Road to Graduation: 5 Tips from an Almost Graduate

Road to Graduation: 5 Tips from an Almost Graduate

By: npope
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Throughout my university career, I have longed for the day I would graduate: I would have a ‘real’ job, no more readings and no more lugging huge text books as thick as a brick.  I would be able to watch mindless television without feeling the pang of guilt that “I should really be doing my readings”.  What a life post graduation will be!

But as my graduation creeps nearer and I am already half way through my last semester, this longing and excitement for graduation has changed.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m really excited not to carry my textbooks around campus, but at the same time I have realized that a chapter of my life is closing. 

At the risk of sounding incredibly sentimental and clique, I have come up with my top five suggestions to make the best of your time at SFU: 

1. Make it count

Throughout my many semesters at SFU, there have been times where I have definitely experienced a lack of motivation, times where I did not put in my “all”, and times when I did not push myself as much as I could have.  Now that I’m wrapping up my last couple of months here, I regret the times where I didn’t push myself as much as I could have.  I’m now realizing that your time at SFU can go by pretty quickly, so if you can, make the best of every moment!

2. Try something new!

SFU offers so many wonderful opportunities; chances to go on exchange, do Co-op, or join a club. Many working professionals have told me that it is these experiences that give you a greater edge in the working world. Personally, joining clubs, volunteering and doing Co-op through SFU has been incredibly rewarding and provided experiences that I look back on with the fondest memories. It’s a great chance to meet new people and learn about yourself.

3. Work-life balance

Finding a balance between school and life is really important, for both your sanity and physical health. There have been times where I would go absolutely nuts with school.  In my first semester in particular, I went so overboard that there was one night I slept for 14 hours because I had absolutely exhausted myself. Work hard, but make sure you set time aside for yourself, for your friends, and for your family. As good as it is to work hard, your brain needs a break and you need to take the time to enjoy your student life too!

4. Networking is key

I am told that these days, most jobs are not found on job postings but through networking. Your future boss might very well be in a class with you, or in a club you might have joined. Get your name out there, meet people, and build relationships.  Besides, it doesn’t hurt to make more friends right?

5. Enjoy!

When you are reluctantly doing your readings, or writing essays, or whatever your professor assigns you, think about how this is something you probably won’t be doing forever, and you might even miss it. (Insert horrified gasp by all students here.) Yes, it’s an incredibly crazy thought, but I’ve heard from a few graduated students that they miss doing the readings and being in a constant state of learning.    

So take it from me, even though school can be hard it’s still a great opportunity to do so much and have so much fun!  There are so many opportunities that students have to meet new people, learn, and grow as a person.  So, the next time you grumble about readings or an assignment, think about how this is not something that will last forever and before you know it your student life will come to an end, and you might even miss it!

Lead image courtesy Wikipedia Commons.

Beyond the Article

Natalie Pope will be graduating from SFU in June 2014 with a Communication and English degree.  She has completed 4 work terms, 2 as a marketing assistant and 2 at SFU.  She has also blogged about her co-op journey throughout the years, and is now working on figuring out where her experiences will take her next!  This is why she has been speaking to professionals in her field to try and get a sense of what she would like to do in the future.

Posted on February 16, 2014