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3 Realizations College Grads Made After Graduating
Friday, May 24, 2013

I'm sure there are plenty of times in your life that you've looked back and thought about how you could have done it differently, done it better. Of course you have, everyone has. College is an experience that many people would more than likely back and do all over again but with a few altered decisions.
If you're in college or thinking about attending it's probably because you're in pursuit of a better job. Naturally, this is the most common reason that people consider going and getting their degree but often by the time that these students make their transition into alumni, their outlooks have changed.
After graduation, a handful of students were asked what kind of advice they wish they could have given their college freshmen self in order to get the most success out of college. The words of wisdom they provided stemmed from lessons taught outside of the classroom by the most effective teacher there is: experience. Here is some of the insight they shared:

Visit the career center often.
The campus's career center is a building that many college students seldom make good use of. If you're lucky, someone from the career center will reach out to one of your classes and feed you some valuable information. College freshmen and sophomore are usually too excited about college life that they keep graduation thoughts aside. But really, before and while in college your thoughts should be centered around what comes after. After all, a degree is only as good as what you make of it.

Most college students have an idea of what kind(s) of careers they want to pursue with their degrees but many also have no clue of the specifics. The career center is there to guide you and help you pinpoint a specific career. This will then help you focus your curriculum for that particular job. College is essentially a blueprint, plan, a roadmap all pointing to one destination or final product. The better you stay on a determined course, the better your chances are for guaranteeing that you'll achieve the desired end result.

Take an interest in extra curricular activities.
In general, anything you do other than coursework and attending classes is pretty much voluntary and it does little to effect how well you do in school. It can, however, make a big difference in the kinds of opportunities available to you after graduation. Being proactive in activities beyond what's expected is valued in the job market.

Employers will see that you're taking the initiative to go above and beyond the bare minimum. Your involvement with community groups and organizations can often be the edge you need to land a competitive job position. Employers like to see people who have the drive to pair their academia with real world experience, and not because it was handed to them. College campuses are hubs of community involvement. Just find the flyer that interests you and get going!

Use your electives for both fun and your major.
Most major's allow you to have a lot of flexibility in the way you structure your class schedules. Some students might see the remaining units they're required to fulfill as a free for all in taking "easy" classes or classes they can take with their friends. Not to say that this is a bad thing but these units should be well-invested in to your major. For example, if you're a creative writing major, taking a bunch of biology classes that sound easy or interesting won't do much for you after graduation if you don't intend to use it in a practical way.

You want to be able to come out of college with a valuable skill. The most classes you take that are related to one another, the more expertise you'll gain in a certain discipline. So classes on different styles of writing or literature, and even theater, will be more useful to a creative writing major for their career. Your major should be first and foremost something that interests you that way, all your classes, both required and non, will be fun and useful to you.
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