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You’ve put in countless hours of hard work, made a lot of sacrifices, and experienced your share of peaks and valleys along the way. The good news is that the end is finally in sight: it’s almost time for graduation! Your graduation is sure to be a life-changing event that is an important first step to your future success. The following tips can ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible during this exciting, but often bewildering period:

Don’t slack off

As you get closer to the finish line, you might be tempted to relax and put less effort into your classes. If you slack off too much, you might discover that you’re unprepared for your last round of final exams. Make every effort to stay focused up until the end. You don’t want any setbacks that could prevent you from graduating on schedule. Making a strong push at the end can also help you build positive momentum that can assist you during an upcoming job search.

Make sure you’ve fulfilled all academic and financial requirements

The last thing you want is to enter what you thought was your final year or semester of college, only to realize that you haven’t taken all the necessary courses to graduate. If you haven’t been meeting with your academic advisor on a regular basis, make an appointment to review your academic standing. Also ask about any paperwork or other administrative tasks that must be completed prior to graduation. Check with the financial aid office to ensure your financial obligations have been met.

Prepare for your job search

Don’t wait until after you graduate to begin your job search. Most schools give their students access to a career services department or similar entity. Contact the department prior to the start of your final year of school, if not earlier, and take advantage of available services. In addition to providing job search tools, many schools can offer job interview preparation assistance. This can help you approach the interview process with a higher level of confidence.

Reach out to your favorite professors

Think about which professors have had the biggest impact on you during your academic career. Ask them for any advice that could assist you as you attempt to enter the job world and embark on your career journey. Some of your favorite professors may be willing to provide a letter of recommendation that can have a positive impact on prospective employers. If you have a particularly close bond with a professor, he or she can even serve as a mentor throughout your career. Keep your relationship intact over the years, and you may be able to share your knowledge with them in the future.

Don’t forget about student loans

If you’ve borrowed money to finance your education, you’ll probably have to begin repaying your loans six months after graduation. Check your loan balances and pay close attention to your monthly repayment schedule. This will have a major impact on your financial future, particularly if you hope to rent an apartment or purchase a new car right after graduation.

Complete all grad school application and testing requirements

Are you planning to attend graduate school instead of immediately entering the job market? Most schools require the completion of graduate level exams such as the GMAT or GME. Remember to register for these exams by the appropriate deadlines. It’s also a good idea to begin the application process well before graduation. Your academic advisor should be able to assist you in both of these areas.

Prepare for the graduation ceremony

Graduation is a milestone that you’ll want to share with the people who mean the most to you. Think about who you want to attend your graduation and give enough advance notice when sending out the invitations. Make sure you take care of other essential details, such as ordering your cap and gown and making necessary travel arrangements for your guests.

Cherish the moment

Graduation is a time for celebration, so be sure to enjoy this time with your family and friends. Don’t forget to be proud of yourself and savor your accomplishments – after all, you worked hard for it.

If you’re in the process of choosing your career path, a Vista College Admissions Representative can provide valuable guidance that can make your decision much easier. To contact a representative or to learn more about our career development programs, please click here.

CC Photo by Will Folsom

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