Why Your Last Semester Matters
Updated: 4 days ago
It's almost the end of the ride, you still have some classes to take, a casptone to present (or not, depending on your school), and then voilà you're making your entry to the real world for the first time.This is a moment you need to cherish and enjoy.
While you might not be aware of it, your years of college fly by in the blink of an eye. You haven't felt it and yet it's almost over. To some, it was the best years of their lives. To others, well they're glad it's almost over. One thing both parties have in common is that they might never experience something similar ever again. The pleasure of being a student is over and your last semester is the time to make the most of it.
“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.” ― Eckhart Tolle
1. Cherish Your Free Time
There are many perks that come along with being a student. The one thing that hit me most is how much "free time" students have. When you start working, you spend 2/3 of your day at your job. You no longer have the freedom to do whatever you want the way you used to. Also, you can wave goodbye to having at least a 2 months vacation throughout the year.
You may not realize it now, but for the majority of people, being an employee means trading time for money. This is why it is important to cherish and exploit time doing the things you love most and spending quality time with the people you like.
Although you might have already been doing it, this is best chance you get at knowing yourself and what you like. Use your free time to participate in activities that you enjoy doing. Start working on side projects you hold dear to your heart. The time you have now is valuable and you might need to use it to get to know yourself better. If you have spent the last few years focusing on grades, you need to shift your focus on yourself now.
2. Enjoy Being With Your Friends
The friends you make in college are most likely going to be your friends for life. As an adult, when you find a job, you're probably going to spend your time with the same people (a.k.a co-workers) and have less opportunities meeting new ones, unlike college. Once you start working, it is preferable not to mix friendship with work because once a "promotion" is in sight, the friendship may dissolve or fade away and you see a rise in tention because of how competitive it might get.
Whether you like it or not, you might never see the people you know now ever again. Unless you have a true friendship, your "so-called" friends are going to ghost you the second they leave the premises of the faculty after graduation. How can you blame them? Life goes on right? Hence why I cannot stress enough how "living in the now" becomes substantial.
3. Travel As Much As You Can
Building ever-lasting memories with the people you know now is something you might consider. What better way to do that than through travelling? This is also a way for you to know more about yourself. The more you see of the world, the more developed your vision becomes. You might meet new people and learn new stories. You may learn about new opportunities. Since you have the time, why not put it to great use right?
4. This is Your Time to Party
No responsibilities? Your friends are still free and ready to join you for the ride? There has never been a better time to party than your last semester! Again, you have free time and you need to make the most of it. College parties are unmatched and you may not feel as enthusiastic about doing that once you get a job. Your friends are still reachable, the parties are there solely for fun, you don't want to miss out.
5. Work on Your Capstone
No matter what your friends say, capstone is one of the most significant things you will have to work on throughout your academic journey.
5.1 - Capstone can be helpful when applying to jobs. It can be a subject of discussion during interviews with your potential employers. This can show all the skills you honed to get it done, but also how self-disciplined you are. Maybe you had to use an optimization technique which might be of interest to your employer, maybe you used coding, ...etc.
5.2 - Your capstone is going to be published online by your school and be there for the world to see. This is something that is going to follow you even after college. When people look you up on Google, they may come across that specific project you worked on and judge your abilities based on it. This is why you need all the help you can to position yourself at a higher level.
6. Start Applying Now - Be it Masters or Jobs
If you are thinking about pursuing your graduate studies, it is highly recommended to start during your last summer in college preparing for exams such as the GRE or the GMAT. Those exams require studious preparation. Some schools set specific scores for the applicants to get a chance at being admitted. The earlier you start, the earlier you can apply. Applications for most universities start during the fall so you might want to be ready for that.
In the case where you would like to take the professional route, then you definitely need to start applying for jobs early enough. Believe it or not, you are going to be rejected by many companies before getting into one (unless you are extremely lucky or have connections). This is why starting early matters, especially if you don't wanna be labelled as "unemployed" right after your graduation. Start applying now! Work on yourself now! What are you waiting for?