Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Started College

photo: Free People

When you are about to start college, the mystery of the unknown feels both alluring and scary. Just like with any new life chapter, you can never be fully prepared, but there is always something you can learn from other people’s experience. Here are a few things I wish I realized before I became a college student.

#1 What you learn outside is often more important than what you learn in class.

Get yourself out there. Go to events. Talk to people. Travel whenever you can. Explore.

#2 Sometimes your extracurricular activities and achievements matter to your future employer more than your GPA.

In the long run, internships, volunteering, and international exchange projects will look much better on your resume than that A+ paper on political economy.

#3 It’s okay to be unsure about your career path.

A lot of times, you won’t find out what you really like doing until you try doing it.

#4 Don’t choose your major based on what you think will help you make the most money.

Follow your passions, and money will catch up.

#5 Knowing how to style your hair and choose presentable outfits is just as important as knowing how to write stellar business letters.

Practice regularly.

#6 The most outrageous professors are the ones you will reminiscence about most, often with a smile.

#7 Life outside college abides by different rules.

Being an educated person able to memorize large volumes of material is helpful, but it is not enough. Learning how to build relationships is more important for your future career than learning how to properly quote Internet sources in MLA style.

#8 If you live in the US, you can save a lot of money on your education by getting it abroad.

#9 Getting your studies over with in your early 20s is much easier than finishing your degree while working full-time.

#10 You really don’t need an unlimited meal plan, especially if you use your student loan money to pay for it.

#11 Don’t use studying as an excuse for procrastinating on your dreams.

If you want to become a blogger, write and publish. If you want to build a start-up, connect with young entrepreneurs. Take a small step every day. Take advantage of the time that you won’t have later.

#12 You don’t have to be afraid to disappoint anyone, except yourself.

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