Hello everyone! Today I decided to mix it up a little bit and make a post about tips that I wish I would have known going into my first year of college. As a first generation student, I knew little about what I was getting myself into when it came to college. My first year of college I made a lot of mistakes,
that I now wished I had not. Through my entire undergrad career, I attended three different schools before graduating with my degree in 3.5 years. Listed below are ten tips that I feel would have helped me.
1. Do what YOU want to do
Personally, I feel the biggest thing that I struggled with as a undergrad student was choosing a major. Originally, I started out in nursing because I felt that it was the most sensible option for someone that had little knowledge in different college majors. However the semester before starting the program, I realized that while I loved science and the prerequisites that nursing required, I did not have a passion for the field itself. After crying for a LONG TIME because I felt like I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life and that I would be a disappointment to my family, I found social work. When I told my family that I wanted to switch to social work my nuclear family was very supportive, but my extended family was not. My extended family felt that I was going to be poor, that I would not be applying myself enough, and that I would not be happy. However, with the support of my parents I switched schools and started the social work program. It was my first day of social work classes that I knew that I had picked the right school and right major. The moral of tip number 1 is that it is YOUR LIFE and that you are the one that has to work in this career.
2. Pick a school that is a good fit for YOU
When picking a school, I originally chose a school that was 8 hours away from home. However, my family has always been very close and I knew that it would tear me apart if I moved that far away. Also, I have always been very financially aware and I decided that community college would be a good place to start because it allowed me to save $40,000. However, community college is most defiantly not as luxurious as state school and I understand that it is not the best fit for everyone. The main thing that I want people to take away from this tip is not pick a school just because your friends are going to it, pick a school that is known widely for the major you want to go into. Pick a school where when you step on to the campus you feel like you belong, because you are going to be there for a LONG TIME.
The only way you can really know that you are picking the right career path is by knowing what that career truly consists of, which can be done multiple ways. For those wanting to go into the health field, a great way to get experience is by volunteering at your local hospital a couple of hours or days a week. For those wanting to go into the law field, ask to observe a lawyer or even take a drive with a police officer (in the front seat of course;). For those wanting to pursue a social service field, agencies are ALWAYS looking for volunteers to work with different populations. For those wanting to pursue the beauty field, apply to different salons as a secretary. While none of these above jobs may be luxurious, they are a STEP in the right direction. Getting experience not only helps you realize if your going into the right field, but will give you something to put on your resume as well!
4. Join Clubs
Something that I stress to all high school seniors is to join clubs! When I attended my first university, I joined a service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega. Through the service fraternity, I developed relationships with people that I still connect with today. There are hundreds of clubs in college and clubs are a great way to meet new people that share the same interests as you. When I went to college, I knew absolutely no one and am an introvert by nature so I struggled with making friends. However, while rushing I was required to build relationships with people through different activities. Clubs also look great on resumes, if you obtain a position on the board.
While I was in my undergrad career, I spent way to much time focusing on my grades and to little time having fun. While my GPA was an advantage when it came to landing my first job, I wish I had taken more time to stop and smell the roses. College goes QUICK, it may not feel like it during finals and midterms, but before you know it your walking across the stage to recieve your diploma. Make sure you get your homework done, but do it with your classmates. Make sure to study, but study at the library with friends after a Starbucks run. Also, make sure to attend every home game, because those are the memories that will never fade!