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Not So Fast, Seniors! Tie Up Those Loose Ends

With your diploma in hand from commencement and a bit of frosting still left on your lips from your graduation party, you are ready to be D.O.N.E. Well before you go dorm shopping for stuff you won't even use at college but think you couldn't live without, let's make sure you REALLY are done with the task that comes from being a Senior.

A Checklist of Sorts

Below is a checklist I've compiled over the years that I share with my clients to make sure everything that is associated with high school can be left in the past as you head toward your future. It's also a good list to set yourself up for success while at college.

Know Before You Go

1. Upgrade that driver's license with that star in the circle if you will be flying back and forth from college to home. This upgrade will be required for easy future check-in.

2. If you will be flying back and forth, be sure to create an account for frequent flyer miles in YOUR name, not your parents'.

3. Try to get a credit card in YOUR name where you can begin to build your own credit. Set up online banking and PAY IT OFF EVERY MONTH. Don't spend what you don't have - you can't borrow your way to prosperity! A good student credit card where it builds credit for newbies is Discover. You can apply online.

4. If you are male, you MUST register for the military when you turn 18 - it's the law! More info.

5. Do your duty and register to vote! Be aware of the deadlines for becoming a registered voter.

6. If going to college out of state, be sure to get an absentee ballot so your vote can be counted. Again, pay attention to deadlines. If you miss the deadline, you might as well not have voted and that would be bad:-(

7. If you've taken any AP exams over the course of your high school career, check your college's acceptance of scores for credit, typically 4's or 5's, but is college-specific (some state schools accept as low as 3's).

8. If you've taken any CCP or any courses through another college, be sure to request a transcript from that college to be sent to your existing college so they can give you credit for the course, possibly.

9. Check in with your guidance counselor to confirm that your final transcript has been sent to your college.

10. Be sure you've thanked your teacher recommenders, guidance counselor. You didn't do this alone. Be grateful and show it :-)

11. Advice on College Life: Keep your wits about you. You are now an adult. Being an adult means any arrests go on your permanent record. DON'T BE STUPID!

12. Join those Facebook pages, participate in group chats with the friends that are your future in the fall, join Instagram groups, and PARTICIPATE! It's important that you do this, that you move to your future NOW.

13. During college, the workload and level of intensity will be higher than anything you've endured thus far. There is no shame in withdrawing/dropping a class if you're not doing well. In fact, it's smart! Always know how you're doing in your classes so you can make this decision, if necessary. If you happen to fail a class, know that you can retake it and the better grade will be calculated into the GPA, but the transcript will still indicate any classes you've withdrawn from or failed.

14. Please take some time to thank your parents! You owe a great deal to them, and I know they'd appreciate a word of kindness and appreciation from you before you go on your big (expensive) adventure.

15. Cherish those precious moments you have left with your family and friends. Be present.

Stay cool, stay safe, and have a blast this summer because in the fall it'll be time to buckle down and get to work!

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