Senior year is a time of finalization, reflection, and transition. In addition to wrapping up coursework, many students are also completing internships and conducting a search for graduate school or full-time employment. While balancing these responsibilities, students also spend time celebrating and reflecting on their college careers, checking off items on their MSU or Montana “bucket list” by attending university and community events. As the year’s end approaches, students prepare for a major transition; in a short time, they will be saying “see you later” to familiar faces and environment. Parents can provide important emotional and practical support during this transition.

Senior year students often balance completing their degree requirements and solidifying post-graduation plans with soaking in last opportunities and festivities. Senior students might also battle occasional lapses of motivation commonly known as “senioritis.” Many students will be excited to celebrate their post-graduation arrangements, but students without firm post-graduation plans might feel directionless or worried. With Commencement seemingly around the corner, a bittersweet feeling combines students’ real-world trepidation with readiness for their next steps.

As your student searches for job or graduate school opportunities, encourage both proactivity and patience, and remind them of the many resources available to aid with their job search. Seek opportunities to scaffold independence for your student. If they haven’t already learned, teach them about bill paying and other processes, and transfer more responsibility to them to prepare them for full independence after graduation. If applicable, discuss student loan repayment. Finally, attend Commencement and celebrate your student’s achievements!


Here are a few links that could be helpful to you and your student:

  • Scholarships: Did you know that students can apply for scholarships within their department every year? Encourage your student to check out scholarship opportunities in their department.

  • Career Development: As seniors prepare for the workforce, Career, Internship & Student Employment Services is a helpful resource for students. Students are strongly encouraged to attend the career fair. Students looking for a bit of extra support and information are encouraged to meet with a career coach.

  • Graduation: As seniors prepare for graduation, it is important for them to be knowledgeable of upcoming deadlines pertinent to graduation.