Most teenagers are told that their college years will be the best in their lives. But, sometimes, it’s not until after they enter the real world that they discover more about what they should have done in college. It’s not just about getting decent grades and having fun. It’s about giving yourself a stepping stone, and here are a few reasons why that is important.
Nobody can get you a job but you.
Let’s say that you enter college, and you decide to choose Journalism as your major. But, you also join a Greek organization, and that takes up a lot of your time. It occurs to you that you should try to join the school newspaper, but the only position available is for a photographer. You pass on that and never try again. Four years later, you try to get a job writing for a magazine, but you keep getting rejected.
Here’s the thing: you may have to start out as a photographer for the college newspaper, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll stay in that role forever. Once you become friendly with the staff, and you express your interest in writing articles, the time will come for you to do what you really wanted to do in the first place.
You should never underestimate the importance of getting involved in something that will help you in the future. Writing for a newspaper may not be your end goal when you graduate, but the fact that you will have experience meeting deadlines will provide future employers with insight about you as a writer. It’s better to have some history of working in your chosen field than to have none at all.
Some skills can’t be taught in a classroom.
Truer words were never spoken. It doesn’t matter how good of a student you are, a textbook cannot prepare you for the challenges of being in the real world. Certainly, group projects can give you a taste of working with people who have different opinions. But, dealing with conflict and making decisions are key abilities when entering the workforce. Consider stepping into a leadership role while in college. Don’t simply join an organization and blend into the background. That approach won’t score you any points (or decent raises) when you get a job after college.
You never know who can help you in the future.
Once you’ve gathered a close group of friends in college, it may seem pointless to keep trying to meet new people. But, the truth is, networking can really pay off later in life. You may not know how someone can help you right now, but keeping in contact with the people you’ve met in college could lead to a job opportunity for you some day. Today’s social media environment allows people to stay connected in a pretty informal way. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a lot of contacts after you graduate.