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18 Things College Students Should Do Before Graduation

18 Things College Students Should Do Before Graduation

It’s over before you know it. Suddenly, the four (or more) years you spent as a college student have come to an end, and you have walked across that stage, picked up your diploma, packed up your things, and are leaving permanently.

Within the next few weeks or months, you will probably still long for that campus life, and you will come to have some regrets about the things you could have done but didn’t.

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If you are in college now, reduce that list of regrets by developing your own personal bucket list of the things you will definitely do before graduation.

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Focus on personal development

College is definitely a time for new experiences and experimentation, and it should be much more than just about classes, grades, and parties. At some point, you have to enter the adult world with some values and beliefs about yourself. Here are some ways to develop you:

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  1. Take the Gallup Strength Finder Test. It is online and not expensive. You will be asked to choose between pairs of descriptors, and your results will provide a list of five strengths. Typical results include whether you are a good communicator, whether you are a solid decision-maker, and whether you are short-term or long-term focused. This is good information to have as you think about your major and what areas you may still need to develop. Jullian Gordon, MBA graduate from Stanford, who left his career to become a work-life balance coach states that if he had “listened” to the results of this test, he would not have wasted the years he did pursuing money and work he disliked.
  2. Read at least four inspirational/personal development books. Check out such titles as: The Success Principles, The Greatest Salesman in the World, Rich Dad-Poor Dad; Fish; Stay Hungry-Stay Foolish, and Who Moved My Cheese?
  3. Go to a meeting or attend an event of a group that is very different from you. For example, one sponsored by Muslim or African students if you are a typical WASP American.
  4. Start a blog about an interest. Are you into physical fitness or diet? Are you an expert on ways to freelance and make money while in college? Pick your pleasure and just do it!
  5. Choose something you have never been able to do and master it. For me, of all silly things, it was juggling. I was such a klutz and never able to get the eye-hand coordination thing down. Once I mastered it, however, I felt like I could almost do anything if my will was strong enough!
  6. Sit in on a class just because it is interesting. There is an amazing freedom when you don’t have to take notes or study for a test–just sit and absorb. I sat in on an abnormal psychology class and was completely mesmerized by the professor and the content.

Start preparing for your intended career

  1. Join a club or two on campus and work to get a leadership position. This looks great on a resume, and you will learn a lot.
  2. Beg, beg, beg for an internship, even if it is only for a few hours a week and you are not doing it for any credit. Just getting the experience and being able to list it on your resume is worth it. I tried for a year to get a radio station to take me on. Finally, I volunteered to be their “go-for,” running little errands, getting coffee, taking lunch orders, etc. Eventually, I got to do some worthwhile things, and I learned a lot about the business.
  3. Start making notes about what you want on that resume, and develop a portfolio if it will be relevant to your job search.
  4. Think seriously about at least a semester abroad, even if you have to borrow to do it. This is a big plus when you begin a job search.

Have some fun

  1. Crash a party where you know no one and make at least one new friend.
  2. Abuse your student ID discounts as much as possible.
  3. Dance on a table somewhere, and make certain someone gets a picture!
  4. Cut classes the first really warm day of each year–-get some sun and your favorite beverages. Make it a tradition, and call it National F— Off Day.
  5. Sneak into someplace on campus that is restricted.
  6. Throw a party and give a prize to the person who can bring the most unique/crazy item.
  7. Dress in a costume even though it is not Halloween and attend classes.

Find a passion that does good

  1. Volunteer in some capacity. Do something that really tugs at your heart strings. Maybe it is working with abused animals or children; maybe it is building houses for Habitat for Humanity; perhaps it is tutoring inner-city kids or becoming a Big Brother or Sister. Experience that great feeling of making someone else’s life richer for you being in it.

This list is just a start. You will probably find many other things in each category to fill your bucket list. Go for it–every minute of it!

Featured photo credit: College of DuPage 2014 Commencement Ceremony 65/COD Newsroom via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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