Whether it is your second quarter here at UCR or second to last, some students are just beginning to create new memories while others are leaving with the ones they made. UCR welcomes incoming freshmen to break the ice with the reality of living on their own, with home as an every-other-weekend option. Outgoing seniors prep to leave the home and relationships they have built for the last four years as their futures pull them in new directions. However, once your time here is up, it’s like you and reality are ready to make it official.

First-Year Perspective

After a summer filled with cruising around the streets with your closest friends and discovering new horizons while learning more about yourself, a thought registers in your mind. The time to pack up your belongings and hightail it to the dreaded institution that many cite as the key to financial security has finally come. Four years of high school might not be enough training for any impending challenges ahead.

Living accommodations in college are tricky to maneuver around, but can be rewarding depending on the road you take. The privacy to waltz around naked after a long shower and listening to favorite music tightly snuggled under a cozy blanket are some luxuries that many students have to give up, but with many other luxuries to gain. Aberdeen-Inverness (A-I) and Lothian all have communal bathrooms, although they leave more options for socializing due to the open hall structure. Pentland may be a top choice of housing, having individual bathrooms and showers, along with other amenities that are reminiscent of home. Despite Pentland being pegged as the “antisocial dorm” it simply depends on which building you’re put in. While some people may value their privacy, building relationships with others creates a vital support system early on that is essential to becoming comfortable with the environment and can help with networking opportunities.

Job searching as a freshman is actually a lot harder than it sounds. Some students may qualify for work study. Via Scotlink or ScotJobs, they can look and apply for a variety of jobs on-campus and off-campus. Do not approach the job search with naive intentions, however. Building a resume, getting your social security card, printing out a plethora of job descriptions and placement forms are required. Luckily, the student career center on campus is dedicated to working hands-on with weary students’ career questions and concerns. Your resume may look dry unless you’ve had prior working experience, which makes you the underdog in many cases. You will have to persistently apply to multiple jobs at a time to increase the likelihood of getting a callback. When it comes to getting a career it helps if you’re tenacious and proactive, by checking your application status. Looking for jobs also consumes a lot of leisure time so make sure that during your pursuit of the almighty dollar you keep up with your grades — at the end of the day your credits and GPA will be the tokens to success.

Last-Year Perspective

With winter quarter coming to an end some of you may be experiencing mixed emotions about saying your final goodbyes to UCR. Whether it has been two years or five years, you are probably wondering where all the time went. With final exams just around the corner, and graduation fast on its heels, you stop and question if you are ready.

Saying goodbye to early classes, final examinations and 10-page papers is one thing, but what about saying goodbye to the friends you have made, the faculty and staff you have learned to appreciate and the student organizations that you have helped build? It may seem hard to say goodbye to the people who helped make UCR feel like a home away from home. If you and your friends seem to be moving in different directions — in terms of a career path or literally halfway around the world — keeping in touch is easier than it seems; you have the help of various social media platforms on your side. As far as saying goodbye to faculty and staff, it is important that you maintain professional contact. Make sure you ask for their email addresses, or be proactive and ask if they would willing to write you a letter of recommendation for any future job opportunities.

However, saying your goodbyes might be the easiest part about graduation and your transition out of college and into the real word. Time may feel as though it is repeating itself, as the similarities between applying to college as a high school graduate and applying to jobs, graduate, medical or law school. Some of the fears and apprehensions you had when applying to colleges may reappear as you make this next transition in your life, but you are that much more prepared. With your degree in your back pocket and your resume in hand you are ready to face whatever opportunities come your way.