The day of your college graduation is an incredibly happy and special one. It is the penultimate moment of everything that you have worked and studied so hard for – in fact, it’s probably the biggest moment of your life to date! Most colleges (and even high schools) make quite a big deal out of graduation, with a formal ceremony and the opportunity to bring your family along to support you. For many people, it can be an emotional day, as it signals the end of a specific chapter of your life and the start of new beginnings. It’s only natural that you should want to go the extra mile when it comes to celebrating it. Here are a few things that you can do, both before the ceremony and on the day itself to make sure that your graduation day is one that you will never forget:
Plan Your Outfit: Just like with your prom, your graduation is one of those days where all eyes are going to be on you. This is especially true for the moment when you go up on stage to collect your degree – pretty nerve wracking stuff, eh? So, it makes sense that you would want to look your best for such a momentous occasion. Start planning at least a couple of months in advance: remember that a lot of colleges have their graduations around the same time, so you don’t want to find that your dream dress has already sold out! Pick something that you are comfortable in – nothing too heavy or revealing. Graduation day can be a long one, with the ceremony, award giving, a meal, and then sometimes a night out after. Try and find a happy medium between style and comfort – it will work in your favor.
Show Your Appreciation to Your Classmates: At college, you tend to meet a lot of people and have friends from lots of different groups. You may be close to your roommate or maybe the people on your sports team. But chances are you’ll have formed relationships with the other students in your courses as well and this is your chance to express your gratitude for them. You may want to get some of your course friends a gift by way of congratulations – it doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, more just a token of appreciation. A good option for this is a graduation lei. Now, you may wonder why we give leis for graduation. They are actually an ancient symbol and is said to offer good luck to the recipient. Pretty appropriate for a graduation day and something that your friend can treasure forever.
Take Pictures: Just like with any major event, it’s likely that your graduation day will pass in a bit of a blur. There are so many people and so many things to get through – but try and remember to take pictures! If you are too busy socializing, ask a relative or friend to snap some candid shots of you and your friends enjoying the day. You’ll probably get an official graduation picture taking by a professional photographer, but sometimes these unexpected photos can end up being the best shots of the day.
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Taking a gap year before or after college tends to be quite a European thing that I want in on. But more and more of us over here are choosing to take a gap year before we study. Take Malia Obama, for instance. She has planned to take a year out before she starts her freshman year at Harvard. So if you think that it sounds like a good idea to you, then you probably don’t need any more convincing. But if you are not sure, here are a few ways that taking a year out will benefit you:
You’ll Do Well at College: A lot of people think that it will be hard to get back to school after taking some time out. But in fact, reports from colleges have shown that students that take a gap year have a higher grade point average than those who don’t. So it won’t be as hard to get back to hitting the books as you might think. If you go straight from high school to college, it could be the first time that you’ve been away from home. So because of that, your grades might not be as high as they could be. But after a gap year exploring the world, you’ve already been away from home and got the partying out of your system, so to speak.
You’ll Explore With No Other Obligations: When you go exploring on a gap year right out of high school, you will be doing so at the prime age. After college, you might have debt to pay off. Any longer after college you might have a commitment like a mortgage or children, which makes it harder to just get up and go. If you do want to see some more of the world, then taking a gap year is the best time to do it.
You’ll Experience New Cultures and People: One of the benefits of travel is that you get to experience new cultures. It benefits people massively to be able to travel and see how other people live. You can do this by staying with local people through programs for gap years and by looking for things like Homestay accommodation. Then you get to see things in a much more authentic way, rather than through a hostel or hotel. You’ll get to experience the foods that people have on a daily basis, as well as how things work over there with schools or religion, for example.
You’ll Learn Life Skills: It isn’t just a big party when you are on a year out. You will look for ways to work or volunteer so that you can make the most of the country that you are in. You can also learn life skills like budgeting, cooking, cleaning, and navigating your way through foreign transport systems or driving on the other side of the road. All of which give you life experience that will prepare you for the new stage of your life in college.
