Perhaps, when you were freshmen, you thought that entering a college is the Big Thing in your life—at least, until marriage or founding a transnational corporation at the age of 21, or something like that. However, entering a college is just half of the deal. Graduating from a college: this is what really matters. Many students forget about this; they relax, thinking that the most difficult part is left behind, or do not worry much about their last year of studying.
Ironically, this is the year that should be paid the most attention to if you want to graduate successfully. Below are some recommendations that will help you not mess up your senior year in college.
1. Keep your main life goal (for the mid-term perspective, at least) always in mind. Even if you plan everything scrupulously, without your main goal in mind, the direction of movement of your plans will be useless. If your goal is to “get a job after I graduate,” I’d recommend you to revise your goal to something more specific.
2. Apply for financial aid responsibly. If you do, do not feel satisfied simply by the fact that you finally submitted all the necessary papers once in a lifetime (if you did only that, don’t be surprised when there’ll be no financial aid when you need some). You need to fill out the FAFSA (The Free Application for Federal Student Aid) every year.
3. Be realistic about your capabilities. If you were an exceptional A+ student all year round, don’t expect the finals week to be as easy, or teachers to have mercy on your flaws because of your good grades. Even the brightest students get C or D grades if they don’t study properly—and besides, finals usually make a solid portion of your final grade in a class.
4. Communicate with teachers. When you were a freshman, it was crucial. When you are a senior, it is as crucial as it has always been. Also mind that when you are a freshman, classes are usually easier than when you are a senior, so you might need your teachers’ assistance even more than ever during your last year.
5. Treat the last semester like any other—given that you treated other semesters responsibly, studied well, and did not do anything stupid. The fact you are a senior and are about to graduate does not automatically mean you will ace it. Keep working hard until the last day of college.
I thought it’s necessary to write all this, because many students during their last year do everything in the opposite way. Stay consistent (and persistent), and you will avoid many underwater rocks that await senior students.
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