Carnegie Mellon University

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September 23, 2020

Academic Resources for Seniors

Your student is in the home stretch and we are excited to help you celebrate all that they have accomplished during their time at CMU! The final collegiate year has its own unique challenges and milestones as the mature student balances the joy of their achievements with the nerves of what the future holds. These feelings are magnified this year as we all continue to experience the pandemic. As you consider how to support your student this year, we want to provide you with some advice to help them finish strong.

Overcoming Procrastination 

"Senioritis," the tendency for senior year students to have a decline in motivation or performance, might happen with your student. They are near the end of their undergraduate experience and they probably want to celebrate and focus on other priorities beyond academics. Celebration is necessary, and it's important for your student to avoid procrastination, especially if they are finishing up difficult classes, capstone projects or theses. The Student Academic Success Center offers some tips to avoid procrastination but if it gets unmanageable, encourage your student to seek an academic coach – it’s never too late!

Time Management

Many of our seniors are heavily involved in leadership positions at CMU through student organizations, research, internships or employment. Balancing these time-consuming responsibilities with their academics can get especially difficult in the senior year when students become mentors to younger students who look to them for advice and guidance. Additionally, seniors begin to spend time preparing for life after graduation – applying for jobs or graduate school, securing housing and furniture, understanding their financial situation and more. We encourage you to talk to your student about how they are managing these responsibilities and suggest they speak with their academic advisor or a mentor on campus if they need additional support. 

Build and Maintain a Network

Establishing a network becomes crucial in the senior year as a student prepares for life after college. Who will they ask for recommendation letters or to serve as a reference? Who can help them make informed decisions about post-graduation plans? How will they keep in touch with their network once they graduate? Your senior should begin thinking about these important questions now while they still have the time to solidify their strong network at Carnegie Mellon.

Career Planning

While some of our seniors might already know their plans post-graduation, many are still seeking opportunities. If your student is not already connected with the Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC), now is the time. They offer support in career exploration, professional development and employment assistance. Our dedicated counselors will help your student explore options, create strong materials and apply for various opportunities.

While there is a lot to celebrate and be proud of, your senior still has 25 percent of their college career to go, so encourage them to finish strong and be ready to cheer them on at the finish line!