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If you’re going to be heading to college after the summer, then it can be a daunting time for many people. The transition from high school to college is quite a big one. Because let’s face it, it’s not like you are just changing schools. You are starting your life out as a young adult as many people leave home for college. So you go from having family around that can help to living with people that you barely know. How can you prepare? Here are some hints and tips to make sure that you get the most out of your freshman year at college:
Get Reading: The amount of reading that you’ll be required to do in college is a big step up from what you will have been doing in high school. So it is a good idea to get a bit of a head start with it. You can find out about your course online and what might be required. Then you can make a start on gathering books and things that you will need. You could even get a head start over the summer with some of the reading. What you read is more important than how much you read. So make sure that you are choosing books that will be relevant.
Sharpen Up Your Tech Skills: There is no point in getting a new laptop computer the day before you are due to start college. If you’re in a new area and don’t know people that can help, you could get a little left behind if you don’t know how your laptop works. The same goes for typing and basic computer skills. The generations going to college now are probably more clued in than the last. You don’t want to get left behind if there were things that you could have done about it.
Consider a College Consultant: If you are still in the process of applying for college, then it might be worth getting a college consultant. Having a mentor that has been to the college that you want to attend can make a massive difference. They will have the insider’s point of view that can help you massively when making your college application.
Practice Your People Skills: College is a great time to hone in on your people skills. It is the perfect time because you’ll be meeting lots of new and different people. You will be living with them, as well as putting together presentations, and working in groups with them. So do what you can while you are in high school to get prepared. Get involved in group work, volunteer for leadership opportunities, as well as helping with school events.
Time Management: Good time management is pretty essential when you are in college. You don’t have parents or teachers chasing you for your work or projects so you need to learn how to best manage your time. If you keep procrastinating, it can affect meeting your deadlines and doing well at college so it is crucial to learn how to manage your time wisely and effectively.
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Heyy everyone and happy Thursday! Yesterday evening the professional photographers from my graduation uploaded the shots that they took for purchasing. I was feeling really nervous that there wouldn’t be any pictures that I liked because, unfortunately, I hated all of the pictures of me that my brother took! Luckily, there was one totally perf picture in the bunch that didn’t feature a weird walking across the stage angle or a (Yikes!) double chin!!
Instead of purchasing a photo package of the pic which was super costly, my parents and I decided to buy a digital download of the image so that we could print it out however we want. This picture was taken right before I walked across the stage and I freaking love it! Take a look:
Even though we had to shell out the moolah to get this picture, it was so worth it, considering there wasn’t a picture taken that I deemed worthy enough to print out and frame. I love how this pic shows off the stole and honor chord so nicely and I really like the background, too! GREAT SUCCESS!!
I hope all of you have a fab day and I will talk to all of you soon! Who is ready for the holidays? Does anyone have any last minute shopping to finish? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hi everyone and TGIF!! Yesterday was my big day – I graduated from college!! If you don’t already know, I just got my Associate of Arts degree from Cuyahoga Community College. The graduation ceremony was last night and it was great! It was barely over an hour, too, which was especially nice because I much prefer short and sweet over something long and drawn out. My (almost) entire family came out to watch me strut across the stage but unfortunately my dad was really sick and couldn’t make it. Luckily, there are some great pictures and videos to show him, including some of these:
Walking across the stage to shake hands, kiss some babies, and get my diploma was freaking awesome. AND I was magna cum laude or however you spell it so that’s pretty cool, too! There will definitely be more pictures to come from the ceremony because they had a professional photographer taking pictures and I know he snapped some good ones!
Now, I have my graduation party to look forward to tomorrow! In the afternoon I will have an open house style get together at my home for my family, Special Olympics students, and some former teachers. Then, in the evening my friends and I will go to my favorite bar, the Cashmere Cricket, for some drinks and some good old fashioned white girl wasted tom foolery. I CAN’T WAIT!! I haven’t had a day dedicated just for me in a long time so it is going to be a lot of fun to bask in the glory of being a genius college graduate for the day!
