Ready or not, graduation is near

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Courtney Earll

Email: cearll@radford.edu

When you approach your senior year of college you start to think of what you’re going to do with your life after college. Some people decide to go into the workforce, others lazily chill out for a while, and some, like me, are currently prepping for graduate school.

However, I’m prepping later in the game than I should. Don’t be like me and start seriously thinking about graduate school the summer before your senior year.

The one thing that seniors who are graduating and pursuing graduate school dread is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE is like the SATs, but for college level students. The Educational Testing Service, or ETS, is the organization that created the GRE and from what people have told me, have revised it to where it is now harder. You should start studying five months before you actually take the four hour long test.

I signed up for the GRE and didn’t even own a study aid; I have a month and a half to study. You may retake the test, but if you remember anything from the SATs, you don’t want to have to sit there for that long to take a test you’ve already taken before.

Knowing that graduate school application deadlines are coming, and that your undergraduate application for graduation is in, you are starting to freak out way more than you need to. Just take a deep breath, a few steps back, and realize if you go to graduate school you are furthering your education and prolonging having to go into the ‘real world.’

For the rest of the semester just remember to enjoy the time you have left in college. You will have your friends and family to support you through whatever comes your way.

If you need advice on what to do after college and your parents give you the ‘just do whatever you feel is right for you’ speech, you always have your professors that can give you more advice. They can direct you on what school is better for what you are thinking about studying. Those same professors can be the ones to give you that required letter of recommendation that most graduate schools want.

Trust your instincts; don’t let someone change your mind on your top choice of schools. Also don’t think just because you have to take the GRE, GMAT or other required test for your acceptance that you won’t get in.  I’m a bad test taker, but I hope to have the recommendations, goals statement and other academic standings to outshine a test score.

Do the best you can and be the best you that you can be. Follow the advice of others and continue to work hard because you never know where it will take you. It’s like Dr. Seuss says, “oh the places you’ll go.”