Hello GT20 readers. Today’s post will be different. It will still be informative (hopefully!) but more conversational. For some of you, college is right around the corner. This post is for you.
In retrospect, college gave me the best four years I could ever ask for. It was engaging, challenging and eye-opening. Yes, from time to time there were tears, but also a lot of laughter. I have made a lot of good memories with some unforgettable people, and I have learned a lot about myself.
Throughout my years in college, I have learned a few lessons that I would like to share with you all. In no particular order, here are 10 things to consider in college, as told by a recent grad.
1. Take some classes for pure enjoyment.
The nice thing about college is that you can pick and choose what classes you want to take. College is a nice time to explore your interests. If you can, take some classes that sound fun to you. Going to class is a lot better when you enjoy what you are learning.
2. Join clubs and/or organizations.
College is not only a nice time to explore your interests, but it is also an opportunity to meet new people. Joining clubs or organizations are great ways to do this. There will be a club or an organization for almost anything. Find something you enjoy and hang out with people that enjoy it too!
3. If your school has a recreational center, take advantage of it.
In college, the one thing that I regret was not using the recreational center as much as I would have liked. You are in fact paying for it through your tuition fee, so why not use it? It is important that you take care of yourself and stay healthy.
Trust me, it is never too early to start networking. If you are not on the social networking website LinkedIn®, it is time to create a profile and get connected with classmates, teachers and mentors. This website allows you to connect with people in your professional world, find job opportunities, and gain insight about your career. It is one of the best networking tools out there so take advantage of it! Your future-self will thank you for this. Once you graduate, it is not who you know, but who knows you.
5. Pay attention in class.
You do not have to be a perfect student, but make sure you know what is going on in your classes. If you have questions for your professor, make sure you ask them. Getting an A in the class means nothing if you do not retain any of the information.
6. Get an internship.
Again, your future-self will thank you for this. Without prior experience, finding a job can be difficult post-college. You will continue to ask yourself, how will you gain experience if no one is willing to give you the opportunity. To avoid this nasty cycle, get an internship while you are in college.
7. Do things that scare you.
“All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it.” – We Bought A Zoo
Take this chance to challenge yourself. Go do something you have always wanted to do, but were too scared to. When I was a junior in college, I really wanted to write for the school’s newspaper. The idea of it, however, terrified me. After going back and forth and pacing around my dorm room, I decided to go for it. Best. Decision. Ever.
*Side note: Please be safe and don’t do anything dangerous or reckless.
8. Be accountable.
You are now in charge of your education. No one will tell you to go to your classes or force you to do the reading. Know your priorities and be accountable for your actions.
9. Remember to have fun.
The college experience will be whatever you are willing to give it. People are not wrong when they say youth is wasted on the young. You are only in college once. Acknowledge that academics are important, kick ass in it and then go have fun! It is possible to have your cake and eat it too.
10. Continue to surprise yourself.
Never let yourself be bored. If you find yourself getting too comfortable, it is time for you to get out of it! Continue to explore and be curious. Join new clubs, meet new people, and do other things. Let yourself feel alive.