How To Make The Most of Your Senior Year of College

You’ve successfully made it to senior year, but now this chapter of your life is starting to close. If a wave of anxiety just washed over you, don’t panic. You still have your entire senior year to accomplish everything you’d like. Don’t leave campus without doing everything you thought college would be!

Today’s student story is brought to you by Bre Thielen, a recent graduate, who is ready to share some advice so you can have the best year of school yet.

Three college girls with graduations caps

Name: Bre Thielen
School: University of Iowa
Major/Degree: Bachelors of Science in Radiation Sciences (X-Ray/MRI)
Status/Class: Graduated – Class of 2019

Making The Most of Senior Year

Create a ‘Senior Year Bucket List’

My roommates and I decided to create a ‘Senior Year Bucket List’ with a crazy amount of activities. We included things like going to the local apple orchard/pumpkin patch, karaoke and country nights at the bars, going to the local winery, trivia nights, concerts, etc.

You definitely should include school events like football, basketball, baseball, and so on. It’s always fun to cheer on your school, especially your last year as a student. We tried to do things we had never done before and essentially add to our college experience.

Once you get your cap and gown, go take Graduation pictures. I love that I did this with my friends because it’s a fun memory and a huge accomplishment to celebrate!

Experience Your Community

Each city can be extremely different so the places you need to make sure to visit can be greatly dependent on the campus (but definitely visit the places you love). For example, make sure to hit up the local restaurants you can’t find anywhere else.

On our ‘Senior Year Bucket List’ we made sure to include restaurants, bars, and all sorts of places that we wanted to check out before we graduated. All of the restaurants were local and we either hadn’t been to them before or wanted to go to them again once more.

A few unique places of my campus that I made sure to explore was the Pentacrest near the Old Capital building. Another place I checked off my list was going into the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and looking into Kinnick Stadium from the top floor. To me, all these places held memories and the new places created new memories.

Also, since I was a student at the hospital I never saw certain areas of campus. So towards the end of Spring Semester, my boyfriend and I walked around the entire campus. It’s fun to look back and reminisce.

Cherish Time With Your Friends.

My situation was kind of unique because I was a 5th year student. I spent my 4th year going through the senior year activities with my friends that I met my freshman year. Then for my 5th year, I knew everything I wanted to experience. However, cherish your time with your friends because I wish I could go back and have a roomie girls night again. Don’t take anything for granted this year and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. This year will FLY by so take it all in!! Go out on that Tuesday night for $1 drinks even though you have an early class the next morning.

Prepare For Your Next Step.

Start the job search early because sometimes the process of hiring can take longer depending on where you’re looking. A big thing to think about it is, do you want to stay in the same city or state as you are now or do you want to get up and move?

Go buy interview clothes beforehand so you have them once interviews start happening.

Start working on your resume early! Have a number of people look it over it for errors and opinions.

Depending on your career path, will you need to take any formal exams after graduation? Will you need a Permit to Practice or any Certifications?

Are you wanting to continue on further after your undergrad years? If so, know the steps you are going to need to take.

It’ll be okay.

It’s okay to feel kind of lost after graduation. I am 2 months post-graduation and I’m just starting to feel comfortable with my life. When you think about it, we’re all so rushed going from class, to studying, and working during school that we may not always have free time. After graduation, you’re just working with so much free time that you don’t know what to do. However, make time for yourself, pick up a hobby or read that book you’ve been wanting to for months.

Lastly, your first job may not be your best fit for you and that’s okay! A lot of companies require experience so just remember that it will be great for your resume and it’s helping you grow in your career. You have to work your a$$ off in the beginning to be where you want later, it’s a process.