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10 Tips to Prepare Yourself for Graduation Day

10 Tips to Prepare Yourself for Graduation Day

Graduation day is an exciting time, but you want to make sure you plan ahead so you can truly enjoy it. Here are ten tips to make your graduation day go smoothly!

1. Keep up with your schoolwork

First things first, if you want to enjoy your big graduation day, make sure you do the work to get there! It’s easy to get caught up in college applications or just celebrating your senior year with friends, but make sure you’re still doing your schoolwork and keeping your grades up.

If you need motivation or a helping hand, you can look to parents, teachers, or your guidance counselor for advice and assistance. Plus, there are tons of great organizations devoted to helping students reach their dream of graduating and heading to a better college! Here’s an example of heart-touching story of Christopher Yanov who helped many such students get scholarships and transformed their lives. You can’t expect a better helping hand than this.

2. Plan for the future

Though it may sometimes seem like high school is going to last forever, senior year will be over before you know it and you need to have a plan for life after graduation.  Whether that means going off to college, joining the workforce or travelling the world, you need to start planning for it before graduation.

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If you are headed to college, make sure you have your finances in order, too, from filling out FAFSA to applying for scholarships. Last year, in 2015, these 7 students cracked Gates Scholarships of more than $500,000 each. When things are already planned out, you will feel way better, when you walk across that stage to get your diploma as you have done everything to make sure your college dream can become a reality!

3. Create a schedule

From dealing with college applications to planning the day of your graduation, you have a lot of things to organize during your senior year. To make sure you stay on track, draw up a schedule for yourself.  If you have scholarship or school application deadlines, add them to your calendar.

If you need to request graduation tickets or order your cap and gown by a particular time, put those on the calendar too. Even for things that might not have specific deadlines, it’s a good idea to come up with some dates to aim for, just to keep yourself on track. If you do everything on your calendar in time, your graduation day will be a piece of cake!

4. Get senior pictures

Senior pictures aren’t just for the yearbook, they’re the photos your parents will frame and you’ll want to give copies of to your friends. Lots of people choose to go to a professional photographer to do a special photo shoot for their senior year. You can take formal pictures as well as more casual ones like snaps of you doing your favorite activity, from football to ballet to hanging out with your family dog.

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Just be sure to schedule your photos early, because lots of other people will want to take their senior pictures around the same time. Plus, you need to make sure you get them in time to get them in the yearbook and have copies ready to share with friends.

5. Send announcements

It’s a tradition to send graduation announcements out a few months before the big day to let everyone, from your grandparents to your neighbors, know about the big day. It’s basically a formal way for your parents to brag about you. You’ll want to order invitations in advance to make sure you have time to send them out well in advance of your actual graduation day.

6. Invite friends and relatives

For an occasion as important as graduation, you want to have your closest friends and family in attendance. Schools often have a policy where they reserve a couple of tickets for each student right off the bat, but you may be able to request a few additional tickets if you get around to it early enough. Once you’ve made sure there will be seats available go ahead and invite your friends and relatives.

7. Order your cap and gown

Every graduation picture you see features happy students properly wearing gowns and tossing their caps into the air. If you want to be one of them, though, you have to remember to order your cap and gown in time for the ceremony. Usually a salesperson will come to your school with order forms or you’ll receive information from the school about how to order them online.

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This can also be a good time to get a class ring or any other graduation paraphernalia you might want. Or, if the cost of the cap and gown are a little steep for you, there are also options to rent or buy used.

8. Pick your outfit

While it’s not quite prom, graduation is still an important event and one definitely worth dressing up for! You’ll be walking across a stage, having your picture taken and spending time with all of your closest friends and family, so you want to find a nice looking outfit for the occasion.

Guys usually wear a suit or nice pants with a shirt, and girls usually opt for a nice dress, though, of course, you should wear whatever you feel comfortable in. Also, be sure to plan ahead for the weather – graduation can be really hot, especially if it is an outdoor ceremony, so try to pick something light.

9. Get gifts for teachers

Yes, graduation is supposed to be about celebrating all of your hard work, but it’s also a time to recognize your teachers for helping you along the way. Usually the last day or so of classes is a good time to give something to teachers to show your appreciation.

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If you’re strapped for cash, you can just write a nice card to a few of your favorite teachers or bake them some cookies!  Just be sure to think about it in advance or before you know it you’ll be done with classes and it will be too late!

10. Plan your celebration!

Whether you just want to go out for a nice dinner with your family after the ceremony or you want a graduation party full of friends (or both!), be sure you make your plans in advance. Since there will likely be a lot of people planning graduation celebrations around the same time, you’ll need to start planning early.

If you want a graduation party, plan it for a weekend before or after graduation—people will have too much going on during graduation weekend itself! For getting dinner the night of graduation, remember that most other graduates will have the same idea, so you want to get a reservation at your favorite restaurant before it’s all filled up!

Graduation is an important and exciting day – just be sure to get ready for it in advance so you can enjoy it, when the day comes. After all, you are marking the end of over a decade of grade school – that’s going to take some celebrating!

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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