In a simple definition, college is a place or institution where you pay to study and eventually get a diploma to increase the chances of people getting better jobs and earning more money. But the truth is, college should be more than that. It is supposed to be a place to sharpen your skills and creativity and prepare you for the life ahead. It is the place to define your career goals and plant seeds that you will later reap. Sadly, my college days suck! I’ve got too many things I regret I didn’t learn and do during my college life that I’m sure would greatly affect my grownup life now.
Here are some of the things I wish college had taught me. I’m giving you the opportunity to know it and do it all while you are in college (and not end up regretting, like me). This might be the key to empower yourself after college and live a successful life. Read on.
You are on your own
The first thing that one should learn in College is that, you are definitely on your own. Many of us are miles away from our parents and thus, you are in charge of your own life from this moment on. So empower yourself, acquire the power of self discipline and don’t be afraid to make your own decisions! College is the start of real world. If you don’t work hard and defeat procrastination then you will fail. If you did something great, you get recognition.
Parent’s advice is great. Friend’s advice is better at times, but your own advice is best when you are in college. Because the truth is that you often already knew the answer to your own questions. You just need to have the courage to answer them and more courage to do them.
One thing that I’ve learned in College is that it is really expensive. There’s rent to pay, books to buy, projects to complete and before you know it, you are just way off your student loans. And unless you are living in the Upper East Side, you probably have parents that can’t afford it all. So start taking part time jobs, learn about finance management and make investing your top priority.
Successful entrepreneurs know that it is never too early to start making money and to start investing. If you have extra money, no matter how small it is, don’t just let it sit down try to put it into something that would give you a return. You can invest from risky stock market to a safe savings account. Research first before you invests. Finding a mentor to guide you to choose the right investment would also be a great idea. Often, banks have savings and investment plans designed to help a young person get started investing with limited funds, so you can also asked banks for advices.
Importance of building the right connections
As early as college, you need to choose the circles you want to belong with and the right connections; because often, they are the ones who you will be dealing with, whether it is on the business or personal side. “It’s all about who you know”. These connections are the ones who can help you land a job, hooked you up for an apartment for rent, a business partner to help you reach your career goals or simply a friend in need. Your room mate might be your maid of honor, your nerdy laboratory partner can be the next Steve Jobs and the person sitting next to you in your journalism class can be your future spouse.
Learn to take risks
While you are in college make sure you explore every possible avenue, find new experience, be open minded and take risks. Yes be an attacker while your spirits are at its height. Well, maybe not all. Just try the risk worth taking and avoid those that are plainly stupid like taking drugs or cheating on your final exams. Successful people know that the courage to put a risky vision on the line is the key to breakthroughs and success. By engaging in new behaviors, you would know your limits, practice decision making and discover where you are truly good at and later build self acceptance.
Surely I’ll get a lot of negative feedbacks when I say that college is not about education. It is about immersion in a community. The degree itself is just a little percentage of what it teaches students. Important things in life are also learned like the examples mentioned above. So do you have any other things you wish college had taught you? Comment on the space below. You can also share some of your memorable college experiences and tag your friends too, we will be happy to read it.