Survive senior year by making the most of it

Senior year of college. It’s a big deal and you are probably wigging out about something—from finishing your degree requirements, to leaving your friends, from finding a job, to avoiding senioritis. No matter what you are worried about, you can make the most of your senior year with these college tips for conquering your final semesters.

Make a plan of what you want to accomplish before the end of senior year. (Credit:

Make a plan of what you want to accomplish before the end of senior year. (Credit:

Complete your course work senior year

So what is the most important thing to remember during your senior year of college? Making sure it is in fact your last year by finishing up all your necessary course work in your major. Jessica Lyons wrote “20 Tips to Starting Your Senior Year in College Right” for September 29, 2011, on how to do just that. Here are a few of her top college tips for senior year:

  • Know your degree requirements. Even if you are sure you know them, meet with your advisor to be on the safe side.
  • Get your hardest classes out of the way. If you still have some challenging course work facing you, try to knock that out fall semester.
  • Decide between grad school and a real job. Depending on the opportunities in your chosen field, decide if grad school is the right choice for you.
  • Visit the career center/Complete grad school applications. If you are opting to enter the job market, see what kind of assistance the career center at your college can offer. If you are considering grad school, get your applications turned in on time. And for both—get your references in order.
  • Check your student loan obligations. You should have a few months after graduation before payments kick in, but better to know what your monthly bill will be and get prepared. 

Have fun with friends

Obviously, college is about getting your degree, but let’s be honest—a big part of the experience is the time you spend with your friends. Your senior year of college should be no different and you want to make the most of that time. “8 Pieces of Advice for College Seniors” posted by Bree Taylor November 15, 2013, for the blog Thought Catalog, advises seniors to “Soak up your time on campus because you’ll never have it again. Immerse yourself in the present as much as possible and try not to worry too much.”

Taylor also urges those in their final year of college to savor their friendships. She finds that some of those friendships will be life-long bonds, while others will eventually fade away. Finally, don’t forget in the midst of all the classes and planning for your future to make the most of your senior year by having a little fun. Taylor says, “Don’t take things so seriously — do the things that will make you laugh or smile or even cringe-while-secretly-laughing when you reflect on them later in life.”

Avoiding senioritis

You’ve got your course work taken care of, you’re having some crazy time with your best buds, the only thing left is to avoid the pitfall of senioritis during your senior year of college. Looking for some college tips on how you can do this? “5 Tips to Battle College Senioritis” by Laura McMullen for U.S. News & World Report on November 18, 2011, suggests:

1.  Take care of yourself. That means not skipping meals, getting enough sleep, finding time for exercise and avoiding those all-nighters.

2.  Stay organized. If you keep a schedule of important dates, you are less likely to forget something or fall behind and end up feeling overwhelmed.

3.  Get motivated. Making the transition from college to real life is tough, but if you stay motivated you will probably be better prepared to take that next step.

4.  Be realistic. Finding a job is tough, so be realistic about your chances. If your grades are less than stellar, boost your chances with internships. Heading to grad school? Give yourself time to retake tests like the GRE if you need to up your score.

5.  Visit the career center. Stressed about life after college? Don’t avoid the issue, instead address any questions you may have about career and graduate school opportunities head-on. McMullen wrote that career centers can help seniors, “perfect interview skills and résumés, attend workshops, and learn about job openings, among other things.”

What do you think will be your biggest challenge during senior year of college? How will you make the most of your final year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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