BY CAROLYN QUEST
Hey. I’m a graduating senior. And I’m not going to tell you rising seniors to take advantage of the city while you’re at MC and to do all the senior trips. Nor is this Op/Ed a therapeutic list to secretly preach the things I wish I did but didn’t really do at all, (Ex: utilize Dante’s salad options a month before spring break). However, I did make a list of some personal advice I think might actually be helpful.
(Author’s note: I’m making this a prime numbered list à la BuzzFeed. I don’t actually know if this is a method BuzzFeed uses, but I find that readers are drawn to lists of prime numbers and non-multiples of five on BuzzFeed. It’s almost so annoying that the author spent so little time making the list a round number that you HAVE to read it. So that is my exact strategy here.)
- Complete at least TWO internships- put in the sweat, reap the eternal reward:
I’m not here to convince you that internships are important. If you haven’t heard that argument already, don’t complain about being an unemployed college graduate. What I’m saying is that you should at least complete two internships before you graduate- an internship for experience, and another for mastery and stature. I’m looking to go into the publishing industry. Believe it or not, it’s not a dying industry…yet, although it’s extremely difficult to get a job. The summer of my junior year I interned at a small independent publisher, nine to five, five days a week, for two months. It was unpaid. While this experience was admittedly soul crushing because of my free labor, I did find out that I love the industry. And because of this prior experience, I was able to land an internship at one of the big four publishing houses. I had an edge in the competitive publishing internship market. And the more experience I gained, the more contacts I gained as well for post graduation.
- Stock up on meal plan food for the weekend- I’m not saying steal…but steal:
Let’s face it, you’re going to be a senior living in OV or off-campus and it’s the weekend…you’re not walking to Locke’s for food. Instead of burning through all your Jasper Dollars on J-Deli Mona Lisas the whole weekend, you should take advantage of your on-campus money. I’m not saying steal food from Locke’s…but steal food from Locke’s. Take home an extra apple or two… and buy some pasta and a packaged salad from Dante’s before it closes on Friday. Make your meal plan last, because we all know you’re not going to want to leave your bed for Locke’s brunch Sunday morning.
- Do an independent study/ be best buds with your professor…at least on your end:
As an English major, taking an independent study on one of my favorite authors, James Joyce, was the most rewarding class I took at MC. Along with the personalized discussion and challenging nature of the course, I was mentored by one of my professors. Don’t let college slide by without developing a relationship with your major’s department or a few professors in particular. While it’s beneficial to develop this relationship for networking reasons, professors at MC genuinely care about helping you find your path post undergrad.
- Go out on weeknights- it’s a thing adults do called casual drinking–
You’re 21 now. Instead of bottling up all your frustration and going buck wild at Fenwicks on a Thursday like it’s your first rodeo, you can go to out on a Tuesday for a drink at An Beal. I know! This is groundbreaking! You can actually go out without blacking out? Apparently this is what adults do. They can casually get a drink with a professor or friend. So, instead of repenting Sunday for Saturday, you should get a mimosa, sit outside An Beal, and watch someone else do the walk of shame on Waldo.
- Get weird. Not in that #letsgetweird way:
Play at open mic night, read a poem…out loud, wear tie-dye pants, shop at Unique, learn how to play the ukulele…when is there another time in your life to be this unexplainable? Get weird in your spare time. But don’t be that expensive Urban Outfitters mustache pint glass weird type. Bill Joel was wrong. You CAN dress trashy without spending a lot of money. And you’ll look fabulous. Again, check out Unique.
- Take down those body shot pixs #censor:
Clean up your social media…stat! No one is impressed nor fooled by those pictures of you “chugging” a bottle of vodka. I’m not saying you have to be any less college after college, I’m just saying no one cares. I’m not one to mix my LinkedIn page with my Facebook, or even put my past jobs on my Facebook. But I can tell you that your boss and coworkers will probably friend you or add you to an office group on Facebook. So keep it clean, unless you want to be a party promoter. Then ignore this tip.
- Wear sneakers to the bar/ give your crop tops to your 5-year-old niece–
This tip isn’t because I’m a feminist. Or lazy. Or catty. I’m not saying let it all hang lose. I’m just saying stop wearing bodycons and spikes to a college bar. To put this in perspective, it’s like wearing a clubbing outfit to babysit an infant. You’re probably going to have a drink spilled all over you, or get spit up on at some point during the night. As a senior, it’s kind of helpless and hopeless. Let’s dress our age. With exception for occasions such as (RIP) Springfest, please give your crop tops to your 5-year-old niece to wear as t-shirts. You know Kendall and Kylie Jenner who model those are actual teens…as in 18 and 16, regardless that they are buying their own house now (yeah, I keep up with the Kardashians). I’m not saying dress like an L.L.Bean mother, but tone it down a tad.