How to Be the Best You in College — and Feel Ready for Graduation

May 3, 2022

Your last year of college can bring on nearly a million emotions. You’ve made it a long way, and graduation is just around the corner. Though you may feel confident in your academic success, you may feel anxious about what’s next. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “action paralysis,” or deciding that doing nothing feels safer than doing anything.

For students of all ages, graduation can feel scary—and we’re here to help you take them head-on and get ready to take your next big step.

Build Your Confidence in College

What can you do to make the most of your college experience, become your best self and get ready to graduate? Here’s some valuable advice for college students to make the most out of their years on campus:

Find Your Community

If you’re happy with where you live, many other things will fall into place. Our environment plays a significant role in our day-to-day emotions; it’s not just where you sleep. At EPOCH, we offer a fun, active, pet-friendly community close to Clemson University. You can spend your days off sunbathing on the lake or shopping and dining downtown.

Learn a Practical Skill

Do you have room for an elective in your schedule? If graduation is coming soon, it may be time to learn a practical skill or branch out from your regular courses. Consider taking a class in web design, coding, or accounting. If you’re a hands-on type, check around for a woodworking or welding class.

You’d be surprised how often “random” skills come back to help you during freelance gigs or help you plus-up your resume. Learning something new is also a great way to get out of your comfort zone and grow.

Join a Group

The classic advice for college students still holds up: campus is full of great organizations to join. There is always something to fit any personality type or set of unique interests. If there are academic clubs or fraternities for people in your major, get involved now. You’ll have something to fill your free time while building up your professional network.

If you’ve been uninvolved until now, it isn’t too late. There are often specific opportunities for students nearing graduation. Look into leadership courses, student government, and organizations tailored explicitly for juniors and seniors.

Tackle Community Service

People who volunteer tend to be happier with their lives than those who do not. Many forms of community service have health benefits, too.  After you graduate, your schedule may change dramatically. Fitting in a couple of extra community service hours may not always be feasible. Volunteer as much as you can now, and create connections with local service leaders who may be able to help you stay involved post-graduated.

Commit to Academic Excellence

The end of your collegiate journey can be a tempting time to go on academic autopilot. Graduation feels inevitable. You may have even managed to arrange an easy academic schedule. That’s nice, but don’t stop making a serious effort to ace your exams!

Your academic performance still matters. It may be more critical than it was a year ago. Are you interested in research projects, grad school, or getting published? They won’t happen if you’re coasting.

Prioritize Self-Care

Don’t get so busy with academics, activities, and community service that you aren’t taking care of yourself. Carve out time in your schedule to indulge in self-care. Get in for a physical, have your teeth checked, get a couple of workouts in, and pamper yourself with a trip to the salon.

When It’s Time to Graduate

What happens next? There are a million paths to take after graduation—and yours doesn’t necessarily have to look like anyone else’s. You may decide to continue onto graduate school, enter the workforce, or take a gap year. Whatever you choose, the plans are yours to own.

Remember, your time in college is an opportunity to become your best self. And it’s never too late to start that journey! Whether you’re three years or one week away from graduation, soak in every moment. Take advantage of what this time has to offer, and when it’s time to move on, you’ll be ready to make that next big step!