9 Things Every College Student Should Do At Least Once Before Graduation
Hey, congratulations. Soon you'll be a member of the 7% (that is, the world's collegiately educated). However, before you become all elite and whatnot, do some things to punctuate your educational odyssey. Preferably, these things:
1. Talk to your advisor:
It's probably too late at this point, but pop in unexpectedly at your advisor's office and make sure you're set to sport the cap and gown. Don't leave without him/her looking at a computer screen and giving verbal confirmation. There are too many horror stories out there about students who have to take an extra summer class in ballroom dance or who don't find out they didn't actually graduate until they realize they're not getting alumni e-mails in their spam box.
And this tragedy is what's ruining America.
2. Leisurely stroll around campus:
This is your last to chance to enjoy the odd beauty of concentrated academic architecture. And now you can do so without speed walking to your Philosophy of Ryan Lochte elective.
Breathe it in: the buildings; the quads; the lack of cynicism; and the refreshing absence of the adult-onset disease called "co-workers."
For whatever reason — exams, essays, government-subsidized ecstasy — you probably didn't sleep a lot during your for four or five years. Newsflash: It's not going to get easier when you score a job.
Just replace staying up late to do education and fun with mapping out which Fridays are paydays for the next six months, accidentally over-extending happy hours full of meaningless office small talk, and feeling the fear of an impending two-part workmare (work nightmare) episode.
So, seriously, sleep for ten stress-free hours a night during that brief period between your final final and your actual ceremony. Netflix will still be there when you wake up. Or you'll die in your sleep and Arrested Development won't matter anyway.
4. Something unstupid, legal, and astute:
Maybe, like, open up a lightly funded Roth IRA or whatever. I don't know. Go nuts.
5. Reinforce, don't burn, bridges:
Write a letter to your favorite professor thanking them for being who they are and doing what they do. Attend every graduation party you're invited to. And do your roommate's endless pile of dirty dishes one last time.
If you see them again, they'll remember your lasting kindness (and perhaps repay it). If you never see them again, you departed on an authentically positive note — which is a long, lost art in human relations.
6. Think about who you want to be:
Some folks will tell you to chase the money. Some folks will tell you to follow your passion. Others will just stare at you blankly.
Forget all of that. Tell those folks that you're sorry they're irretrievably unhappy, but that they shouldn't project their regrets on you. So rather than creating a definitive 30-year plan or searching for your spirit animal (human being, by the way), think long and hard about who you are versus who want to be. Not what you want to do.
7. Okay, party:
Do you need my permission? IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR? Fine, you have it. Drink your life away for all I care. But don't make a habit of merely pining for other people's approval. It's a waste of life.
8. Eat something memorable to sensually preserve the moment:
Paraphrasing Pete Holmes paraphrasing Alec Baldwin, go out and get yourself the tastiest ice cream cone you can fathom. And really, really, really enjoy eating it — so much so that your senses never forget the experience.
9. Pardon my cynicism:
O, wretched man that I am. Hell exists. It's called being cynical. Save yourself.