graduating, college grad
CAREER / 10 April 2017
Thoughts and Tips from a Graduating Senior
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Kelly Nguyen

It’s hard to believe that 4 years has passed by since I was a freshman. As I walked out from my last final, I thought, “Oh my god. I’m finally done with my undergrad career!” It’s crazy because I can still remember the first day of freshman year like it was yesterday.

Sadly, there’s no instructional manual on how to make the most out of your college experience. Sure there are a lot of parental tips but I put together a few thoughts and tips from a graduating senior. Of course, no one will be there to hold your hand and lead you through your decisions, but there are some resources that can guide you. Looking back, I know that there are definitely a couple things I would’ve done differently – things I wish someone had told me before I started my journey.

Here are a few things every college student should know: 

  1. Time management is vital!
    It’s always important to manage your time wisely – especially in college. It’s important to strike a balance between school and your social life. You don’t want to let one overwhelm the other. That’s why it’s important to create a schedule you can stick to. That way, you can get your work done AND still have time to party.  

  2. Attend class every single day.
    Seriously. It’s important to go to class every single day, even if you’re feeling lazy and unmotivated. One missed day of lecture could mean missing out on an entire chapter’s worth of material. A lot of things can happen in one school day, so don’t skip class. You just might miss out on something important!  

  3. Go make as many friends as you can!
    Networking is important. That’s why it’s a good idea to go meet as many people as you can and create as many personal relationships as you can. Your friends could potentially be the links to new opportunities. Remember, your net worth is only as good as your network.

  4. Find a mentor.
    A mentor is a great way to get some guidance throughout your college years. A mentor can be a friend, a professional connection, or it can even be a professor. Find someone who can help ease your transition into college and provide advice along the way. Your undergrad career will benefit with the help from an expert.

  5. Go to office hours.
    If you find yourself struggling in your classes, ask for help. There’s no shame in asking your TA or professor for help. That’s what they’re there for! It’s better to ask for help than to fall behind. Not to mention the fact that TAs and professors also make great mentors/professional references!  

  6. Internships and work experience are extremely important!
    I can’t even begin to stress how important internships and work experiences are. Nowadays, job recruiters that have had prior work experience, which is why it’s important to find an internship during your college years. An internship or a part time job is the key to getting your foot in the door – regardless of whatever industry you want to be in. It is the key to the start of a successful career path.

  7. Pick up as many technical skills as you can.
    Interested in learning how to code or learning about search engine optimization? Take the time to learn it! It’s a great idea to pick up as many technical skills as you can while you’re in college. Many jobs require a variety of technical skills, which is why it’s important to take some classes or training courses to brush up on these skills. By picking up new skills, you’ll be adding more to your resume, which can seriously impress recruiters.

  8. Constantly update and edit your professional profile
    It’s important to always be updating and editing your digital profile and resume. Before you land any job you'll be selling or pitching yourself to employers, so take advantage of your university’s career resources. Get professional help and create a great profile + cover letter. Job hunting will be much easier in the future.

  9. Manage your finances well!
    It may be tempting to go out to eat with your friends all the time. It’s just a dollar or two; no big deal, right? Wrong. Eventually, these dollars begin to stack up, and you may find yourself stuck paying off tons of credit card bills. Budget wisely, and learn to say “no.”

  10. Get some sleep! 

Above all, get some rest. You deserve it.

For more professional college advice, visit ProSky’s Career Buzz and stay up-to-date with our latest articles!