Your guide to the next 100 days as you prepare for graduation

On Friday, Jan. 26, soon-to-be-graduates from the class of 2024 began their countdown to Commencement at the annual 100 Days Until Graduation event. The event helps ease the transition to post-grad life and celebrates the students’ hard work.

While this is a time of reflection for many, it is also a time of anticipation. Sometimes the pre-graduation to-do list can feel daunting, so we put together a guide to help you navigate the next 100 days.

Prep for graduation

Order Commencement regalia

Before walking across the Commencement stage make sure you have a tassel to turn. All graduating students must place cap and gown orders by Friday, March 1. The price of regalia is included in the graduation fee that is reflected on each student’s account.

Students graduating with a bachelor's degree can place their order online, while those graduating with a master’s degree must place their orders by emailing Bookstore Manager Linda Burke directly. Emails to the bookstore must include each student’s full name, degree, height, and approximate weight.

Main campus students may pick up orders at The Exchange Bookstore after Monday, April 8, while online students will pick up theirs at Commencement rehearsal on Friday, May 3.

Complete exit counseling and surveys

Sharing your experiences wth members of the staff and administration through graduation-centered surveys and counseling is one of the ways the college strives to make continuous improvements each year.

Make time for each of the following opportunities and ensure that your voice is heard. Your experiences and opinions will go a long way toward improving the experiences of future Bobcats:

  • Complete the Career and Life Planning graduation survey.
  • Complete the Office of the Registrar’s Official Exit Form.
  • Are you a federal student loan borrower? All federal student loan recipients are required to complete loan exit counseling prior to graduation. Look out for an email from Assistant Director of Financial Aid Madison Vance for more information about scheduling your session.
  • Email Director of Counseling Services Marla Gentile to schedule a wellness exit interview.

Prepare for life as an alum

Now that the countdown to Commencement has begun, it is not too early to begin preparing for life after Lees-McRae. Being an alum may mean continuing your education by enrolling in a graduate program, pursuing a career in your field, joining the military, or journeying down any of the other paths before you.

This can feel like a daunting decision, but the following resources can support you through graduation and beyond:

Check off some final bucket list items

Ski and snowboard at nearby resorts

If you’ve made it this far without taking advantage of local winter sports, now is the time to get some last-minute skiing in.

Both Beech Mountain Resort and Sugar Mountain Resort offer discounts for Lees-McRae students. Head to Beech each Tuesday night for $15 student tickets or take advantage of their $5 student ticket discount Mondays through Fridays. At Sugar, college student discounts are offered on Sunday nights.

Visit the Blue Ridge Parkway and hike the trails

Known as "America's favorite drive," the Blue Ridge Parkway offers stunning mountain views, peeks into the Appalachian region’s past, and plenty of hiking and walking trails to explore. One of the most well-known overlooks, the Linn Cove Viaduct, is located a short drive from campus.

Walk across the mile-high bridge at Grandfather Mountain 

Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation's non-profit nature park is a bucket list item for many visitors to the area, so don’t let a visit to this natural marvel pass you by before graduation. While the park offers great hiking, overlooks, animal habitats, and more, perhaps the most popular attraction is the Mile-High Swinging Bridge.

The bridge has been offering panoramic mountain views to visitors since its construction in 1952 and remains the country's highest suspension footbridge at one mile above sea level. Visit on a windy day to see why park employees have nicknamed it the Mile-High “Singing” Bridge.

Make the most of your time on campus

Catch a Theatre Arts show

Support your classmates by attending a performance of the final show of the season, “The Old Man and the Old Moon.”

The show will play across two weekends in April: Friday, April 11−Sunday, April 13; and Friday, April 18−Sunday, April 21. The whimsical musical tells the story of an old man who has been the caretaker of the moon for his entire life. When his wife disappears, however, he must leave his post for the first time to set off on an adventure after her.

Tickets will be available on the Theatre Arts Performances webpage.

Cheer on your team at an athletics event

Attending an athletic event and cheering on your team in the student section is one of the best ways to show off your Bobcat pride. The spring semester is scheduled full of basketball games, tennis matches, track and field events, and more all on the Lees-McRae campus. 

Check out the full schedule of upcoming athletic events for this season and make time to attend some games before your first Homecoming as an alum. Can’t make it to a game? See what’s streaming live on the college’s Conference Carolina Digital Network.

Join the semester’s final High Country Experience Series outings

The Office of Student Affairs is planning two more events in the High Country Experience Series this semester: ziplining on Saturday, March 16 and indoor airsoft on Sunday, April 14. Both events are free to students with a refundable $10 deposit. 

Registration for the ziplining experience opens on Friday, March 1

Registration for the indoor airsoft experience opens on Monday, April 1

By Maya JarrellJanuary 31, 2024
AcademicsAlumniCampus Life