Write Handwritten Thank You Notes
Make a list of all of the people who’ve guided you through your college career. This includes professors who taught the classes you enjoyed (as in, class discussions were actually stimulating and you found yourself intrigued by reading assignments). Your personal advisor definitely deserves a heartfelt letter, since he or she has probably dealt with your crazy meltdowns during scheduling week. Maybe you had a connection with one of your RAs or an older student who acted as your mentor and offered useful advice. And, if you had an internship, you should absolutely check in with your supervisors and let them know how beneficial your experience was at the company and how complementary it was to your education.
Compile Your Work
Okay, so you’ll probably never want to go back and reread that essay you wrote on Gilgamesh sophomore year. And, chances are reviewing those math assignments you turned in won’t really get you anywhere. If you’re a paper hoarder (like this writer), you’ve probably got a lot of notebooks to recycle. But, as you go through your schoolwork, make sure you hold onto the projects you remember putting a lot of effort into — or at least the ones you’re proud of. If you had enough room for four years worth of binders, you can probably manage to salvage a few items and create a single portfolio to hold onto.
Make A Scrapbook
If you’re graduating this May, you’ve likely been ‘gramming your photos for the past couple of years. Or, maybe you uploaded all of your snaps into Facebook albums. But, if you’re the creative type, it might be fun (and it’s definitely affordable) to get a few of your favorite pictures printed. Even if you’re not about the whole fancy-stickers-and-borders routine, putting together a simple book of memories and gifting it to a friend is pretty thoughtful.
Sort Through Your Books
Remember the professors you had who assigned really great readings? Bookmark those passages. Yes, a lot of the textbook-style chapters or dull, analytical articles you skimmed through were uninspiring to say the least. But, every now and then you likely happened upon a gem — whether it was an author whose voice or opinion jibed with your own, or even an ancient text that led you to appreciate a new philosophy. Whatever it is that you end up doing (career-wise or otherwise), referencing an old book or novel will always come in handy. Plus, you can probably think of at least one text that would make for a great pleasure read should you ever need one.
Create A Playlist
Open up Spotify and pull together some of your go-to tunes from the past four years. Whether it was your bedroom anthem when you were completing all of those first-year seminar assignments or the track you played over and over on the commute to your internship, you can probably name plenty of oldies-but-goodies. Shuffle through these when you’re with your friends during the week of graduation festivities in the name of nostalgia.
Go Shopping — For Your Friends And Yourself
News flash: You’re not the only one graduating. Finding small trinkets for your best friends is the best way to say thanks for the help, the stories, and the memories — especially if you won’t see some of these people for a while. Oh, and, you’re gonna need something to wear to your own grad party, right?