Super-senior says: Slack off the right way

By Jenette Sturges

This career guide is filled with a ton of information on how to get a job.

More importantly, it is filled with information on how not to get a job.

Take it from this soon-to-be super-senior, delaying the inevitable really is the way to go. When I entered this University almost four years ago as an undecided LAS major, I was downright angry that people in the real world expected an 18-year-old to know what career she wanted to have for the rest of her life.

Now that I’m coming upon my 22nd birthday, the thought of picking out one thing to do with 40 hours of my week, every week, is only slightly perturbing. I consider the next year an “adjustment period,” in which I hope to shed my animosity toward the working world and finally settle on one career path to take me through the next decade or so.

An extra semester also gives you the opportunity to do all those other things that you wouldn’t otherwise get to do with a heavy senior year course load. Instead of cramming all your classes into four years, spread them out … resolve to never take more than 14 hours at a time. Then take up a new hobby, join a club, volunteer. Or at least take the Graffiti and Mural Art class.

Which brings me to another point, with more than 120 credit hours already earned, I register earlier than nearly everybody else on campus. Flower arranging, water aerobics, bowling – no course is off-limits to the super-senior.

The trick to becoming super-senior, defender of truth, justice and the slacker way, is to make it look like you’re not slacking to future employers and graduate programs. So even if you’re taking 12 hours of class, make sure they’re at least 300 and 400-level courses.

Better yet, take the extra time to write a thesis. Not only is it impressive on a resume, especially if you get it published, but you could graduate with distinction from your program and have a great excuse for your extra semester to interviewers.

Volunteering is a fulfilling way to spend your extra time too, and if you find the right cause, it could give you lots of experience in your field before your first job. Educational policy studies? Spanish major? Local elementary schools are in desperate need of tutors, especially bilingual ones.

Or, take the helm of a student organization.

Being the president of a large group of students, whether it’s your sorority, an honors society or the Knitting Illini shows employers that you have leadership skills.

But mostly, the title of super-senior just gives you time, time to contemplate the meaning of life in a philosophy class you wouldn’t otherwise have taken, time to make friends with professors who will write you good letters of recommendation, time to decide what you really want to devote the rest of your life to and time to party on Thursday nights for just one more year.

So take this spring’s career guide, read through it (it has lots of information for you to use both now and right before you graduate), then tuck it away for your reference exactly one year from now.

You’ll thank me later.

And I’ll still be around to say, “You’re welcome.”