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You did it, grad! You made it. Before you walk across the stage with that diploma in hand, there are probably a few things on your to-do list that still need to be done. Besides typical tasks like ordering your cap and gown, this Ultimate College Graduation Checklist was created to help you make sure you don’t miss anything as you move on to the next chapter of your life. After you get these things done, rest up and relax. You deserve it!
Ultimate College Graduation Checklist
- Schedule time for graduation photos.
Imagine: beautiful, new photos to post on Instagram. Graduation announcements for Grandma. Photos your family can put on the fridge. Graduation photos are the ultimate way to celebrate your hard work and dedication in college. I recommend booking a session date 2-3 months before your actual graduation date. That way, the campus isn’t too busy and you have plenty of time to order graduation announcements. For senior photo resources, check out past blog posts like what to bring to your senior photos session and what to do if senior photos are too expensive.
- Order your graduation announcements.
Graduation announcements are a great way to share your college achievements with loved ones. These days, senior photographers will give access to hi-res digital files so you can design your very own announcements. Cheap graduation invitations don’t come easy, but Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows you to design your own custom announcements with instant previews before you order. With over 180 colors to choose from and 40 different envelope colors, just change the color of each element on the graduation invite to make it exactly how you like. Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51. Head to their site to start creating announcements of any kind from a nurse graduation announcement for nursing school graduates to thank you cards for high school and college graduates.
- Check in with your apartment for any charges or unpaid fees.
One of the most inconvenient things that could happen before you leave school is finding out you have to pay a big fee for something unexpected. Before you move out, check with your residence hall or apartment office to make sure you won’t be charged for something you don’t know about.
- Update your addresses and create a forwarding address.
This is one of those things I wish I knew about life after college. I lost so much mail from my college dorm to my first apartment. It’s likely you’ll be transitioning somewhere new after school, so take time to update your addresses for any subscriptions you may have. Be sure to also leave a forwarding address with your campus or apartment, so you don’t lose any mail.
- Make a note of the list of resources at the career center.
Before you go paying for expensive networking groups or job search tools, check in with your career center to see if they have any special resources like free events, job databases, or networking events for alumni. You might be able to utilize lots of free resources even after you graduate, especially if you’re interested in finding a job outside your original college major.
- Make sure everything is cleared on your account in the school registrar’s office.
Again with the unexpected fees. In addition to the things I always tell graduating seniors, check in with the office to make sure there’s nothing they need from you before you leave campus. This will also give you a chance to find any important paperwork like loan papers, transcripts, or other important files you might need after you graduate.
- Check with the alumni office for deals on short-term insurance.
Some schools understand that students might need short-term health or car insurance as they’re transitioning out of school. Your alumni office might offer different insurance programs for graduating seniors. Check if you’re eligible so you don’t spend tons of money on other options.
- Make sure you have contact information from friends, professors, and references.
While you’re still in school, catch up with friends or mentors you made in college and ask for their email address and/or phone number if you don’t have it already. If you haven’t found a full-time job yet, a trusted contact can go a long way!
- Compile all your books and files to keep, donate, or toss.
One of the things I’m still working through after graduating college is figuring out what to keep versus toss. If there are books you don’t use anymore, consider selling or donating them so you can make room for other books you should read before graduating. Chances are you might not know which college notes you’ll want to have on hand, but definitely start thinking about how you could compile everything electronically and saving them on cloud storage software so you can keep your space organized after college.
- Set aside time to write thank you notes.
Thank you notes go a long way in a world that’s so connected over social media. If there is a professor, mentor, or advisor that made a big impact on your college career, consider writing and sending them a personalized thank you card. If you received graduation gifts from friends and family, be sure to share your gratitude with them before you move on to the next chapter of your life.
Have questions about this Ultimate College Graduation Checklist? Leave them below!