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Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

Real World Reality Bites – Your Senior Year

Entering your last year in college can be exciting, sad, and daunting.  It’s also a time to take advantage of what Wake Forest has to offer you – one last time.  Perhaps, it’s rolling the Quad after a big win, running in Hit the Bricks, or dancing for Shag on the Mag.  These nostalgic events are important.  To ease some of the anxiety, the OPCD’s WFU alums want to share their advice for soaking up what Wake Forest (and North Carolina) has to offer you before leaving the familiarity of college and starting this thing called life after college.

Here are their bites of reality:

LBLauren Beam (’07, Communication and Religion), Assistant Director, Mentoring Resource Center and Alumni Personal and Professional Development

Free Time.

Enjoy all of the free time you have while you’re in college (yes, you heard me right – you have free time!). I often hear Wake Forest students say that they are “so busy” and I know that they have a lot on their plates. However, you will never have more free time during the day in your life than you do while you’re in college. Take advantage of those hour long breaks in the mornings or afternoons between classes and other activities – go on a walk with a friend, invest in meaningful relationships, stop by a professor’s office hours just to chat, take a nap, read a book for fun! Once you get into the “real world,” you’ll find that you’re at work from 8:00am in the morning until 5:00 or 6:00pm in the evening. If you get married, have kids, and/or own a house, those responsibilities quickly take up all of your evening time after work. Before you know it, it’s 9:00pm, you finally have a few moments to yourself and you’re exhausted. You’ll look back on college and say “that was so easy! I miss all that free time!” Take advantage of your current situation and enjoy it!


Patrick SullivanPatrick Sullivan (‘93, Politics), Associate Director, Career Education and Coaching

Take a Chance. 

Take a chance. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go skydiving. Or maybe you’ve been thinking about taking studio art class despite not having formal art training in the past. Maybe it’s something simple like trying some kind of new cuisine, or exploring Winston-Salem in a way that takes you out of your comfort zone. Regardless of how you do it, take a chance.

Jana FritzJana Frtiz (‘15, Communication), Presidential Fellow for the OPCD

Take Advantage.

As a Wake Forest undergraduate, you have had the unique opportunity to be completely surrounded by bright, exciting, and talented young people, professors, and administrators.  This opportunity may only happen once or twice in a lifetime…so take advantage of it! Go to lectures in Wait Chapel; take that one class that sparks your attention; create a meaningful relationship with a professor or mentor.  Don’t look at senior year as a year of “lasts”, but rather your chance to take with you all of the life lessons this place has taught you.  You may be leaving campus in May, but remember that you can create your own little Wake Forest wherever you go.  This community stays with you for life!


Jessica LongJessica Long (‘05, Communication), Assistant Director, Career Education and Coaching

Enjoy Wake Forest.

Enjoy your senior year. It’s your last year in college and you’ll be entering the real world soon. Take time to enjoy Wake Forest and all it has to offer. Check out the events calendar and do something on campus or in the Winston Salem community that you’ve never done before. Spend time with your friends and take time out of your busy schedule to do things you like doing. You’ll look back and be thankful for the memories you made during your last year of college.


DeeDe Pinckney (’09, Communication), Assistant Director, Marketing and Communication

Explore Beyond the Bubble.

Escape the bubble! Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville and much of NC has lots to offer. Don’t define your entire college experience by only what’s on campus. Plan a day trip or two and experience the world beyond Wake right in your own backyard. Why wait for post exams to roadtrip with friends? You can never have too many fun memories with your college besties. Graduation may take you all in different directions and the memories you create now will make for great stories in the future.

Category: Professional Development

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