Graduation checklist: What to do before the big day

May 2, 2016

Alexander Nedd
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11 Days.

That’s how long seniors have until that fateful walk down the aisle in front of thousands for commencement on May 13. Mountain Lions, that’s just 264 hours away.

The next few days will be hectic for you, class of 2016. Finals, family arrangements and your unexpected senior meltdown at 1 a.m. are just a few examples of what you can expect in your final two weeks of school.

While it might seem overwhelming, there are ways to make your transition out of UCCS a smooth and painless process, all while keeping your sanity. This checklist can help seniors make sure they are prepared for the big day.

First, do you have your essentials? Now is not the time to forget your cap and gown. Announcements and party reservations after commencement services are also a good thing to keep in mind as the day approaches. Act now, not later.

But before you can think about holding that diploma, you must pass your classes. Academic advisor Nick Ota-Wang said now is the time to do a reality check to make sure you can ace that last test.

“If you feel that you are not going to do well in a class, talk to a faculty member right away, because there is still time to change things such as incompletes,” Ota-Wang said.

Communication is key between students and professors as the clock ticks closer to May 13.

Ota-Wang also said senior audits will help catch any red flags on your degree audit. Ideally, he said those should have been completed the semester prior to your graduation.

“That’s what we are going to catch if there are big errors that you may not be aware of,” said Ota-Wang. “It’s smart for any student to come into academic advising anyway, we can check your fall and summer schedule as well.”

Academic advising is open throughout the year, with 30-minute scheduled appointments available for
students Tuesday through Friday.

While it’s natural to be caught up with school and classes, one thing is often overlooked as graduation approaches: how to say goodbye.

You’ve worked hard for this moment, and while walking across the stage might be the ultimate form of saying, “Peace out,” there are those you will want to thank and remember before going on your way.

Now is the time to start those conversations. Not only does this bring closure to a tremendous chapter in your life, it provides opportunities to make lasting memories.

Unless you’ve invited these people to a private affair after your graduation, you’ll want to start thinking about leaving one last impression before walking down that hallway.

Saying goodbye doesn’t mean leaving friends and professors behind; it could be getting numbers for reference contacts later on or networking for jobs.

The point is to do this before graduation so the people you care about know that you thought of them before the final wave out of college. Just like leaving a job on good terms, saying goodbye is an art and should not be overlooked.

The finish line is right there, don’t bum yourself out. The final two weeks might be hectic as you schedule those last minute tests and try not to fail any classes, but there is still time to enjoy the little things from the last of college.

Congratulations class of 2016; you deserve it.