How to Prepare For Your Final Year of Undergrad

By: Neena Zona, Director of Business Affairs

SpringflowerUP-13-003

Image Source: news.psu.edu

As I count down the days until I get to return to Happy Valley and my cozy two-bedroom apartment with my best friends, I cannot help but to panic. This is my last year of college and honestly, the last year that I actually have a set plan for. If you think about it, your whole life has basically been planned out for you up until now. You go to preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, and then college, but no one really prepares you for when have to fend for yourself in the “real world”.  Here is how I plan to make the most of my last year in Penn State and prepare for post-grad life.

Cry. 

Just kidding, think of what doctor Seuss would say, “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened.”  (Plus, crying will ruin your makeup and you need to look good in all the pictures you will take this year.)

Explore 

Yes, most of us will be here for four years, but how many people have not left the 2-mile stretch of downtown State College to explore? Luckily, I will have a car at school, which makes getting around a lot easier! If you do not, there are plenty of other options such as the bus and Uber. Make sure you do everything and anything that Happy Valley has to offer. Did you really go to Penn State if you never climbed Mount Nittany?

Say Yes 

Something that my roommates and I plan on doing this year is saying yes to different opportunities that come our way. It is your last year, make the most of it! Join as many clubs and organizations as you can, sit in on other classes and check out the events happening around the community!  You never know what you can discover and maybe you will find a new hobby.

Plan and Prepare

As much as I wish I could avoid it, I can’t ignore the fact that May will come a lot sooner than I think. Instead of ignoring it, embrace it. Start looking for jobs right away; it never hurts to get your resume out there. Reach out to old connections and make new ones! Having a plan before you graduate makes the thought of post-grad life seem a lot less scary.

Whether we are ready or not, May will sneak up on us faster than you think. Instead of ignoring the fact that you are graduating and leaving the best college out there, acknowledge it and make it the best year yet! Remember, even though you have to leave Happy Valley eventually, the memories that are made throughout your undergrad time will live on forever. We Are!

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