College can be a rollercoaster ride. There can be those times when you’re slugging along working at your studies and it feels like time is just crawling by. Other times it can all seem like a blur of people, places, and faces. This is why laying out a college timeline can be an important part of your college career.
Having an idea of what needs to get done and when can help you stay on track and avoid any costly missteps along the way to obtaining your college degree and graduating on time.
Freshman Through Junior Year
When it comes to a timeline for you freshman through junior years of college, it could revolve more about coursework and organization membership. Laying out a guide to what classes you should take and when can keep you from falling behind or leaving pertinent classes out of our course curriculum. Arriving to the second semester of your senior year only to realize that you have a full course load and don’t have the ability to fit in a few classes that you must have to graduate could leave you extending your education by another year, not only delaying graduation but possibly adding thousands or even tens of thousands of extra dollars to the cost of your college education.
Part of your timeline for these years might also come in the form of outlining what sorts of organizations or activities you would like to be involved in during this period. From pledging a fraternity or sorority to getting a part-time job, playing sports, or being a part of other clubs, activities, or organizations, having an idea of how to work these items into your college lifestyle can be helpful to fitting in everything you hope to accomplish during your schooling.
Senior year can be action-packed. There can be that final push to finish all your degree work, there could be a part-time job, and there could also be the hunt for your first full-time job out of college, which could be a major event in your young life.
When it comes to getting that first job though, it might take a bit more work and planning than you expect. This is where your college timeline could come into play. You could use your timeline to help you prepare and plan for this crucial aspect of your college life. It can help you stay on track with completing or preparing for the following:
- Building and polishing a resume and cover letter
- Preparing and practicing for interviews
- Attending campus job seminars and recruiter visits
- Setting up job interviews
- Going to off-campus interviews
But your timeline doesn’t have to stop in college. It can continue into your post-college life, since certain events can roll from one timeline into another. While you might be busy landing that first job and preparing for graduation while also trying to enjoy the last few months of your college career, there might have to be some forward thinking about your life after college as well. When it comes to extending your timeline, here are a few items to consider factoring in:
- Obtaining transportation
- Deciding whether or not to take on a roommate after college
- Finding a place to live
- Creating a budget
- Developing a work/life schedule
By using a timeline both in your college career as well as to prepare yourself for you post-college life, you can help yourself stay on track with many of the aspects of work and life that you want to fit in. You can really make such a timeline as general or as detailed as you like, breaking it down further into sub-categories related to larger goals or events if helpful.
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The author is not a licensed educational professional, financial professional or academic advisor. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or educational advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.