Going to college is a privilege that comes at a price, so it is important to make sure one makes good use of it.
Those are the years when one can experiment, explore, and gain valuable skills. Of course, the main focus for most is preparing for a future career. But it should be done in a well-rounded and balanced way. Here are some tips on how to use this experience to the maximum.
Read more: What You Need To Know Before Starting College
Explore the Resources Available
One of the major benefits of college is the number of resources it gives. You gain access to libraries and online platforms as well as the opportunity to learn from experts. It is crucial to make the most of it. Learn about all benefits your campus offers, like facilities and courses. Visit guest lectures and extracurricular events.
And if you worry that you won’t have time due to the course load, there is always a way out. It comes down to time management and tasks prioritisation. Of course, there are lots of assignments to do. But sometimes it is great to know that there are experts that will help at request - for example, professional academic writing service.
If you are wondering “Can experts at WritePaper help me out with my writing?” the answer is yes, sure they can. Whether you need help proofreading, editing, or getting advice on how to do it properly. You can get essay samples written by professionals that will inspire you and give a better understanding of best practices you can use in your essay. It is another valuable resource to consider as well as a learning opportunity. Getting advice from those who have expertise in the field is always a great idea.
Balance Out Your Curriculum
This one is closely related to the previous point. Do not narrow down the subjects you’ll take. Of course, if you are in STEM, the majority of courses will be technical and scientific. But you can also take some humanities. For those in the humanities, it is vice versa. The reason is simple - no discipline or profession exists in a vacuum. You’ll need both soft and hard skills anyway, so it is good to expand your reach and worldview while it is easy.
Also, consider learning a new language. It will give a competitive advantage for any profession.
Try to absorb as much external common knowledge as possible especially if it is out of your comfort zone. It helps to be a well-rounded person as well as illustrates you as a go-getter and a person who is always thirsty for learning something new. College is a perfect time to expand your worldview and be open to completely new ideas.
Supplementary reading: Life After SPM: Your Search For Your Passion
Develop Skills Integral to Any Career
Getting career-specific skills is amazing but it is better to balance them out. College is an outstanding opportunity to develop skills that are integral to any career you’ll go for, such as:
- Time management;
- Research and analytical thinking;
- Strong study and work ethics/habits;
- Responsibility and commitment, etc.
Do not treat your college time as an exercise in getting credits. It is a great chance to try out different things. There will be no better time for experimenting with everything, from your looks to your professional field.
If such an opportunity is available, do not rush into a major unless you are 100% sure about it. First of all, it exhibits such qualities as patience, determination, and critical thinking. Those qualities are highly valued by employers. It illustrates that you’ve thought about such a big decision deeply and made an analytical and wise decision.
For example, one can go for an internship to get real-life experience in the field and decide whether it is something they want to devote their life to. Also, consider having a minor as well, so you do not focus on only one thing.
Establish Relationships With Professors
One of the amazing ways to develop your communication skills is to establish great working relationships with professors and college staff. Communication is a highly valuable skill that employers look for in almost any professional. So becoming a better communicator will prepare you for the work in the future - it is directly linked to networking and collaboration.
Communication does not end with peers. One of the valuable opportunities is to establish fruitful relationships with professors, mentors, or members of your college staff. You can utilise office hours for that as well as digital communication options, like email.
Additional reading: 10 Types of Lecturers You’ll Encounter in University
A recent study called the Strada-Gallup Alumni survey questioned more than 100,000 college graduates to figure out how their experience influenced their further lives.
Surprisingly, further life satisfaction had nothing to do with the prestige of the university they went to. The main three factors that promoted future well-being were strong relationships with a mentor, taking part in sustained college projects, and working closely in a campus organisation.
All of them can be simplified down to communication, commitment, and engagement. Communication skills also prove your integrity and initiative/motivation to work on yourself and relationships with others. Basically, these skills are attributed to the leadership one wants to develop.
Use Available Career Services
Explore what the career centre of the university has to offer and use it to your advantage. Look into different opportunities, like internships or exchange programs.
Another tip is to never miss job fairs and alumni events. They are great for networking as many positions are filled in through recommendations even before posting an opening for it. And you can also learn about some options that you might have had no idea about.
Read more: Ensuring The Perfect Start To Your Career
All of that can give you a better understanding of what kind of career you want to break into. You’ll learn more about what goes into it and what are essential attributes, skills, and experiences needed for that. In its essence, it is a way to get guidelines to pursue the career of your dreams and prepare for the industry while in college.
Be Mindful of Finances
Students live on a budget. Well, most of them. So it is high time to learn financial literacy. Starting from tracking expenses and up to getting your first credit card.
Here are some factors to consider:
- Start planning your budget;
- Track your earnings and spending;
- Use all the available student discounts for transportation, travel, or entertainment;
- Start paying out your college loan as soon as possible so the interest is smaller;
- Apply to scholarships every year.
It is easy to lose control over finances for some students as it might be the first time they live on their own and take full responsibility for their lives. One can use different techniques or tools like smartphone apps for that.
Practising finance management will help to develop responsibility traits as well as the ability to prioritise things. It is a great exercise to analyse the needs, resources, and make a smart judgement on what to invest your resources to. How people treat their finances says a lot about their character.
Get To Know Yourself
Behind all this studying it is crucial to pay attention to personal development. Learn something new about yourself, get out of your comfort zone, and meet new people. Be aware of your goals and motivations. Remember why you are studying specific things and how they can help you.
Learn the difference between financial success, reputation, and happiness because those three are not the same thing. Figure out what brings fulfilment to you - maybe it is exploring new concepts, helping others, or bringing ideas to life.
Make healthy habits and routines, like regular exercises, sleep patterns, and a well-balanced diet. You’ll thank yourself for that in 10 years.
And if something does not go as planned - learn from your mistakes.
This may interest you: What Do I Do After University?
To make the most out of college, do not treat it as a one-line road to success. Experiment and explore the opportunities. Find out what works for you, do not narrow down your knowledge, and connect to others. And, of course, do not forget to have fun.
One of the main opportunities a college gives is to build a character, develop skills, and prepare for a future career. The earlier one starts, the better it is. Get out of your comfort zone and dive into leadership-driven content.
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Be sure to check out the media below that discusses the digital learning, talent, recruitment and leadership trends in a post-pandemic era. Very much valuable for soon-to-be graduated university students!