As the year starts to wind down to a close, it’s a good time to reflect back on our college career. Whether it was good or bad, there is something that we can all reflect on. Going to cultural events on campus, moving on campus for the first time, joining intramural sports, preparing for graduation, or just deciding on a major. We all can relate to these things in some sort of way. I’m here to talk about the things we should reflect on and take with us as we move on in college life.
As freshmen this is a time to reflect back on your first year of college. Moving away from home for the first time, making new friends, and becoming a young adult, it’s a time to find out who you truly are. Coming into college you might not know what you want to do and that’s okay going into the next year. So look back at your liberal education classes that you took and see which ones you enjoyed the most that you can you see yourself doing in the near future. Based on that only you can decide on a major, but if you are still undecided that’s fine as well. Also reflect back on the clubs that you have joined. When I was a freshman I joined many clubs because I thought even though I came here for school I also wanted to have a social life. So I reflected back at the clubs that I wanted to be involved with and narrowed it down to the ones I really wanted to be in. Going into next year you should plan what you want to do and the clubs and organizations that you want to join for the upcoming year. Take the experiences you have learned from freshman year and apply them in your sophomore year and so on.
As sophomores you should have an idea of what you want to do, and by now have decided on a major. If you are still having trouble you can stop in Career & Internship Services office and take one of our many assessments to learn about your options or to see if the major you did choose was the right decision. Also, it’s a time to update your resume. You may not have a lot on there but it’s never a bad time to update your resume. During the summer our office is open 8:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday, where you can set up a one on one meeting with a counselor to go over your resume. This is also a time to reflect on your networking skills. As sophomores you want to network with as many people as possible to learn about different career paths and possible internships that can lead to jobs after graduation. This is also a great time to think about study abroad. They say the best time to study aboard is between sophomore and junior year. I wish I had the opportunity to study aboard in my college career because I know I missed out on a great opportunity. You can visit the International Education Office for more info about study aboard.
As you enter your junior year you may want to reflect on the possibility of getting an internship within your major. Summer internships may be the best after completing your junior year because you will have had more time to gain experience in the classes in your major. You can take your experiences and use them as you enter your senior year. It’s time to reflect on graduate or professional school if you do consider pursing your education beyond your undergrad. Start thinking about schools you think may fit for you and start retaining or building up your GPA.
This is probably the most difficult stage to reflect on which is your senior year. You can go on and on about the experiences you have had over the years but your senior year is probably the most important one to reflect upon. This is time where you decided what to do after you graduate. Some may be coming back for a 5th year and that is okay, it gives you more time to decide what you want to do after graduation. As seniors, this is the time where you should have your job, or job search process, lined up or graduate school picked out. This can be a difficult time for some because not everyone has something lined up or just clearly don’t know what to do after graduation. Visit as many job fairs and info sessions about grad schools as you can. You don’t want to wait until the last moment and realize you don’t have a plan. If you know where you’re going and what you’re doing, make sure to fill out our Graduate Follow-up Survey! Make sure all finances are paid off to school, you have completed all the coursework for your major and there are no holds on your record. Walking across the stage and receiving that diploma is a huge step to entering the real world. Four years will have come and gone before you know it. So enjoy and cherish all the moments and reflect on the many good and bad times (more good) that you have had in college, because then you will realize it’s four of the best years of your lifetime.