5 Graduation Questions to Ask Before You Leave College

by Ben Kissam

The end is in sight—you’re about to graduate from college! Chances are, graduation questions are starting to surface. You’re likely thinking about what you need to do to get ready and what the graduation ceremony will look like. Oh, and then there’s that whole “life after college” thing to think about too.

But don’t worry. You’re certainly not alone in asking these questions! It’s normal to be wondering what’s next or feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Here are five questions to focus on as you prepare for graduation.

1. Have I Thought About What’s Next?

Graduating from college is a natural end to one chapter of your life, and it leads to the beginning of another. Even though there’s still work left to do, now is the time to start thinking about what’s next in your professional and personal lives. Continuing with school or getting your first job are two options, but they’re not the only ones.

Here are some of the things you can do as graduation approaches:

As the saying goes, “the early bird catches the worm.” Be proactive about your next steps so you don’t miss out on opportunities!

2. When Do My Student Loans Need to Be Paid?

For many students, life after college involves repaying student loans. In terms of graduation questions to ask yourself, it’s important to consider how you’re going to tackle these payments.

Most student loan companies give you a grace period of six to twelve months. So come November or December of your graduation year, you might need to make your first payment. But this can change, especially if you go to grad school right away. Most loan companies allow you to defer until you finish school completely, so be sure to ask.

If you’re on the fence between getting a job and staying in school, decisions about your impending student loans might help you decide.

3. Have I Sat Down with My Advisor Recently?

Your academic advisor is your success partner. You might be all set for graduation, but it’s not a bad idea to sit down with your advisor one last time.

When you do, ask them questions like:

  • Will I have enough credits to graduate?
  • What do my grades need to be to graduate cum laude?
  • Are all my transfer credits in order?
  • Has my form for graduation been processed?

This way, you can set yourself up for a smooth finish. (Don’t forget to thank them for all the help too.)

It may also be good idea to ask for your advisor’s input on what to do following graduation. They may be able to refer you to alumni in your field or help guide you in the right direction.

4. Have I Ordered My Cap and Gown?

With those logistics out of the way, you can turn your attention to graduation day! First and foremost, you’ll need to order a cap and gown. This must be done long before graduation, so the sooner you do it, the better! Many schools help students with this. For instance, those graduating from Azusa Pacific University can visit the bookstore for help getting this taken care of.

5. Have I Invited Friends and Family?

Think about who you might invite to the commencement ceremony as well as how they fit into your graduation day. Will they be traveling? Are you all going to go out to dinner together? Will you or your family be throwing a party after graduation?

Just remember: some schools have limited seating available at their graduation ceremonies. For example, APU students are each allotted a certain number of tickets. If a lot of your family is interested in celebrating, some people might want to wait for the graduation party after commencement.

Feeling excited to walk across that stage and receive your diploma from Azusa Pacific University? Take one last look at the graduation guidelines and policies, so you and your family can be better prepared.