What to Keep After You Graduate College

College is ending for you. It’s been a long, sometimes arduous, but ultimately satisfying four years. No doubt there have been laughs, tears, all-nighters, a lot of community and love. It’s a milestone; a genuine achievement you earned – and you can bet relatives will be tearing up as your name is announced to accept your college degree.

Making that walk is bittersweet. Maybe some of your closest friends are moving far away or maybe others are staying put to continue their education. It’s hard to say goodbye, and oddly enough, it’s tempered by voluminous enthusiasm for one another since, you did it; you’re graduating! With that comes its own changes.What to Keep After You Graduate College

Regardless of whether you’re moving out of the dorms or remaining in your apartment off campus, you’re probably feeling that drive to clear out things you don’t need. Sell that scientific calculator; sell back, gift (or burn) laborious text books; and clear out some space in your room.

But among all this celebratory cleaning, you’re probably wondering what you should keep after you graduate. What sort of things are you going to want to hold on to, remember, or maintain so you have a record? The following is a list of seven essential items you should keep after you graduate from a college in Portland Oregon.

1. Student Loan Information

If you’ve taken out a student loan, you better believe you should be holding on to any and all records of it. Having a paper trail is incredibly important when it comes to money owed. Plus, your papers likely specify when payments are due, who to contact, what your final balance is, and various lender or extension information. It should go without saying that this is critical piece of information to keep well after you graduate.

2. Papers and Projects

You don’t need to keep all your papers and projects that you’ve completed over the course of four years, but keep some. Keep the ones that you’re proud of, that you feel you accomplished from. They’re good reminders of your time in academia and can even serve as a pick-me-up when something gets you down.

Beyond the sentimental value however, there are some employers that are interested in your GPA and papers. Some consider them akin to a portfolio piece that can help you get hired after college. And to be clear, you don’t need to keep the physical copies, you can upload them to the cloud to free up some physical space, but just make sure you have them.

3. Transcripts

If you’ve ever transferred between schools – for instance, from a community college in Portland, Oregon to a four-year university – then you know ordering transcripts and getting them sent to the right address (or fax number) can be a hassle. For that reason, it’s imperative that, when you receive your transcripts, you hold onto them – and keep a few sealed should you decide in a year or two to continue your education and an official (unopened) transcript is needed.

4. College Shirts

Many people toss or donate their college paraphernalia once they graduate, but you should hold on to these. Not only are these great mementos, but they usually make great loungewear or fitness outfits. Plus, if even after college, you find yourself a bit shy, this kind of school representation can open you up to a wealth of conversations. You may end up meeting parents who have questions about your alma mater or from fellow alumni. It may not seem like something worth keeping today, but you’ll be glad you did.

5. Books

Not ALL your books – obviously – but keep books (literary or textbook) that you actually enjoyed. Similar to your school’s sweaters and mugs, books don’t exhaust their value, so hold on to the ones that spoke to you. You may reread them or even pass them down.

Of course, what many alumni cherish most is the fact that, years later, they can revisit their favorite college texts and see glimmers of their old selves in the margins – notes that were written ages ago. It can bring back swathes of memories and transform the book into even more of a keepsake to pass down to another generation.

6. Dormitory/Apartment Paperwork

This one has a limited lifespan, but you should keep all your dormitory or apartment paperwork for two reasons. The first is, if several months after graduating you’re hit with another bill that says you owe money due to damages or missing items, then you can succinctly showcase the signed paperwork that said everything was cleared on your move out inspection.

The second reason you may want to do this (and this is especially true for graduates who stayed in the dorms up until this point), is because when you move into an apartment, they’ll want to know your rent history. A dormitory will often be sufficient enough to get the apartment you’ve carefully selected.

7. Sentimental Items

Years from now, what are you going to want to look back on with pride? Many graduates are all too eager to toss their graduation caps (and tassels) in the garbage thinking, “When am I going to wear this again?” Of course, it’s not about when you’re going to wear it again, it’s about what it represents. You should be proud of your cap and gown, it’s a reminder of what you’ve accomplished. Similarly, an ID card may be a point of bonding between you and your future child – maybe they’ll see what you looked like in college and be utterly flabbergasted. Or, maybe you can still use your ID to get a discount.

