17 Things To Do Before You Graduate College

Posted on August 29, 2017

School is back in session which means some of you all will be graduating this year! I’m so proud of those who have made it this far. WOW! I wanted to make all of you a check-list of things to make sure you’ve handled before the big day. Have a wonderful semester and we’re here for anything you need.

1. Have a friend’s night out. Grab all the friends you’ve made over the years and host some sort of celebration – at your apartment, meet-up somewhere, have a pool party, do something. Some of these people you will stay in touch with but others…..who knows! Enjoy it!

2. Photoshoot On Campus. Grab your besties and go take selfies all around campus by all of the campus landmarks – trust me, you’ll be thankful for these photos of your favorite college campus.

3. Write Professor Letters. Pick 3-4 professors who really changed  your life, helped you out, or taught you something you  really didn’t know. Write them thank you notes and let them know how much you appreciate their words of wisdom. Some of these professors might stay in touch with you as you journey into the real world.

4. Internship Connections. How many internships did you do over your 4 years in college? I challenge you to go on LinkedIn and make sure you are connected with every single executive that you had some sort of meaningful interaction with over the course of your college internships. You’ll want to be connected with them as they change jobs over the next few years.

5. Internship Thank-You Notes. Yes, you wrote thank you notes after your internship interviews and after your internships were completed. Now it’s time to send another hand-written thank you note. This is an opportunity for you to thank the internship coordinator again for the experience they provided and to remind them that you are graduating college. They need to know that you will be job searching. By doing  this, you’ll impress them and stay top of mind.

6. Pick Up Cap & Gown. Make sure that you follow your school’s procedures and pick up your cap & gown at the appropriate time. If it’s popular at your school – decorate the top of your hat – give it some personal style.

7. Close Out Classes with a Bang. Make sure you ace the rest of those finals. I remember, I got caught up with my senior year German class and almost didn’t pass! Make sure that you give yourself some time to focus on those tricky finals. You don’t want any last minute surprises with your classes.

8. Graduation Announcements. Even if you and your family aren’t having some sort of graduation party or celebratory dinner (which you should also decide), I recommend sending out graduation announcements to family members and close friends of the family. Be loud about your achievement! Graduating is a BIG deal!

9. Get More Thank-You Notes. Between the notes I’m encouraging you to write above and the graduation gifts you may get, you’ll need more thank-you notes. Go to the store and stock up!

10. Last Minute Career Center Check-In. Hopefully, you’ve visited the career center over the course of your college experience. Regardless, make an appointment right before graduation. The career center doesn’t only help with internships – they can help with jobs and it’s in their best interest for school alumni to be employed. Ask for any tips, connections, or pointers for the job search. Be  specific about what  you want to do so they can think about alumni connections.

11. Alumni Participation. If you know where you are going to live after graduation, look up that city, and see if your school has an active alumni group. Find out when their next group function is and go join! This is not only lots of fun but also a great networking opportunity.

12. Talk to Club/Greek Life Officers About Alumni Opportunities. If you are in a sorority or fraternity, there is most likely an alumni association (that does host events) that you can be a part of. Find out how to get involved. I remember doing a sorority alumni event when I moved to Los Angeles and it was a great networking opportunity. You can also ask about getting involved with professional versions of your student club. For example, if you are a member of PRSSA, you may want to look into joining PRSA after graduation.

13. Put Your Graduation Look Together. What will you wear under your gown? Put something together so you aren’t stressed the day of graduation.

14. Food After Graduation. All the restaurants around town will be slammed on graduation day. What will you and your family do for lunch/dinner? Make a rezzie ASAP!

15. Meeting Point After Graduation. School will be crazy after graduation. Pick a meeting spot for you and your family so that everyone knows where to meet after the ceremony.

16. Photo List. What are all of the photos you want in your graduation outfit? Your siblings? Parents? Friends? Make a short list so that you remember to get all of the photos – you don’t put on the outfit again.

17. Complete University Surveys or Mandatory Paperwork. Many schools have students complete an online survey before they are officially cleared for graduation. Other schools have all kinds of different forms that need to be filled out.