When choosing a soundtrack for commencement or a graduation party, you’ve got to keep in mind that people are going to be looking both backward to the past and forward to the future during the event. And they’re going to want to cry.
To give you some ideas for the kind of songs young people are looking for during graduation, ibeatyou, a website the hosts online contests in which people post videos and images and compete for votes, hosted a contest for best song to play at graduation. The video below won first place as top song–I still remember this song from when I was younger. As one of the few coming of age pop songs that literally refers to graduation, Vitamin C’s “Graduation (Friends Forever)” has secured a place on most top graduation songs lists out there. The most massive, comprehensive list of graduation songs I could find probably includes nearly every contemporary song associated with goodbyes, change, education, and/or graduation.
Fall Semester of 2010 is starting or will begin soon for millions of college students throughout the country. Some students are starting college for the first time, others are entering their final semesters. As a Junior in college with a 4.0 average, I’ve been thinking about the mistakes I’ve made and what I’ve done right. College is about more than parties but it’s also about more than academics. How do we get the most out of our college experience—particularly in an economy when what we do and learn now will determine whether or not we get a job later? Read more…
Most of us are used to reading articles about America’s “Best” Colleges, particularly the U.S. News & World Report’s annual selection of America’s top 50 colleges. But Washington Monthly has shifted the spotlight to draw the public’s attention to schools many of us probably have never heard of. Instead of listing the 50 best schools, Washington Monthly ranks the so-called “dropout factories” of our country–the 50 colleges with the lowest graduation rates in the nation. Jay Matthews of the Washington Post, highlights this list, in his Class Struggle blog article, as important journalist research into a relatively unexplored terrain: that of the colleges for low income students. Read more…
Have you been asked to give a commencement speech? With Fall commencement coming up, you may have been asked as an expert in a given field to offer words of guidance and encouragement to a new graduating class or as valedictorian it might be your duty to give a farewell address. Either way, public speaking is always a somewhat frightening prospect. Graduation Wisdom offers a vast collection of famous inspirational quotes and of commencement speeches by famous figures such as Meryl Streep and Steve Jobs. These speeches are an excellent resource, but remember to attribute quotes and ideas to those who came up with them!
I don’t know about you Junior and Senior high school students out there, but when I was applying for college, I was a bit disoriented by all the choices. More than that, I felt intimidated by the very best of schools, like UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara, and hopes of getting in seemed like groundless dreams. But UC Berkeley’s youtube account UCBerkeleyEvents, brings the whole application process down to earth in its video for potential incoming undergrads. Staff, faculty, and students address some of the myths about UC Berkeley that often intimidate potential students, and provide helpful tips on how to use your application to paint a unique, accurate picture of who you are. Even if you’re not applying to UC Berkeley in particular, most of these facts and helpful guidelines can pertain to the application process to any prestigious university.
Many people–experts, students, and laymen alike–keep saying that a degree isn’t enough to secure a job. But what’s the reason behind that? People try to blame the faulty economy entirely, but Heather R. Huhman, president of a career and workplace education firm, states that employers aren’t just looking for people with degrees: they want employees with specific skills. Currently, more young people than ever are attending college. Having a degree won’t necessarily make you stand out. So Huhman, in her Wall Street Journal Hire Education blog article, discusses the kind of skills and experience employers in most fields are working for. More than that, she defines each of the core skills and explains why they are useful in the workplace. She also lists opportunities for college students to acquire these skills, like volunteering and joining school clubs, ways students can begin to compile a repertoire of strengths to list in their resumes and reference in their interviews.
During these economic times, a lot of grads are nervous about getting a job. As employers are hiring less graduates, but the number of graduates is increasing, grads need to learn how to “stand out” to prospective employers. So CBS lines up a “Job Squad” of experts to help Kelsy, one of millions of graduating college students looking for a job. The “squad,” including a NYU Career Consultant and a mentor from Public Relation Society of America, gives Kelsy a job make-over that helped her snag a job in the months following her graduation. An interview with her reveals exactly how she managed to beat the odds of a tough economy. She discusses the most valuable information she gathered that helped her get a job she desired.
Video blogger Michele Phan offers her fashion and make-up advice to grads who want to look their best during graduation. Her tips are also useful for any kind of situation when you will be performing or in front of many people–especially in an outdoor location. In fact, her unique, detailed approach for eye makeup will work with pretty much any ansemble–as Phan explains that the gold eye shadow works with any color that can be expected for a graduation gown, whether blue, gold, white or red. While many of us might not have the time or resources to do precisely everything that Phan does, some of her tips could be useful to apply in part or with your own personal twist.
Wondering what to get a high school grad for graduation? About.com lists 50 ideas organized by price–many have practical applications for students. The Christian Science Monitor has a few really innovative ideas here, including a solar charged backpack that can charge a student’s ipod and cellphone. Not sure if buying a grad an inch plot of land in a few states is the most practical of gifts, but the all-in-one-multi-tool (including scissors and can opener) and the Skype subscription are the kind of practical gifts parents often don’t consider. For new college students, spending money wisely and practically can be a challenge–I remember how easy it was to overlook the simplest, practical things I needed. Getting a student a long-lasting, useful gift will often be most helpful for a student moving out on his/her own. Of course, some students are already prepared for the big move, and the gift-giver might be looking for something a little more fun. If the graduate is on the nerdier side of things, check out Techland’s gallery of a few gifts that he or she might appreciate.
Due the current economic climate, college graduates being able to get good jobs when they enter the work force isn’t guaranteed like it used to be. Suzy Welch, editor of the Harvard Business Review and John Welch former CEO of GE offer a bit of advice to recent grads looking for jobs during this economic down-turn. Further, Carl Ichan, one of the world’s richest people and our nation’s most successful investors, offers graduates some words of wisdom at his commencement address for Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business.
Jack and Suzy Welch Video
Carl Ichan Video