You are days, perhaps even hours, away from graduation. Do you feel full of hope? Sadness? Alcohol? All of the above? Congratulations. This is the first day of the rest of your life. And while it's not quite all downhill from here, the nostalgia for your beer-pong-and text-book-filled days starts now. So before you leave campus, here's a list of ways you know you made the best of your last semester.
Yes, even the nights before finals. The best way to accomplish this is to realize that the library is likely even more social than a bar or frat house sometimes (which of course can be a blessing or a curse). But the days that you can see all of your friends every single day are numbered. Take advantage of this. In real life your friends live farther away than 50 feet. And yes, it sucks.
Some might say this is difficult to do if you successfully completed number ten. But contrary to popular belief, as long as you didn’t really overdo the partying (by now you should know your limits), you are probably having your happiest (read: most fun) semester. And happy people are less stressed, and less stressed people get better grades. So it's really not surprising that you scored a 4.0 in the final stretch (but still deserves a high five).
Hint: For you future college seniors, it's actually easy to do well your last semester and still have a great time, but it means loading up on harder classes earlier in college so that your last semester is a breeze.
Visit your advisor every so often, especially during this last semester. They will make sure you have actually fulfilled every requirement. At the very least, this will save you the serious embarrassment of your name being "skipped" at graduation.
If they don't know you by now, well … that means you studied too much. Which leads me to …
Now before you tell me I'm giving irresponsible advice, let me explain this. By all means, study enough so that you not only pass and do very well (especially in classes for your major or that are relevant to anything you want to do in life) but also so that you learned something in these classes. But don't study more than that. College is about more than studying.
Especially if you're finished with your requirements, take a class in a topic that you know nothing about. Art history, photography, statistics, French, legal studies — anything that interests you, even if you don't think you'll use it later. Of course you can read a book about anything at any point in life. But having an expert explain it to you is just that much better.
Notice I hesitate to include "have a job lined up" in this list. Of course, knowing your post May plans (let alone a guaranteed paycheck) would be ideal. But we all know this is easier said than done. If you have some sort of sense of what type of path you might want to get on at some point in the near(ish) future, you're ahead of the curve. And if this path changes eight times before you turn 25, that’s okay too.
While your parents may have to drag you kicking and screaming off of your beer-and-tear soaked stoop, in a twisted way this means you made it. You made it through four years of solo cups and textbooks, all-nighters and frat parties, football games and finals. And while you'd give anything to do it all again, your parents are less eager to pay for it all again.
Because this means you have at least another year before you enter the real world. And you still have summer vacation. You win.