What I Learned in College

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With only two weeks until graduation, I've been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on my past few years. There have been sad tears and happy tears. I've learned a lot and grown so much. For those who's college career is just starting, listen in. 

1. Buy an external hard drive. I had a super close call last winter finals week. I had my whole capstone presentation saved on my computer as well as study guides for my exams when I decided it would be a good idea to update my computer. Instead of the update crashing my computer it gave me a notice saying my hard drive would fail in the next few days. I jumped in my car at 8:30 on a Monday and sped to Best Buy to buy an external hard drive before I lost everything. I now have a calendar reminder to backup my computer on the first of every month to avoid close calls like that again. I know too many people who have lost everything because their hard drive failed. 
2. Invest in a planner, calendar or download Evernote on your computer/phone. In college you are thrown into a much more mature version of school. Teachers aren't responsible for reminding you of tests and assignments coming up, you just have to know. I'm a traditionalist and love my planner but Evertnote has recently changed my life.
3. Make a plan for your day the night before. I'm so much more productive when I wake up and know exactly what I need to get done that day. Nothing is worse than lolly gaging around all day then realizing that night all that you were supposed to do. Plus checking things off a to-do list just feels so good. 
4. Learn to say no. Saying no is okay. FOMO is a big thing in college. There is always something fun going on or something you would rather be doing. It's important to know how to say no and be responsible with what you should really be doing with your time. 
5. It's okay to go to bed at 10:00 p.m. (or sometimes earlier). I'm a huge early to bed, early to rise person. I used to get self conscious that I was missing out, but then I quickly realized I would much rather be sleeping than anything else. Sleep is the number one thing you need in college, don't let it go to the bottom of your to-do list.
6. All nighters are in no way productive. On the note of sleep, don't think just because you go to college you have to pull an all nighter. Sleep before a test is especially important. Even if you are down to the wire and need to cram, just go to sleep. You won't retain whatever you tried to study at 4 am. Fun fact I've never pulled an all nighter.
7. Don't have beginning of seamster freak outs. I was notorious for this. At the beginning of every semester I freak out and panic about everything I have going on that semester. I contemplate dropping a class, second guess my part time job etc. I end up laughing at myself a few weeks later when I realize how manageable things are, it just takes a few weeks to get in a new routine.
8. Stay in the word to help keep you on track. Faith and fellowship is so important to help you through your years in college. I love this site for daily devos.
9. You're GPA doesn't define you or really matter. Learn a lot but most importantly get experience. Through all the interviews I've done recently, no one has ever asked for my transcript or GPA. They want to know what work experience and skills you have, not what grade you got in your history class.
10. Invest in a few good professional clothing items. Whether it be for an interview of a class presentation "business causal" clothes are always a good staple to have. Everyone can tell if try to make your tight black going out skirt professional by throwing an oversized blazer with it. Trust me it's not a cute look.
11. Drinks with fancy names give you a headache the next day, keep it simple. Just saying.
12. Graduation is harder and sadder than you could even think. This is my current realization. You may get to the end of the road and think you are ready for it, but nothing can prepare you for how you will feel. Soak it all up in those last few weeks. 


Advice: What to Know for Post Grad Life

The big bad real world is creeping in on me. I may have found a place to live, but I'm still jobless. If you too are about about to graduate or recently did than you understand the stress it brings. It's a LOT harder to find a job than it seems. I'm so sick of the "so do you have a job yet, what are your plans, do you know what are you doing after graduation?" Isn't graduating college enough for your satisfaction? Why do people have to ask the dreaded question of what your next step is? It only adds to the anxiety of the situation. 

I'm prone to anxiety and like to create unneeded stress. I've honestly had a few minor anxiety attacks during this whole job search thing. It's hard because I'm normally a very confident person and have everything planned out. When it comes to my future plans, it's not so easy to stay confident. To ease my worries I turned to some trusted sources to ask what advice they would give a future or recent college grad. 

1. Your first job doesn't have to be your last job.
Don't be afraid to start somewhere to get experience and then move on to somewhere else. 

So funny story, both of my older sisters sent literally the exact same advice. One had 6+ jobs in 6 months when she first moved to New York and the other took a semester doing random temp jobs while also working at a stationery store until she landed a career position. This isn't throwing them under the bus, but just showing that it's okay if you don't have a steady paycheck right out the door. It will happen eventually. 

2. With that being said, be persistent in your job search.
Don't get discouraged, it will all work out. There are lots of changes ahead, step out of your comfort zone & try new things!

3. Get out, make plans, stay social.
In college all of your friends are at arms length, but in the real world everyone is scattered. It's important to make the effort to make plans so you don’t fall into being that person who goes home right after work, makes dinner and goes to bed by 9 every night. 

4. College is fun but post grad is fun too.
The transition is tough but it will get easier. I feel like I've always been told to enjoy college while you can because the real world is terrible. What kind of motivation to graduate is that? All stages of life are fun just in different ways. Don't fear the world after college, it has its perks (like money)!!

5. Now for some funny, but true advice. 
Your alcohol tolerance will cease to exist, your parents will stop giving you allowance, and you will stop buying going out clothes and only buy work clothes.

Don't stress future grads, we are all in this together! It really is going to be ok.