I hope everyone has an amazing weekend and a fabulous day today! How did you celebrate your high school or college graduation? What drink(s) should I get tomorrow night to celebrate? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Hi everyone and happy Thursday! Today is my big day! At six o’clock this evening, I will be walking across the stage at Cleveland State University to receive my Associate of Arts degree from Cuyahoga Community College. I AM SO EXCITED!! For exactly two years, I have worked my little ass off to obtain my degree and I am so proud of myself for finally achieving it with a killer grade point average to boot!
I have taken many wonderful classes and I have taken some that were complete shit. I have had some amazing professors but I’ve also had a few that have sucked on ice. However, I would not change my college experience for a thing. I did things my way, accomplished my degree on my time, and gained a plethora of new knowledge and skills that I never dreamed of having before.
Upon completion of school, I plan on dedicating my time from January to June completing my work for my job with the National Core Indicators. Then, I will begin looking for work in a group home or day program setting. I will then look forward to traveling around Summit County in Ohio to continue my work distributing the Adult Consumer Survey for those with mental and physical disabilities for the year 2017.
I have big plans for work but I also want to travel. I want to make time for me, myself, and I – and my family, friends, and boyfriend of course! After a year or so, I plan on going back to Tri-C to obtain my Associate of Science so that I can have a double associates degree. I am so excited and proud about how bright my future looks and I look forward to sharing all of the details with you guys every step of the way!
Hurray for my Graduation Day! Pictures will be up at some point this weekend of me looking snazzy in my cap and gown so please be on the look out! Until then, what was the mascot or nickname for your college or high school? How did you answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up”? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah
Getting into college can be your opportunity to really excel in life and start focusing on the path you wish to travel on in your adult life. But for almost everyone that gets in, there’s a specter that looms large over what can be a fantastic and transforming experience. We’re talking about the money that you’re going to have to spend to get that education. Student debt is the biggest it has ever been, so you really want to start making the decisions of how you’re going to handle it as quickly as you can.
Get Side Hustling: Not everyone has the opportunity to get a job to finance their way through college. Or even if you do, you might want to make sure you have a little extra. Nowadays, the market for freelance work is bigger than ever. Particularly online, there are a few technical skills that can make it significantly easier to make a little money on the side. With good writing skills, you could get into creating a monetized blog with marketing partners. There are international businesses of all kinds that can use the translation and localization skills of someone proficient in more than one language. There are opportunities for people who want to get into becoming a virtual assistant, too. Even if you can’t spend a long time away from campus, you can still find ways to make a little extra money.
Take Whatever Advantage You Can Get: One of the biggest ongoing expenses of a college student is the cost of tuition. It can end up costing you as much as $24,000 if you’re out of state. It accounts, on average, for 39% of the in-state student’s budget. Attending a no-tuition college is an option. But there are other opportunities that can help a few specific groups of people. College tuition discounts are available, for instance, to students from low-income families, to students with Native status, or students who have faced hardships like natural disasters. Other schools offer work-subsidized programs if you become an employee of one of the school’s departments.
Get a Head Start on Those Loans: Most of us are going to be coming out of college with some pretty hefty loans. If you’re able to, you want to try and pay them off as soon as possible. Otherwise, they’ll be a constant weight keeping you from financial freedom. Use lump sum payments that you get and create a budget, allocating 15% or more of your income towards paying off the loans. Doubling your monthly payments, meaning you have to really tighten those purse strings after college, could be the difference between paying for ten years and paying for three years. If you want to make sure that you’re not spending beyond your ability to pay the loans, then consider creating an automatic payment to your fund.
Don’t let money worries hang over your college experience. Meet new people, have new experiences and learn to your heart’s content. With a bit of planning, you can start making money a lot more manageable before you even set foot on campus.
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