I applied to graduate college … now what? (part 2)


You may already know what to take care of leading up to the commencement ceremony, like applying for graduation, ordering your cap and gown, and sorting out financial aid information. But, there are some other things you should take care of before the big day, too.

1. Apply for honors

Graduating with honors? That deserves the highest of fives, courtesy of Tumblr
Graduating with honors? This deserves the highest of fives! Courtesy of Tumblr.

 If you think you qualify, be sure to check out your college’s requirements for graduating with honors. Different levels (summa, magna, and cum laude) and colleges within your university may have specific restrictions. Check with your academic advisors and professors as you may need recommendations, portfolios, and a verification of grades. You’ve worked hard, so be sure you get recognized on graduation day!

2. Ask for transcripts

...because you may forget what classes you took, courtesy of imgur.com
… because you may forget what classes you took. Courtesy of imgur.com.

Even if you don’t plan to apply to grad school after graduation, you’ll be surprised at how often you’ll need your college transcripts. New jobs, insurance discounts, special certifications, volunteer programs, and banks may ask for your college transcripts, so it’s a good idea to keep several of these handy. You’ll save time (and money!) by asking for them now.

3. Ask the alumni office about short-term insurance options

celebration dance for health care, courtesy of  Giphy.com
Celebration dance for health care! Courtesy of Giphy.com.

If you took advantage of health insurance through your college or university, you may want to look into options available to you after graduation. Many alumni groups offer short-term insurance options or special discounts with certain carriers just for being a part of the university’s network. Also, don’t forget that according to the Affordable Care Act, graduates are able to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

4. Save your files

technology is great, until it isn't - courtesy of Giphy.com
Technology is great, until it isn’t. Courtesy of Giphy.com.

Your last finals paper, that killer project, the presentation that got you mad props from your favorite professor – all of it – take our advice and SAVE IT NOW. You never know when you may need something for a job interview, portfolio, graduate school, or a moment of nostalgia. Gather all your important documents in one place and save everything electronically. You may want to look into online storage – like Google Drive or Apple Cloud – as a backup in case your computer decides that school is over, and so is it.

5. Get contact information

"Could I please receive the secret code that if entered telephonically it will pass me through to you which means it will be your beautiful ass number?" - courtesy of Tumblr
“Could I please receive the secret code that if entered telephonically it will pass me through to you which means it will be your beautiful ass number?” Courtesy of Tumblr.

Have a favorite professor? Chances are they can help give you a great letter of recommendation or be a reference in your job hunt. Now’s the time to ask for contact information because the office phone number or email address listed on the syllabus may not be the best way to keep in touch during the winter or summer breaks. While you’re at it, be sure to get info from your classmates, too. Start a LinkedIn profile, make connections, and network! Your classmates may be just the link you need to get your foot in the door at a dream job.

6. Say “thank you!”

"And wear this square hat, too. That's what smart people wear!" Courtesy of Tumblr
“And wear this square hat, too. That’s what smart people wear!” Courtesy of Tumblr.

This last semester may be super hectic, but don’t forget to say thanks to those who have helped you along the way. A simple, old-fashioned thank-you card can go a long way toward showing those close to you how much you appreciate their support. Thank-you cards are also important to send to those who gave you graduation gifts. Showing love will make a huge impact and send you off on a high note. Soon, your student status will morph into an alumni network. Before you graduate college, soak in your last few moments on campus and enjoy every minute.

Have some tips for upcoming college grads? Share them with us in the comment section below.

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