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13 things to do before you graduate

With graduation week looming, it's time to make the most of everything uni has to offer and tick off these important tasks.

after graduating

Credit: Disney Pixar

With exams and deadlines well and truly over, it can be tempting to spend the last few weeks until you graduate lying around binge watching Netflix and taking some well-deserved naps.

But unfortunately there's some stuff you need to wrap up at uni first - bills to be cancelled and houses to be cleaned, books to be sold and TV Licence refunds up for grabs!

Plus, you'll kick yourself later if you don't make the most of your last opportunity to use your university resources (for free).

We've put together this handy checklist so you can plan your last few weeks of student life, and make some extra cash in the process!

Feeling stressed about graduating? Don't panic! We've got some great tips on how to survive life after university.

13 tasks before you leave university

  1. Make an appointment at your careers centre

    job hunting

    Credit: Warner Bros.

    You're going to seriously miss having free careers advice on hand whenever you need it.

    If you've underused your careers advice centre throughout your degree, now's the time to make up for it - it's covered by that £9,000 you've paid every year after all.

    They'll be able to check over your CV for you and make sure it's all up to scratch, and they might even be able to provide a mock interview, if you're worried your interview skills are a bit rusty.

    If you don't already have a graduate scheme or job lined up, we can guarantee that going along for an appointment will leave you feeling much more confident about your future.

    Plus, if you get a good job after graduation it makes your university look good, so they'll be extra keen to help you out!

  2. Make the most of uni resources

    library resources

    Credit: Walt Disney

    You've probably taken the library for granted all year, but believe us, unlimited free access to all those books is something you'll miss once you've graduated.

    Now you've got some free time on your hands, why not take out some books you never got a chance to read while you were occupied with your course?

    There might be a fiction or autobiography section for some more lighthearted reading - if you've been stuck in the Geography section all year, have a wander round the rest of the library and see what takes your fancy

    Don't forget that the computers at university might have software available for free that you won't find anywhere else - you could use this opportunity to dabble in a bit of Photoshop or try your hand at video editing.

  3. Pay your library fines

    paying library fines

    Credit: DHX Media

    Okay, so maybe this isn't actually that fun, but it's important as some universities might not even let you graduate unless you've settled any library fines you have! Even if you have paid £9,000 a year!

    As much as you might think you can just run off without paying, your library fines aren't going anywhere - plus the longer you leave it, the more they'll stack up.

  4. Shift your course books

    studying hard

    Credit: 20th Century Fox

    Let's face it – you're not likely to need your course books again, so rather than drag them all back home with you in the car, why not sell them on?

    There are loads of websites and apps that will let you sell your old books online, or you can use Facebook groups to sell them to students in the year below who are preparing for their year ahead.

    All the money you make can be a bonus bit of extra summer spending money!

  5. Sell your old stuff

    tips for selling clothes

    Speaking of selling stuff, have you ever tried flogging your old stuff online?

    It's crazy how much stuff you can accumulate over three/four years at uni, so if you don't fancy hiring a van to transport it all back home, selling it is a great shout.

    Think old fancy dress outfits, clothes, books, shoes and homewear - do you really need that wall hanging?

    eBay is great for pretty much anything, but apps like Depop make selling on your old gear super easy - our guide to selling old clothes online takes you through it.

    We've also got heaps of tricks to ensure you make as much as possible on your eBay items, so be sure to check these out before you get started.

  6. Cancel your utility bills

    how to request a student loan refund

    Credit: Nickelodeon

    If you're not lucky enough to have bills included in your rent, it's up to you to ensure you cancel everything so you don't end up paying bills when you're not living there.

    Whether it's gas, electricity or water, make sure to cancel any direct debits you have set up and let your energy providers know you're leaving.

    Don't forget to take meter readings on your last day! This will help you avoid any disputes with your provider as you'll be able to prove exactly how much energy you've used.

    All this should ensure you don't end up paying the next tenants' heating bill!

  7. Don't forget broadband

    no internet connection

    While you're at it, you'll probably want to cancel your broadband contract, but this can be a bit more complicated.

    Depending on the length of the contract you've signed up to, your broadband provider might not let you cancel! In which case, you'll need to discuss handing the bill payments on to the next tenant with your landlord or estate agents.

    Otherwise, you can cancel but you'll likely be stung with cancellation fees, so make sure you budget for these.

  8. Cancel your TV Licence

    when you need TV license

    Credit: Channel 4

    You're probably sick of us telling you to cancel stuff by now, but did you know that you can actually get a refund on your TV licence if you're a student who has paid for a full year licence but only have a nine-month tenancy?

    Follow our TV Licence refund guide and you could get a sweet £38 back in your account to put towards that summer holiday you've been planning.

  9. Check your bank account

    crying over bank balance

    Credit: ABC

    No, we don't mean just so you can cry about how dangerously low your maintenance loan is getting.

    After you graduate, you'll no longer be entitled to a student bank account, and you'll be transferred across to a graduate account instead.

    Before this happens it's worth contacting your bank to find exactly what it means. It's unlikely your interest free overdraft will just disappear over night, but your bank might gradually start fading out your student benefits, so it's best to be in the know before this starts to happen.

    You might also want to start thinking about investing any savings you have into a Cash ISA or Lifetime ISA, so an appointment at the bank isn't going to do any harm.

  10. Do the big clean - and get your deposit back

    clean for landlord

    Credit: 20th Century Fox

    We know how much of a pain it can be cleaning up nine months' worth of pre-drinks, late night takeaways and messy cooking.

    Unfortunately, the deposit you handed over before you moved in won't be reappearing any time soon unless you leave the house sparkling.

    Create a rota to divide up the tasks with your housemates and don't leave it to the last day!

    Things like defrosting the freezer and scrubbing the oven can take time, so make sure you make a start at least a week before you leave.

  11. Plan your graduation

    why some graduates earn more

    So you'll have likely sorted your tickets and gown long before now, but there's lots to think about with your graduation!

    If your graduation takes place after you move out of your student house, you'll need to sort out accommodation and then there's the post-graduation meal to think about.

    Finding a restaurant that will keep all family members happy can be a pain, so don't leave it until the last minute!

    Even if you've got your gown sorted, have you thought about what you're going to wear underneath? Formal wear can be expensive so spend some time shopping around for a good deal.

  12. Thank your tutors

    see you in future

    Credit: Universal

    Don't just disappear back home without speaking to your tutors first! Think about who has really helped you get through your degree - who gave the most useful feedback and who built a strong relationship with you.

    Drop by their office before you leave to say goodbye, or post them a small thank you card.

    When you start applying for jobs, you might need to request a reference from one of your tutors, so you want them to remember who you are and think favourably of you!

    Before you go, tell them about your plans for the future and ask whether they would be happy to provide a reference if needed. They'll appreciate you taking the time to speak to them and likely be more than happy to help.

  13. Book that holiday!

    cost of flights

    With all that money you've saved from cancelling those contracts and subscriptions, plus whatever leftovers you have of your student loan (don't smirk – there's a chance this could happen!) you might just be able to afford a cheap break away somewhere or maybe even an interrailing holiday with some of your uni friends.

    You deserve a break after all that hard work and we've got plenty of money-saving tips to help you travel for less.

Once you've checked off all of this stuff why not see if there's anything left on your university bucket list.

What are you going to miss the most about university? Let us know in the comments!


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