So here’s something crazy: I’m a senior in college. How that happened, I do not know, but it did. This is my last year in my undergraduate program. I have a lot to do in the next 9 months, so I thought I would break it down here for you for anyone else who might be a senior and in need of some inspiration.
P.S. As of a few weeks ago, I was leaning against going to graduate school, but I have decided to keep it in the cards at least as an option. Also, since it is almost the end of August, I am skipping over that month.
Pass recital preview and schedule date for the real thing: At my university, any student looking to perform a solo recital must perform the recital program for appropriate area faculty. I will have to perform my program in front of the three woodwind faculty members. I also have to pass all of the pieces before I can schedule the recital.
Apply to graduate school: I have been looking at a few graduate school options, as close to me as an hour away and as far as on another continent. I would love to live abroad at some point in my life, and I feel like it could easily become a now or never situation. It also would mean an easy way out if November doesn’t go well *insert political rant* but that is for another day.
Look at funding options for graduate school: Since I might be continuing my education, I want to make sure I can do it with money like scholarships and grants or possibly help from family. I would be willing to take out a loan but only for a part of my education. Student debt is real, and I don’t want to get sucked too far in.
Be done with junior recital: By the middle of the month, I would like to have completed my junior recital so that I can start working on my senior recital.
Plan senior recital program: I will need to choose pieces of different eras, styles, and instrumentation. For my first recital, I had to choose at least one concerto, one sonata (sonata style), one unaccompanied, one with piano, and one chamber piece. I assume the requirements will be the same.
Find music for senior recital: Once I decide the music for my next recital, I will have to get that music and start working on it.
Write more content for my blog: It looks like November will be a pretty slow month in terms of school, so I would love to write more posts for the blog, if possible.
Find paid writing jobs: In order to start getting some more of my own money, I would like to take on some paid writing jobs. I still will write for my blog, but money is nice, and I want to get some experience working with other people.
Apply for graduate school scholarships/grants/funding: Since I know that loans terrify me, I want to apply for as many scholarships and grants that I can. If I go abroad for grad school, there are some international student scholarships I could get. I need to look into it more. Maybe a post will be in order?
File my intent to graduate form: If for whatever reason I haven’t already completed this form, now’s the time. I want to make sure I have a full semester to get all of the weird remaining requirements filled. I also want my university to know to fill those ASAP since I plan to graduate in May.
Read more (blogs, books, etc): With winter break coming up, I will have a lot of time on my hands. I would love to read more blogs and more books. I’m considering a grad program in Spain and my minor is in Spanish, so I would love to read some stuff in Spanish.
Enjoy the holidays: I think this goal speaks for itself.
Work on senior recital music: In the second half of winter break, I want to make sure I have the music polished for my senior recital. That way, I can go back for my last semester feeling fully prepared for my last recital and everything else that I will have to do.
Finalize plans to graduate in May: I will want to make sure that the offices receive my intent to graduate form. I also want to schedule a final meeting or two with my advisor to check that all necessary substitutions have been finalized. Since I transferred schools, not everything transferred as they should have, but my advisor has been super helpful with getting substitutions approved. I’d it weren’t for those subs, I would have had another semester or two.
Start looking for a summer job: Whether it is a writing or social media job or a job in retail, I will want to have some income. That way, I can save some for when I am in graduate school. Also, if I do go abroad, I will need travel money.
Pass recital preview and schedule date for the real thing: I want to pass my recital preview early so that I am not scrambling to do it last minute. Last year, there was not a single day in the last two weeks of the semester without someone performing a junior or senior recital.
Decide on grad school/job: In case you couldn’t tell, my dream school is in Madrid, at the IE School of Human Sciences and Technology. At this point, I I’ll have to make my decision on the school I will be attending, accepted to IE or not.
File the necessary paperwork for that decision: If I do go to school abroad, in Spain or to a school I have looked at in Canada, I will have to get a visa, figure out funding and housing, and everything that comes with going to another country.
Perform senior recital: As I stated before, I want to get my recital done early. If I don’t get it in by the end of March, it will be hard to do it any other time. April is a busy month for music activities, so I don’t want to put off my recital.
Work on blog content: During spring break, unless I end up on a trip, I will want to work on the blog, for sure.
Find writing jobs: I want to find some jobs to get some extra funds to get me to graduation.
Keep up with school and music events: Since April can be a really busy month, I don’t want to get behind. Especially since I will be a month from graduating, I don’t want to mess anything up or have any set backs.
Get Cap & Gown: I don’t exactly know what my university does for cap & gown, but I will need to get my set around April so that I have it ready for graduation.
Start moving dorm stuff home: Last year, I used the last few weeks and last couple of visits home to take some stuff that I could live without. For instance, I sent home one of the two folding cloth chairs I had. I also brought home some of my nicer clothes that I wouldn’t wear. This will be more important next year since the day I move out of the dorm officially will also be the day I graduate.
Apply to some jobs for the summer: I would love some time off, but I do want to work a little during the summer. For both experience and money, a (good) part time job is necessary. This might change if I find some good writing jobs or other money making options online.
Move out of dorm/graduate: This is kind of a requirement, but I want to make my graduation day go as smoothly as it can.
Prepare for my next steps: Whether this is packing for my own apartment and looking for a full time job or preparing for graduate school, I don’t want to end up forgetting anything.
I hope these goals were interesting. Maybe they gave you a look into my life or helped you figure out what you need to do if you are a senior this year. Do you have any goals for this school year? Leave them in the comments!