Checking out by checking off: A guide for the graduating class

Fall semester is coming to an end, marking a whole new set of responsibilities for seniors graduating in the spring. Most upcoming graduates have already handled MSU’s minimum requirements for graduation: registering for final courses, meeting credit and core needs, filling out graduation packets. Yet, senioritis often causes students to overlook some pretty pertinent points to be considered. Here are some things to take into account with graduation imminent.

One of the more anticipated moments for seniors is donning their caps and gowns for the graduation ceremony. For those unaware, commencement paraphernalia is already available for purchase. A cap, gown, and tassel can be obtained from the MSU Bookstore online for a combined $31. The Bookstore is also selling announcements and diploma frames. More importantly, students can purchase copies of their transcripts through My Info. Official transcripts are undervalued. There are a surprising amount of employers, volunteer organizations and even insurance companies that may request copies of transcripts. Having a couple copies on hand may be of convenience in the future, should proof of a degree be required in securing a job.

The career center can be an incredibly useful tool for those on the hunt for jobs. The Career and Internship Services personnel not only assist students in looking for employment but also aids students in identifying job opportunities they may not have previously considered. Even if that dream job is in sight, the career center has tips on how to write a resume and how to handle interviews. This is a resource available pre- and post-graduation.

If you are receiving financial aid, it may be wise to check in with the Office of Financial Aid Services before moving. Anyone sending you bills should have your updated address so you do not end up being sent to a collection agency. Additionally, paper copies of loans should be on hand. You can inquire about when payments are due or when to expect bills. Graduating students should ensure their student account is clear of any charges or holds as well. Even a minor charge could quickly become a roadblock.

Students planning on attending graduate school should backup all their undergraduate work. Many graduates will want to put their undergraduate years behind them; however, deleting an essay from junior year could be a huge mistake if even a page or two can be reused. The same can be said for any presentations, regardless of how mundane they appear to be.

Remember those professors with whom you had great chemistry? You should get their contact information before they vanish. These are your references for future jobs. Do not risk losing out on a possible career due to an inability to contact legitimate references.

Finally, have a little fun. Make MSU a truly memorable part of your life. Rather than looking back and reliving lectures and powerpoints, graduates should consider the more unforgettable aspects of college, outside the classrooms. Go ask out that love interest (you are leaving soon anyway if you are rejected), explore the buildings you never entered, hike the “M” trail;  whatever needs to happen to make sure there are no regrets left behind.