Your last year of the university might be both exciting and stressful. On one hand you feel inspired to start a new chapter, to enjoy a time when you have fewer responsibilities and spend a lot of time with your friends that you have made along the way up. On the other hand, the question: “But what’s next?” might be frustrating and stressful to think about. Suddenly, a new chapter begins with new people, a new set of activities and of course… new responsibilities!
While both these ‘worlds’ have their own beauty and magic, let’s focus now on how you can make the most out of the present moment and the very short-term period before you graduate. We are a couple of months away from that exhilarating ceremony where all your dear ones will be present to see you wearing your gown and cap and being handed probably the most important piece of document you have got so far. So, I invite you to reflect for a little bit and think about what is it that you wish to accomplish before solemnly receiving the status of a graduate. We all know about the famous new year’s resolutions and bucket lists… well, why not make such a list specifically for your last semester of your final year!
I am due to graduate this summer and as I am in the same shoes as you, I’ve come up with some ideas that I hope will inspire you to act or even create a personalised list for yourself and your friends.
- Have your resume reviewed! I guess I started with the most important thing. This is the last year you could take advantage of a face to face career consultation and use the VMock Smart Resume for free. The Henley Careers team is brilliant at this and I am sure you will get so much valuable and eye-opening advice.
- Do several mock interviews with Career Consultants or other professionals that come on campus for various events. I would strongly advise attending at least a couple of them. It’s always good to get feedback on your responses and learn about the best way to answer questions and conduct yourself during an interview. It’ll give you a competitive edge in your job search and will take some stress away from you.
- Perform a life audit! You don’t need to be studying accountancy to do this. Everyone can be an expert at this only if you reflect on a couple of things such as: your experiences and the lessons you’ve learned so you don’t continue to make the same mistakes; what module you have enjoyed the most, what society and what kind of activities brought out the best version in you. Lastly, take note of the relationships you’ve built over the years. Do the people in your life motivate you and are you happy where you are headed? Remember, here at Henley we can help you with this and it’s better to start later than never.
- Organise a graduation photo shoot! Even if you don’t like having your photo taken, you still should capture this moment in history. Look for some inspiration maybe on Pinterest and make it fun! Invite even some friends and do it together. I am sure you’ll look back on it fondly.
- Use your student discount and take advantage of it while you can because before you know it, you will have to pay full price for services like Apple Music and Spotify Premium as well as educational platforms.
- Spend as much time as possible with your friends because after graduation it will be harder to spend time together as you all will follow different paths in life. Some of your friends are going to be working immediately after graduation, and some may move away to a different country.
- Join the alumni group! This will help you stay in touch with all the wonderful people you have met during your past couple of years. There are alumni groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Henley has its own platform called Henley Live.
- Network with your professors! You should have done from your very first year, but if you haven’t it is not too late. You can start now and build some relationships till the end of the year. I would also recommend writing thank you notes to your professors. Show them appreciation for the skills and knowledge you have gained from them before you go. Networking with your professors is highly important because they will be very good contacts to have in the future and you even may be invited to come back to inspire new students!
- And of course, have a graduation party with people you love and cherish in a special place for you. It is important to celebrate victories like this which give you a sense of accomplishment and new motivation to climb higher hills. Enjoy it and be grateful for where you are now and excited for what the future will bring!
- Bonus idea: write a letter to your future self-10 years from now. Maybe you want to include how you see yourself in 2030, or just anything your mind brings you to. It will be interesting for you to open it after those 10 years’ time frame and realise how much progress you will have made.
These were my 10 ideas for the Last Semester in my student life Bucket List!
I hope that made you feel inspired and look forward to every single day to make the best out of it.
Good luck and best wishes for all of you!
Cristina Marcu, BSc Finance and Investment Banking student