Wrapping Up Classes Before Graduation: 5 Tips to Help You Now and Later

It’s the last semester of your undergrad career; congratulations! Soon you’ll be free of homework, essays, required readings, and tests. But not so fast. You may be painfully close to that finish line, but you haven’t crossed it yet, and it’s important to end your college career strong. So as you’re wrapping up your classes this semester, be sure to follow these tips:

1.  Tie Up Loose Ends
You might be wrapped up with finals and term papers at the moment, but don’t forget about anything that’s been lingering on your to-do list for a while. If you’re unsure about your grade for a particular class, ask what your current standing is. If you know you haven’t done well, try bargaining for some extra credit assignments, or see if you can get any points for turning in missing assignments late. Do what you can to get your workload and assignments squared away for your classes. Your grades can only improve, and you’ll be glad about that later!

2.  Stay Motivated
Think about all the hard work you’ve put in during your time at college. You owe it to yourself to finish things with a bang. Don’t let senioritis get you down; stay motivated! As always, time management is an important factor here. Balance work and play, but remember, there will be plenty of time for play after the semester ends. Think about the relief you’ll feel when all your assignments are turned in and all your finals are finished. Keep your motivation by focusing on the end goal: finishing your last semester, and feeling proud of the work you’ve done. 

3.  Get Recommendations
Before you leave class for good, it can be a smart idea to secure a letter of recommendation or two. You can ask a favorite professor, adviser, or student organization faculty officer. Even if you don’t need the letter right away, it can be helpful to get one from them now while you’re still fresh in their minds (the letter will sound less generic that way!). 

4.  Hang On to Some of Your Work
As you’re nearing the end of your last semester, it might be tempting to pitch anything school-related straight into the recycle bin. But think before you toss! Odds are you still have projects and papers saved on your computer; make sure to keep the strong pieces. You might need writing samples for applying to grad school programs and future jobs. As for class materials, think about what might be valuable to you post-graduation. You’re bound to forget some of what you learned, so if you have organized, convenient packets of information from your classes, file them away so you can reference them later!

5.  Keep Contact Info
It can be beneficial to stay in touch with professors after graduation, so if you connected with an instructor, make sure to keep their contact info. You might end up wanting to email them in the not-too-distant future to ask about their industry, solicit advice, to ask about jobs in the field, or just to let them know that you’d like to list them as a reference on an application.