5 Tips to Prepare for College Graduation

You did it! Four years filled with all-nighters, missed deadlines, last minute trips to office hours, and sleep deprivation. It’s finally over, you can let out a breath, relax, and call the whole family and let them know the good news. You’ve probably been asked, “So, what are you going to do after graduation,” about 47 times a week. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for college graduation.


1. Get all your documentation in order.

Just when you thought the days of college paper work were behind you, there is more to be completed. Before you can even receive your graduation garment, you have to confer your degree, and submit your application to graduate. This step may vary from school to school but there are specific forms that must be filled out in order to walk across that stage and receive your degree. Make sure that you read through all your graduation checklists and try not to wait until the last minute!

2. Finalize your resume & portfolio.

If you have already began the job hunting process, you’ve probably already started filling out your resume and organizing your portfolio – or at least thought about how you have to do it. Meet with your career services adviser to get some helpful tips on getting your resume in tip-top shape. You’ve probably accomplished a lot in your four years of college, so put whatever you can down, and put as many samples in your portfolio as you possibly can. A good way to market your resume and portfolio is to create a website that features all your work and resume in one spot.


3. Secure a summer Job or internship.

“Knock, Knock! Who is it? Sallie Mae!” As soon as you walk across the stage and shake hands with the president of your school, the clock starts ticking and the deadline to start paying back your student loans get closer and closer. There’s nothing worse than coming off the high of finally finishing college to realizing you have no income. If you haven’t secured a job in your field before you graduate, your best bet is to secure, at minimum, either a temporary summer job or paid internship.

Even if it means going back to that burger joint you used to work weekends while you were in high school, having a summer job will help you save money for your loans, but also allow you to enjoy your first summer as a college grad. To make paying your loans back easier, there are options to consolidate your loans. While flipping burgers or working as a dog groomer might not be the ideal job for a college grad, it will help keep an income coming in while you apply to jobs that match your experience level. Having a temporary job gives you a chance to be picky with the full-time job you will have.

Paid internships are also a great alternative if you’re not into the whole flipping burgers concept. It kills two birds with one stone, you’re getting paid while you get experience in your desired field. Opportunities like these can also lead to full time employment which is the ultimate goal. As you prepare for college graduation, kip this tip at the forefront of your mind!

4. Figure out your living situation.

Now you have two options, you can go back to living under mom and dad’s roof and obey their rules (they haven’t changed since high school), or you can start the apartment hunting early and snag an awesome deal for an apartment. Once you’ve had the opportunity to live on your own in college and make your own rules, I doubt anyone would be looking forward to being confined by midnight curfews. However, living at home after graduation gives you the chance to save some dough to be able to securely move out on your own….something to consider as your prepare for college graduation.

The ideal time for looking for apartments with leases starting from late May to June would be the end of April. You don’t need to send tons of money on leasing agents or anything fancy like that. Apartment search engines such as Rent.com, ApartmentGuide.com, and Domu.com are great starting points for affordable summer living. Quick tip: the more roommates, the cheaper it will be.

If you are moving out of your dorm or apartment, but can’t take all your stuff with you, there are great options for storage locally and nationally. Check out PODS, Manhattan Mini, and US Storage Centers. If you can take all your belongings with you, but need assistance getting from one home to the next, there are also options for moving trucks.

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5. Capture the moment.

Okay so now that all the logistics are out of the way, it’s time for the fun part as you prepare for college graduation. Graduation photos are a must because this is one even that you do not want to miss being captured. Once you receive your graduation garment, you can start by looking at local studios or maybe even going back to your future alma mater and getting in contact with photography students. You’ll get cheaper prices but with the same professional quality. Also, if you’d like to stand out in the crowd at graduation, you can get customized caps from Tassel Toppers. Choose from licensed designs or create your very own! Special graduation gifts for your friends are also a nice way to make this time extra special and memorable.


 That’s it! College has been real but now it’s time to get serious.

Any other tips to prepare for college graduation? Comment below!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Featured image source:
Mervelline Aflata

Mervelline is a sophomore at DePaul University majoring in Marketing and minoring in Graphic Design. She is also a dancer, a fashion enthusiast, seamstress, DIY-er.

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