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Make good use of your final days as a student as graduation nears

Graduation is the culmination of a lengthy journey students take in pursuit of their academic and professional goals.

Staff Report

As graduation day draws near, it can be tempting for students to take their foot off the gas and spend their time having fun with their fellow students before everyone goes their separate ways. Such an attitude can derail years of hard work. Though the temptation of celebrating with friends may be hard to resist, the following are some ways prospective graduates can stay on course as graduation day draws near.

• Maintain your academic focus. It can be easy to get caught up in upcoming celebrations and the next chapter in your life, but students should stay the academic course until their final day in the classroom. Keeping grades up is important, as no one wants to put graduation at risk when it is so close .

• Familiarize yourself with your school’s guidance office. Guidance counselors often provide information on coursework and future schooling options, but they can guide you in other ways as well. Some guidance offices double as career placement services, helping students prepare résumés, cover letters and portfolios. Some also help students with career assessments that can guide them as they look to begin their careers as professionals.

• Gather some references. The organizers behind the Sales Innovation Expo, a professional networking gathering, indicate that 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking. Begin talking with all of the people you can, particularly during internships or volunteer opportunities. Contact trusted confidantes, be it current or former supervisors and professors, to serve as references.

• Have an idea of your next steps. It’s not necessary to have everything mapped out just yet, but you should have a good idea of whether you’re going on to more schooling, taking a vocational career tract, entering the workforce, or even taking some time to travel. Create a road map on paper showing where you want to be and when.

• Plan for some downtime. After all of this hard work and dedication, set some time aside after the graduation celebration to recharge your batteries. Some time off can help you focus on the future when you’re rested and ready to approach new goals.

Taking certain steps leading up to graduation can help you focus more readily on the future.