Senior Viewpoint: Caution: Senior deadlines closer than they appear

My dad has a countdown until my graduation up on Facebook — I am not joking. Every single day, it’s on his wall. Today, it will say 42 days. That is exactly six weeks until the class of 2012 graduates from Rider.

Somehow, graduation has a way of creeping into our everyday lives. Senior Ball was announced last week, and Rider keeps sending reminders about graduation that I find when I check my mail after coming home each evening.  The deadline for my senior capstone project looms on the horizon, and the Spring Career Fair was just this week.  There is an email about a senior trip to Atlantic City this weekend in my inbox, and professors are beginning to reference final exams. I cannot go a day without being reminded at least once.

Yet, there are still day-to-day responsibilities that all seniors must remember.  There is still work to be done for classes, job responsibilities, extracurricular activities and plans for after graduation.

Those in the midst of applying to grad school should remember to send out their transcripts and schedule taking the GRE, GMAT or other tests needed for admissions. Double-check all deadlines. Academics should not be ignored.

Four weeks of classes remain, filled with homework, projects and tests that shouldn’t be put on the back burner. Final exams begin on April 29 — the final step to confirm who will be receiving a diploma. While grades are most important to seniors looking to apply to graduate school or other post-grad programs, all seniors should remember that potential employers also consider GPA when making hiring decisions.

Senioritis is no excuse to skip class because attendance and participation are a portion of your grades. While an occasional mental health day or missing class due to illness or other legitimate reasons is viable, graduation is not a reason to pretend a boring class no longer requires attendance. A sunny day does not mean class is optional, despite the temptation.  While spring fever affects all students to some extent, the combination of that and senioritis can make an afternoon class painful.

Also, if by now your only plan after graduation is to sleep in the day after, it may be time to seriously consider your future. This economy may not be the best, but the unemployment rate for college graduates is generally better than that of the general population, meaning there are some jobs out there. The work may be outside your major, but a job is a job, particularly when student loan repayment programs begin six months after our last day as students.

There is the proverbial pink elephant in the room.  Our last day is coming and coming fast. While some seniors are counting down, I cannot.  This is a milestone that I cannot accept yet. May 11 can wait for now. I still have a lot of work to get done first.

-Jess Scanlon

Senior journalism major

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