How to stay connected after the last hoorah

As graduation approaches, students are starting to really dive into their books in preparation for final projects and final examsand for those who are graduating, they are putting the finishing touches on their capstone projects. But what happens for those graduating students after the caps come raining down and you walk out into the open world as a person who has just joined the University of Maine’s prestigious alumni community?

Well, it seems that life will go on as normal and you will try to make a name for yourself while being a contributing member of society. You will take your enthusiasm and attempt in any way you can to try and save the world, as which you should. But what about staying connected with friends and doing the things you loved doing while you were in school?

Firstly, from the perspective of a student that is among those whom are graduating, the world after university is much different than you may think. You cannot just walk down the hallway from your apartment to go visit your friends, nor can you drive a half-mile down the road to pick up your buddy on a late-night McDonald’s run. After graduation, the friends you gained in college through the various student groups or classes you were involved in, or maybe even your roommates, will begin to disperse in pursuit of their personal dreams. No doubt it will be difficult to keep in touch, but that does not mean you should not try.

For one, if you start a group chat on Facebook or through text message, you can keep updated on the daily lives of your friends if you’re involved in a large group. This is probably one of the best way to keep in touch, but it can also cause complacency. Organizing regular get-togethers can help eliminate this, such as a camping trip or going to see a concert. Surely you will miss hanging out with friends on a regular basis, so it is important to maintain close relationships while you’re still young.

As day breaks on the morning after graduation, it’s time to begin a new chapter in your life, one that will allow you to use the skills you gained in college to make a difference in your life or in someone else’s. While you go off to bigger and better things, do not leave your best friend in the dust if you get going faster than they do. There’s no doubt that they are going to miss you even if you think they won’t. You’re both new to this post-college life and you could use each other’s guidance and support to achieve your goals.

If you do find it hard to maintain close ties with your friends, consider becoming an active member of the University of Maine’s Alumni Association. They can help you network with classmates and remain close to the university. They sponsor many alumni events throughout the year such as Homecoming and luncheons. You may even gain new friends through classmates you never met before.

Chances are at this point in your life you’ve heard at least one person say “college is the best years of your life” and that once you graduate, it’s time to be an adult and all the fun goes away. Well, only one of those is true. The best years of your life do not have to end on graduation day and it’s important to have your friends around to help maintain that. Do whatever you can to maintain those close ties especially if you’re living and working in the same state as each other.

Nathaniel is the Culture Editor and is a fourth-year journalism and business administration student at the University of Maine. He have been writing for The Maine Campus since November of 2014, covering everything from community events to films.

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