For many of us, including me, this upcoming semester will be our last one as undergrads. Graduation is only a few months away! How exciting, right? But before you get too excited, there are some things that every senior should try to do before they graduate.

I’m going to give you some New Year resolutions you should have before leaving college undergrad life behind.

Plan what you’re doing after graduation

Ideally, upon graduation you will have employers lining up to bring you aboard, but unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where if you want the ideal you have to go out there and make it happen yourself. So the first order of business for a college senior is to plan what you want to do after graduation!

For many, it’s simply finding a job in their field (and one they enjoy), while other people may want to go to grad school right away. Both take time to prepare for so you should start now.

Go talk to your advisor and see if they can help you apply for jobs/grad school. Do your own research online to figure out what your options are. Trust me, you’ll be glad you planned ahead and know what’s ahead for you instead of worrying about the unknown future.

End the year strong

Just because it’s your last semester doesn’t mean you should slack off! We’ve all heard of senioritis, and many of us are probably experiencing it, but don’t let that discourage you from getting the best grades you can get.

Besides the obvious benefits of improving your GPA and possibly graduating with honors, good grades can be a major morale booster for yourself as you head away from college and into the real world. Use your final semester as a way to say “this is what I’m capable of doing and this is the person I’m going to be every day after the graduation cap comes off.”

Your final semester isn’t a victory lap, so no slacking now!

Keep making memories

College is a wonderful time in your life, a time of memories good and bad. A time where you have explored yourself and the world around you to decide who you are as an adult entering into the great unknown. You’ve spent the last few years of your life with your school, changing and growing with some of the same people. Doesn’t it all deserve a proper sendoff?

Take some time in your final semester to visit the places that hold your fondest memories, or to make new memories that you’ll treasure the rest of your life. Do the things you kept telling yourself there wasn’t enough time to do, finish the projects left unfinished. Seriously, say thanks to a favorite professor if that’s a memory you think you’ll treasure.

College has been your home away from home, whether you commuted or lived on campus, so make the time you have left meaningful. You’ll always be welcome back, but you’ll never be a college undergrad again.

These will be my resolutions and I hope they can be some of yours too. For the graduating class of 2016: congrats, we are almost there, and good luck with this last semester! For the rest of you whose graduation is still a few semesters away: treasure every moment of it because graduation is going to be bittersweet!

Happy New Year to everyone!


Valeria Tirado is a senior at Rutgers University – New Brunswick with a major in Environmental and Business Economics. After graduation, she is interested in working with a non-profit organization like the World Wildlife Fund and eventually wants to go to grad school for Economics. Among the schools she is considering are NYU and Vanderbilt. Valeria can be found on Twitter at @valeriat94.