the time you have now to deepen friendships and make memories. Your time at school is unique and relatively short in the scheme of your life. Make sure you’re taking time to enjoy it.
3. Pass Your Final Classes
Depending on the degree, a student’s senior year can be the hardest or easiest year of their college career. It can be challenging to push through and give each class and project the attention it deserves. However, students have to pass their final classes to graduate.
Even if their senior courseload is relatively easy, students often experience high stress levels as they begin job hunting and thinking about life after college. Managing stress and planning ahead is essential for students to finish out their senior year well.
A solid plan for finishing your courses should incorporate support, rest, and treating yourself after meeting your goals. Set manageable goals for each course, and stay on top of your grades so you know what you need to do to finish well.
In addition to your classes, ensure that you’re completing any other requirements needed for graduation. Some schools require volunteer hours and other extracurricular requirements before they’ll award a degree, even if a student has earned enough credits to graduate.
4. Start Hunting for a Job
A source of stress for many students during their senior year is anticipating their upcoming job hunt. STudents’ senior year is the perfect time to go to job fairs, talk to professionals, and participate in internships. However, even after doing research, many students aren’t sure what they want to do professionally.
The pressure to “get it right” the first time is often increased by financial pressures and comparison with peers, who may seem to have it all figured out. The best way for students to start their job hunt is by taking off the pressure and getting started early.
If you’re feeling stressed about finding a good job and aren’t even sure what “good” means, you’re not alone. Even young adults who receive early job offers have moments of wondering what they’re doing with their lives and if they’re making the right decisions.
Start exploring your options as early as possible in your senior year, and you can significantly decrease your stress. Talk to your schools’ career center, connect with professionals to learn more about different roles, and don’t worry too much about timing. You can continue to search for your dream job while working in one of many available roles that will pay the bills.
Launching Into Life
College is a unique time of life, characterized by a lot of personal and professional growth. While at school, students learn more about themselves and the world around them while preparing for their future jobs and investing in new relationships.
Whether you’re sad your college career is almost over or excited to finally be done with school, these four tips can help you make the most of your senior year.
latest in learning!
Get the latest updates in learning, teaching and everything in between! Whether you're a student or an educator, we offer the inspiration you need to fuel your classroom experience.