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  • Writer's pictureJordan Chmiel

The Graduation Checklist

Updated: Apr 9, 2018

Graduation day is soon approaching, and your final days of living the college dream are coming to an end. With less than a month away from college graduation, here is a final checklist of things to do to make the most of your fleeting college experience.

#1 Make a Graduation Bucket List

Quick! Grab a pen, find a comfortable nook, and start writing all those fun and crazy things that you wanted to do at some point throughout college that maybe you never ended up doing. Maybe you always wanted to talk to that cute girl in English class or go streaking across the quad with your friends. Great! Now, get together with your best friends and add a little “epic-ness” to the list and combine them to make a final gradation bucket list. If anyone gets “too busy” to do any of the items, just cue the guilt trip-“No worries, we can just push this back next semester or next graduation.” That should do the trick…


For our final college semester, our business fraternity had a committee made up of seniors called “WOH” (We’re outta here!). Their sole job was to create and plan a list of final college events over their final 100 days before they were all out of college for good. These included partaking in college tradition and climbing up to ring the bell tower, going wine tasting at the local vineyard, checking out a rock concert at our small college venue, and an assortment of themed parties from wizard staff party to Jersey Shore. It was also a great way for younger members to get a final chance to hang out with the seniors before they left for the real world.


The more creative the bucket list the better, and the most important thing is that no one makes excuses for not showing up. You have the rest of your life to work, this is your last chance to make the most of your college experience!


#2 Sell or Donate your Stuff

What to do with that big TV or all of that college memorabilia? Might as well sell it and make some extra money. There are tons of platforms to sell on such as eBay, FB Marketplace, or Craigslist. If you don’t feel like selling, you can always do your part and donate to Goodwill or younger members of your fraternity or organization. We know it’s hard to part with that 2 story beer bong or that lava lamp, but your new boss will appreciate it not in the office.





#3 Settle your Fines

Whether it’s overdue books or printing, sometimes fines can accrue on our accounts that you weren’t even aware of. It’s always good to double check for any outstanding fines and get them taken care of early. Some universities will not mail out your diploma or might not even let you walk at your graduation ceremony if there any fines (all for that $1.35 overdue fine for 50 Shades of Grey).


#4 Thank Professors!

You may not know it yet, but you might need a professor’s recommendation in the future for grad school or business school. There is no better way to make professors remember you than showing up during office hours thanking them for their lectures and talking about post-grad plans. If you feel uncomfortable doing so, you can always write a hand written thank you letter or even e-mail. Remember, professors have a strong network of colleagues and former students that can help you down the road.


y final semester, I offered to TA for my entrepreneurship professor. While I would do simple tasks like print papers and send emails, I ended up forming a close relationship with my professor. He would invite to listen to conference calls with different startups he was working on to learn and even invited me to his 80thbirthday party in Italy! Even though we met my final semester, he ended up being a close mentor of mine as I began my career and even my reference for business school 5 years later.

My final semester, I offered to TA for my entrepreneurship professor. While I would do simple tasks like print papers and send emails, I ended up forming a close relationship with my professor. He would also invite me over to listen to conference calls with different startups he was working on to learn and even invited me to his 80th birthday party in Italy! Even though we met my final semester, he ended up being a close mentor of mine as I began my career and even was my reference for business school 5 years later.


Remember, be genuine with your thankfulness and never do anything expecting something in return (Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi is a great book on effective networking).

#5 Take advantage of University Facilities & Student Discounts

Think that student gym membership will continue when you graduate? Wrong. Think health checkups will continue to be free or discounted? Nope. Everything will get more expensive, so you might as well take advantage of your student perks and discounts while you can. There are so many basic facilities and services that you have probably taken for granted over the years such as libraries and medical facilities. You might be surprised by the vast resources and perks you may get without knowing it such as free legal consulting, free startup incubators, free office space, and others that can help you in reaching your next goals. Also, this is your last chance to take advantage of any student discounts in case you are planning on buying a computer, software, or booking any travel. Take advantage while you still can!


#6 Watch a Sunrise

Whether it is on the quad or on a roof somewhere, watch the sunrise with all your best friends! During our final weeks, we brought out a massive couch out in the middle of the quad after a night out. While awaiting for the sun, we would all sit reminiscing and laughing on all the great memories over the year. Find a hill, roof, or even a couch-but make sure to watch at least 1 sunrise!

