I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are ONE SHORT SEMESTER away from hearing “Pomp and Circumstance” play. You’re probably all thinking it’s time to get out of there and enter the real world—it’s not. You’re worrying about final exams and projects and papers—you shouldn’t be. You’re laying in bed checking out Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on your phone—put it away. The last few months of college should be spent making the most out of every second. You’ll miss it the moment you’re gone.
1. Visit your Freshman Room
…And bring tissues. I sobbed. At my school we had ‘Senior Week’ before graduation and stayed in the freshman dorms. The last night I went up to the floor where I lived freshman year with a friend who also lived there. It was fun to see what new paintings were on the wall, remember who lived in which rooms, and know that space will hold special memories for others who will live there long after we’re gone. If you got along with your freshman roommate, do it together!
2. Take Pictures
OF EVERYTHING. It may seem weird now, but you’ll cherish them. Even small things: your favorite spots on campus, with your favorite professor, or just sitting outside with your core group of friends.
3. Go Out
I know your paper seems really important right now, but I promise it won’t matter three months from now. Unless you’re in serious danger of failing, it can wait. Your friends won’t be across the hall or down the street next year. Going out actually takes serious planning in the real world. Who’s driving? Where are we pregaming? Where are we sleeping? Go out now while it’s still easy.
4. Visit Career Services
I know I sound like your mom, but the things career services provide for free can cost you a lot of money outside school. Let them take a look at your resume and give suggestions on good places to apply for a job. It can’t hurt.
5. Throw a Wild Party
Your landlords and neighbors probably already hate you. Pick a theme that you’ve always thought would be a fun time and invite everyone you know. Worry about things like cleaning in the morning.
6. Prepare Your Social Media for the Real World
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, make one. Change your privacy settings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You don’t need one stupid picture ruining your chances of getting a job.
7. Eat in Your Dining Hall
Even if the food sucks, you get to complain about it one last time. When else in your life are you going to have an all you can eat buffet available to you practically 24/7? When else will your metabolism be able to handle it? (Never and never)
8. Befriend Underclassmen
Get to know some of the younger people on campus, maybe from your major or a club you’re part of. You’ll want to have some friends still on campus to update you on what’s going on and to hit up when you’re visiting.
9. Go To Events on Campus
There are always things happening on college campuses—concerts, comedy shows, movie screening, lectures. You probably haven’t been to one since freshman year either, but they’re usually really informative, entertaining, or both! You pay for events like these in your tuition so take advantage of them. They’re usually free or very cheap.
10. Befriend a Professor
You don’t have to go over to their house for dinner, but be comfortable enough with a professor that you can ask them to be your reference when you’re applying to jobs or at least have a connection back at school. Ask them if they want to get coffee (or a beer if they’re awesome) on or nearby campus and have a casual conversation about your career path. They will remember you for putting in the extra effort outside the classroom.
11. Make Your Mark
Don’t vandalize, but carve your initials in a tree. Donate towards a class gift. Participate in painting a mural. Every time you revisit campus, see if it’s still there. Get creative…but seriously, don’t vandalize.
12. Wear Sweatpants Everywhere
After college, you’re expected to get dressed when you leave the house. It sucks. Take full advantage of “getting ready” meaning changing from pajamas to yoga pants. Rock that extra-large, perfectly worn in college sweatshirt with pride while you still can.
13. Learn to Cook
For four years, eating has meant going to the dining hall, ordering in, or putting something in the microwave. Knowing how to cook a few key meals will become very important when you move out on your own unless you enjoy having no money. Learn now.
14. Be Happy with Your Current Relationship Status
This is the last thing you need to be worrying about right now. If you are single, do not be thinking about finding a boyfriend or girlfriend. This time should be about you! After graduating you will be meeting tons of new people so stop worrying about that guy from sophomore year. If you’re in a relationship with someone from school, enjoy your time together. After graduation a lot will change. He or she probably won’t be a five minute walk away anymore. Instead of worrying about what’s going to happen when school ends, make the most of every moment together (alone together and with friends).
15. Go To Formal
If you’re part of a club or organization, they probably have an end of year date party of some kind. Don’t let the price, not having a date, or any other reason stop you from going. It’s a great opportunity to create some last memories with people you spent a lot of time outside the classroom with. And a good excuse to get dressed up.
Go through old pictures or take a walk to all your favorite spots on campus with friends. Your memories from college will be hard to describe to people who didn’t experience it with you.