Well, this month has been a whirlwind. Let’s get real, the past 9 months have been insane. I simultaneously want time to speed up and slow down. It’s crazy, I know. I just want the good times to last longer but am excited for the next chapter of my life. You know why?
It’s my last semester of graduate school!
This means that I have classes to attend, a thesis to write, an hour-long recital to prepare, jobs to work, bills to pay, auditions to apply for, job applications to send out, blogging to do, and a life to live. It’s madness!
How am I supposed to enjoy my last semester of school?!
I’m not planning on getting a doctorate – unless someone wants to award me an honorary doctorate, then I’ll gladly accept. (Hint to future committees). But, I think I’m done with school for now – after I graduate, of course. I have been consistently enrolled in school since I was 5 years old. That’s 19 years!
So, how do I make this semester memorable, beneficial, AND enjoyable?
It’s not going to be easy.
Here are my tips for making your last semester your best semester.
Take Advantage of School Resources
Campuses have so many awesome resources that are included in your tuition: libraries, gyms, therapists, student events, sporting events, etc. When you graduate, you can’t go to a “free” gym anymore. You have to get a library card and drive to the library. What a hassle! Enjoy the resources while you have them. I mean, you already paid for them, right?!
Learn as Much as You Can
I know school seems tedious now. I’ll admit that I can’t wait to be done with classes, homework, papers – the list goes on. BUT I actually enjoy learning. I’m sure once I’m no longer in an educational environment I won’t have as much time to sit down and learn. Take advantage of this time. Fine-tune your skills and knowledge as much as you can before you join your career field.
Cultivate Lasting Friendships
It is hard to make friends in the “real world.” Think about it, you aren’t in a room full of new people twice a year. You aren’t forced to work on group projects with your soon-to-be-new-bestie. You will make friends at your job – I hope – but it is more difficult. There are apps for making new friends in the adult world now! That’s how hard it is! Make sure to practice keeping in touch with your friends – make sure they want to stick around after school is over. Don’t focus so much on your next step, that you neglect your friends.
Make a Plan for Your Future
Don’t plan too much – I did that last year and life did its own thing despite my plans (read about that HERE) – but make moves toward your next chapter. Polish up that résumé and cover letter, start looking at jobs, research the city you want to move to, etc. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be come graduation – and then you can PARTAY!
Who knows, this might be the last time you live in this city. Explore it! That restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, the cool karaoke bar down the street, parks, concerts, day-trips, whatever you want! Just go out and ENJOY YOURSELF. Everyone says that college is the best time of your life – squeeze every last drop of awesomeness out of your time as a student.
Joining the grown-up, 9-5, salary-earning world is scary. I’m freaking out a little bit just writing about it….but it is also exciting.
Think of it this way: you are one step closer to retirement!
Focus on yourself this semester. Make good grades. Plan for the future. Bond with your friends. Live life to the fullest. I’m not sure how else to say this, so I’m going to let Mary Anne Radmacher do it for me:
You are almost done! Work hard, have fun, and get that diploma!