Whether it is on the quad or on a roof somewhere, watch the sunrise with all your best friends! During our final weeks, we brought out a massive couch out in the middle of the quad at the end of the night. While awaiting the sun, we sat around reminiscing and laughing on all the great memories over the years. Find a hill, roof, or even a couch-but make sure to watch at least 1 sunrise together!













#7 Career Center

While these are some of the last times you can live out your college debauchery, make sure to also keep your future in the back of your mind! The career center is a great resource that can help you polish up and get your foot in the door for that first job. They will usually offer free resume critiques, mock interviews, internship and job portals, and many other resources to help kick start your professional career!


#8 Find a way to continue the legacy

Ever walk past those old photo collages of former students and think that will never be you? Guess what? Your time is coming to an end, so make sure to leave your legacy behind. Depending on where your interests lay, this can take on many various forms. You can donate to the university and get your names etched in a brick on the quad or even find ways to help your favorite charity. We had seniors organize ski trips and spring break trips that ended up not only becoming really fond memories but also continued yearly traditions. After raising enough money to meet your goals for this year, make it a goal to continue to donate annually. Not only will you be doing your part for mankind, but it is a great way to continue to stay in touch with your friends long after graduation. Our soccer team decided to sponsor a child with the organization Save-a-Child, and each year we continue to sponsor our child in Cambodia for only $40/month. It’s a fun way for us all to stay in touch after we no longer see each other daily while also doing good in the world.

#9 Throw an epic house party!

Not sure how to raise money? Why not combine charity with throwing one of those last epic house parties! The goal is simple: throw a final rager so that 5+ years down the line, people will stay say, “remember when (insert name) threw that epic (insert theme) party and (insert crazy shenanigans) happened!" The steps are easy: come up with a creative theme, unique drinks and games, and party until the break of dawn! At the end, grab a tissue box, cue up “Closing Time”, and let the tears flow…

Can’t think of an idea? Have a Harry Potter themed party! Sort each person into a house using one of the sorting apps, buy house scarves which you can find for cheap on eBay, and come up with different drinks such as Butter Beer and green/red/blue/yellow Jell-O shots (i.e. Slytherin Slammers). Tape little hoops to a table and organize a quidditch beer pong tournament. Sell Jell-O shots, the scarves, butter beer, or just cups at the door, and you have an easy and fun way to raise money for that legacy gift! Everyone loves drinking especially for a good cause, so why not put your drinking dollars and hangovers to a good cause. “100 points to you for the epic party!”

You can end up selling Jell-O shots, the butter beer, or just cups at the door, and you have an easy and fun way to raise money for that legacy gift! Everyone loves drinking especially for a good cause, so why not put your drinking dollars and hangovers to a good cause. “100 points to you for the epic party!”

#10 Give Advice to Younger Members

Remember when you were just a wee little freshman walking through the dorms clueless and lost in life? It is more than likely that at some point throughout your 4+ years at college there was someone older, maybe a fraternity member or student leader, who took you under their wing or parted some helpful wisdom and advice on you. No one ever forgets that person so why not find a few freshman and do the same. Not only will you have a boost of endorphins for doing a good deed, but you never know when the karma gods will pay you back.. See a younger member in your organization interested in accounting? Why not put them in contact with your boss about internship possibilities. Encourage those with leadership potential to take on leadership roles on campus or your organization. The more you help others, the more the world will return the favor!

Remember when you were just a wee little freshman walking through the dorms clueless and lost in life? It is more than likely that at some point throughout your 4+ years at college there was someone older, maybe a fraternity member or student leader, who took you under their wing or parted some helpful wisdom and advice on you. No one ever forgets that person so why not find a few freshman and do the same. Not only will you have a boost of endorphins for doing a good deed, but you never know when the karma gods will pay you back. See a younger member in your organization interested in accounting? Why not put them in contact with your boss about internship possibilities. If you see someone with potential, encourage them to take on leadership positions on campus. The more you help others, the more the world will return the favor!


#11 Order your Cap and Gown + Show up to graduation

Showing up to your graduation in your favorite frat tank top and shorts? Not cool brah! Make sure that you order your cap and gown on time or otherwise you will end up paying hefty late fees! Upset about the high cost of renting a cap and gown especially for Master and Doctoral graduation ceremonies? Check out Cappe Diem to contact a consultant to help you order your graduation regalia for a more affordable price. You can even donate or sell it to someone for next year’s graduation!


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