5 Things College Students Must Do Now to be Successful Later
Heading off to college is a major turning point for young people. It often marks the end of adolescence and the beginning of young adulthood where individuals learn whether they have what it takes to sink or swim; to survive on their own, without the ever-watchful eye of mom or dad. In college and beyond, they have the opportunity to seek out an independent life for themselves where they can prove their ability to manage their lives and provide for all their needs, or they learn a painful lesson about everything that their parents truly did for them.
Even still, many people look back on their college years fondly and with nostalgia over the ease with which they once lived when their sole focus was graduation. However, for those who want to live an independent life post-graduation, rather than move back in with mom or dad, college also represents an important place to pick up other skills to prepare for in life as well as a future career. It can be tempting to waste those college years away with the lure of parties and social functions, but truly, one needs to be proactive if he has bigger plans for later life.
The following are five things that someone can do now, while still on campus, that will greatly impact their life beyond graduation day.
Get to Know Your Professors
When you’re in school, not only is it your job to get good grades but also to learn as much as you can in order to help you in your future career. In addition to paying attention in class, taking the time to build a relationship with the expert in the room, your professor, can mean great things for your learning potential. We’re not suggesting that you need to become buddy-buddy with them or get invited over for drinks and Thanksgiving dinner, but cultivating that relationship as it relates to their area of expertise and your area of study can be an important step in future networking.
Perhaps staying after class to clarify your understanding of a point made in the lecture, or seeking their advice related to reports and research projects may open the door for them to feel comfortable writing a more specific letter of recommendation. It may also give them the opportunity to start introducing you to future employers, or it can simply help you earn an endorsement within their LinkedIn network. Take advantage of their office hours, especially the professors whom you admire, and whose career you would like to emulate.
Get to Know the College Career Office
Within its doors, your school’s college career department houses countless services for helping you to get career-ready. Do not limit yourself into thinking that the services offered are beneath you or not meant for you. Truly, these services are an important opportunity to avail, and post-graduation, private coaches offering similar help can cost a small fortune.
The career office can assist you in identifying your strengths and how they might fit into a future career path. They can also assist with you learning to write a proper resume and cover letter as well as connecting you with potential employers or internship opportunities. Many career centers host mock interviews as well, and they can help you learn to network effectively.
Get an Internship or Part Time Job
Doing something valuable with your time. An internship or part-time job can also be an important way to spend your college years. It can help you to appear like a more well-rounded candidate when applying for jobs or grad school, and a job especially can also help to finance extra expenditures throughout the years, or can help you make the wise choice of setting aside money to pay back loans.
You will also have the opportunity to get some real-world experience in either setting, and enhance your skills of perseverance, dedication and hard work. The chances of your internship turning into a job is realistic when you choose something you’re passionate about and put in the work, and it is something to consider when you’re deciding how to spend your time.
Learn About Budgeting and Personal Finances
Being aware of personal budgeting helps someone to plan ahead in ways that help them avoid the pitfalls of poor decision-making when it comes to their future finances. Learning to manage your own financial situation is a skill that saves time and energy as well as many headaches down the road. It is essential to learn how to plan for all of your expenses and to start saving during college so that when you are ready to enter in the professional life you will know how to manage it well.
Take Care of your Mental Health
Of course, all of these previous steps are built upon the foundation of having a good mental attitude and being in a state where you are able to pursue health and well-being while thinking about the future. If your anxiety is keeping you from going to class, your depression is keeping you in bed. You may also be worried about your drug or alcohol use or you fear that your mental health may be deteriorating into something worse, and it is unlikely that you will be able to continue to be successful in navigating college life.
Taking care of your mental health is vital in ensuring the possibility of your success. You can start by visiting the campus counseling center, and you may be referred to seek the services of a program like Launch Centers that can help you with getting your mental health back on track.
Good mental health enhances the person’s potential to handle and manage the coming challenges with a more positive approach that leads towards solutions. Learn more about our plan to help you get back on track, and pursue the life you want, or request a call back to speak with someone directly!