Throughout college, you’ve no doubt acquired a slew of knick-knacks and items from your experience. They may be seemingly useless mementos, but they can make a big impact. Hold onto the things that matter.



7 Things to Consider When Applying for College

The first leap into college applications is a heady jump. You’re ready to start pursuing higher education, looking for an increasing number of opportunities to build your skills, increase your knowledge, and prepare yourself for your future job. When the time comes to actually choose a college, however, you may find yourself wondering where on earth you’re supposed to start. How will you ever know which school is right for you? There are plenty of great colleges in Portland, Oregon alone. What are the most important criteria for selecting the school that’s right for you?7 Things to Consider When Applying for College

1. What’s your major?

This simple question will define a great deal of the next four years of your life–and that starts now. When you select a college or university, you want to be sure that it offers the classes you need to pursue your future career. Still on the fence? If you’re stuck between a choice of a couple of potential majors, make sure that your chosen school offers options for both of them. On the other hand, if you’re entirely undecided, choose a school that offers a wide selection of classes you’re interested in. If you take a few electives to start off, you’ll be more likely to discover the direction that will work best for you going forward. You should also consider such important questions as when classes are offered and whether or not they’ll fit with your schedule.

2. What’s your budget?

Let’s face it: ultimately, your available finances will determine a great deal about where you can attend school. If you’re lucky enough to have a great scholarship or parents who will help fund your college education, you may have a wider range of choices than someone who is working to put themselves through college. Take a hard look at your budget before you get stuck on a school that you can’t attend. Don’t let your financial situation deter you from pursuing the school of your dreams, though! You never know when you’ll be offered a great scholarship that will cover everything you need for your tuition. Just make sure that you have a backup plan in case you aren’t offered the funding you need.

3. How does your faith factor in?

Many Christian students find that their faith has a huge impact on the college they ultimately choose. They want a school where their faith will be nurtured, encouraged, and grown throughout their four years there, rather than a school where they will constantly be on the defensive or feeling like an outcast as a result of their faith. How will your faith factor into your choice of college? At a Christian college or university, you’ll find that your faith is grown, rather than being ignored or destroyed as a result of your circumstances.

4. What athletic offerings are you looking for?

Have you pursued a sport throughout high school that will earn you a scholarship to the college or university of your choice? If you have pursued that sport, what do you hope to do with it once your college days are past? Check out sports programs at the universities you’re considering before making your short list of colleges you’d like to attend. The college you play for may significantly impact your ability to sign on to a professional team or create a foot in the door that will enable you to get a job as a coach at the high school level.

5. How safe is the campus?

Take a long, hard look at campus safety rates. Is it safe to walk around your campus at night without an escort, or as you going to be asking for trouble? Is campus security easy to find and a regular presence around the campus, or does “campus security” consist of a handful of a single guard who is never available when you need him and wouldn’t be able to handle the situation if something did go wrong? Check out information about curfews, how students can get into the dorms if they are out after hours, and what kind of procedures and policies are in place for dealing with repairs and maintenance across campus.

6. Where, geographically, do you want to attend college?

For some students, a college or university as close to home as possible is the ideal. They want to be able to live at home or at least be close enough to drive home for weekend visits. Others want to get as far away from their parents as possible. Where do you want to be when you’re “away” at school? Do you want to be in reach of your parents if your car breaks down or your roommate is causing unbearable problems, or are you prepared to deal with those issues on your own? Make sure you carefully consider the geographic convenience of your preferred school.

7. How do the stats look?

When you’ve narrowed down your school choices, take a look at some key statistics. You want to know what the returning student rate is: do many students get through their freshman year or sophomore year and decide that they will be better off somewhere else? How does the student/faculty ratio look: smaller ratios will lead to a better relationship with each professor, while a larger class size will allow you to blend into the background unnoticed. Look into the campus’s support services: how do they work with students when it comes to job placement, employment counseling, and other important issues? You also want to examine student population diversity to make sure there are plenty of different students across the campus.

The college or university you’ll attend is a big decision, but it’s one you’ll enjoy making and appreciate the results of for years to come. Take the time to carefully plan out what you want most in a college, then look for one that will meet your needs. Once you’re there, you’ll be in for the adventure of a lifetime.