By: Leilani Pecher
If you’re a current first-year, sophomore or junior, this article is just for you (sorry, seniors!). Before your last year as a college student, there are a few things you should prepare for, or at least start thinking about. To make sure this information is not overwhelming, this particular article will be separated into three parts. Although I have been a senior for less than 2 months, advice from friends and reading supplemental material about how to prepare for graduate school and the “real world” has inspired me to help others out. This article will cover what to expect and when to start preparing.
Here’s the what: You will be graduating right after senior year. Sounds simple enough, but when you become a senior, it will be a difficult concept to wrap your head around. Trust me, it’s something that I remind myself about every day! That is why we have to remind ourselves about our goals and what we are in college for. We are all here for the same reason: to get an education. However, what will your own path be? That part is completely up to you. Would you like to pursue graduate school? Or how about going straight into the working world? I would advise that by senior year, you have a goal about which path you would like to pursue. If you have multiple paths, pick a degree or a career that will open up the most options for yourself.
Before you become a senior, make sure to talk to people that can help you through this process! I encourage students to visit Ms. Susie Drake or Ms. Cori in Career Services, or talk to JJ Sadler about possible internships that can help you decide which career path is (or isn’t) for you. Don’t forget to talk to your professors, advisors, peers, and friends. You will find out so much about yourself if you do this. While it won’t be the end of the world if you are a senior and trying to figure life out, you will be better prepared now if you start researching and exploring options.
Here’s the when: From what I have previously stated, start doing research about possible career paths before senior year. I would first encourage students to not only “find themselves” in college, but also learn more about yourself. What are your interests? What are your strengths and weaknesses? If you are not so sure, or are interested in learning more about yourself, take personality and aptitude tests. I personally found the Myers-Briggs personality test the most helpful. You will not only learn more about yourself, you will figure out which career paths might best suit you.
The test will give you an acronym of 4 letters, ranging from introverted to extroverted and so on. You might ask yourself, “When should I figure this out?” I would say, take it every year. I took the Myers-Briggs test during my first year at IC and only took it again this past summer. My father recommended the test during both times, and I thought to myself, “Why? My personality is the same…” However, I took the advice from him and ended up taking it again. While my first 3 letters of the personality test were the same as in 2013, I used to have the last letter as “J” for “Judging.” This time, however, I was under the “P” for “Perceiving.” I could not believe that in only the course of my freshman to junior year I had changed a personality trait completely.That is why I encourage others to learn more about themselves through this personality test. Take it every year to see how you’ve changed and developed.
I really hope that this article gave you some ideas about what to expect and when to start working on preparing for senior year and beyond. Do not be afraid to explore options about different career or life paths. We are here to learn more about the world, meet people from different backgrounds, and learn more about ourselves. Don’t forget about why you are here at school, and seize every worthwhile opportunity!
Leilani-Jade Pecher, from Lakewood, Wash. is a junior majoring in Communications and Rhetorical Studies with a minor in Sociology. Leilani is the Director of PR & Advertising as well as a writer for The Rambler. She is the Co-President for the Coalition for Ethnic Awareness, involved in IC Debate and participates in several other organizations.