College is a great time to make new friends, learn new things, and get a jump-start on the connections you’ll need for a lifetime. College emails are meant to communicate with students the relevant information for school and classes. However, are they deleted after a student graduates?
As a general rule, college email is deleted once you graduate in order to make room for the needs of active students. However, every college has its own policy regarding whether or not college email accounts are deleted once the student graduates.
The rest of this article will explain a few topics related to this question in greater detail, including the importance of information retention policies. I’ll also discuss why email accounts can be such a problem for modern colleges and what to do to make the transition to post-college email life easier.
Why College Email Accounts Are Hard To Maintain
Did you know that over 300 billion emails are sent every day? But that wasn’t the case even 25-30 years ago.
When email first came out in 1965, the computing world looked pretty different. Emails weren’t very big, and so space for messages was plentiful. As the Internet has grown, we send more emails and add large pieces of data to each message.
We’re sending pictures of our loved ones, we’re attaching our resumes for future employers, and we even send videos from one email account to another. As you can imagine, email files have grown very large.
Your college’s IT department has to think about not just the students already at the school, but the number of incoming students.
Transfer students come to the college regularly, and they need to have a share of the resources available. So it makes sense that large email files can’t just hang around forever. The IT team must remove old accounts to make room for new ones.
How To Save Yourself Heartache Before Losing Your College Email
Most of the time, you know your graduation date ahead of time, so instead of waiting until the last minute, begin downloading your emails to your home computer. You can use open-source software like Mozilla Thunderbird to access your college email account instead of going to your college’s website to view your emails.
Downloading emails to a local email client makes it easy to access your emails at any time. Not only are you downloading the entire message, but you’re also downloading any attachments that were in the email message.
These days, attachments can go on for several emails and include large video files. You don’t want to run the risk of losing that data forever.
Using a Local Email Client
Are you unsure of how to set up a local email client? No problem! Your college website should have information on how to connect to your email from the PC email client.
If they don’t publish the information directly in the IT department, you can always open a support desk ticket, and one of the IT staff members can walk you through it.
Mozilla Thunderbird also has a wizard to help you set up your account. You will need to know a few key pieces of information, including the email server address for your college, your username, your password, and the type of connection you need.
There are two main types of connections to an email server: POP and IMAP.
It isn’t critical to know the difference between the two types of connections. The features are slightly different, but they accomplish the same thing of getting you a permanent copy of your emails.
Don’t Forget the Backups
Once you have all of your emails in the local email client, you might feel there’s nothing else to do. Remember that in the future, you will have zero access to your college email address after graduation.
Your particular college might be different, but let’s err on the safe side and assume that once you graduate, your college’s IT department will delete your account to free up space.
To make sure that you fully protect your data, you’ll need to back up those emails.
Mozilla Thunderbird has an excellent export feature that will take all of your emails and move them to a file that you can use to import them into another client or store on a cloud storage solution like DropBox.
Getting in the habit of making regular backups of all of your files isn’t just good for your email. We often ignore doing regular backups until something tragic happens, like a virus wiping out critical files.
No one wants the feeling of losing essential information that they can’t get again, so add regular backups to your calendar. Weekly, monthly, and quarterly backups are great in giving you multiple opportunities to protect your data.
Start Over With a Fresh Email Account
There are plenty of email providers available, but most people settle on a Gmail account.
It is one of the most popular email providers because once you have Gmail, you also have access to other Google services, such as Google Drive and Google Docs.
Be sure to take some time to determine an excellent professional-sounding email. It may sound silly, but the username you choose for your email account does make a difference. If you pick something that could offend someone, it could cut off future opportunities.
Selecting your first and last name as a username is a safe choice.
If you have a very common name, you can use your initials or a combination of your first name and middle initial. Some people choose to use just their first and middle names, or even a middle name if that’s what they commonly go by in their lives.
The chances of your college email being deleted after graduation are very high. Instead of worrying about what’s going to happen to your files, be proactive and backup your data instead. Once you have a copy of all of your emails, you can go ahead and move over to your non-college email address.
Remember to keep your email address very professional so that you can use it to connect with recruiters, employers, friends, and anyone else that can help you get a job in the future.