By Oksana Sbitneva
Many people perceive college as a time for reveling in one’s newfound freedom and trying to make the most out of youth before one irrevocably joins the workforce. However, it is also a crucial period in life when you create a foundation of all your future success – or failure. And while having a really good time can leave some pretty pleasant memories, preparing for the future should take precedence.
Here are 4 things you should do when at college – because you probably won’t have a chance to take a shot at them later.
1. Build Connections
One of the most important assets you may acquire is connections, acquaintances, social ties – and college is one of the best periods in your life to do so. The importance of a well-established and wide social network can hardly be overestimated – especially if you really go out of your way and get in touch with people outside your immediate circle of interests and activities. Later on they may help you find a job, get a contract, provide a valuable insight, get you in touch with the right people – free of charge.
2. Acquire Additional Skills
Perhaps now you believe that your chosen major is going to become a basis for your future career – but don’t be too sure. Life sometimes takes unexpected turns, and you may be incapable of finding the right job, or get disappointed in your chosen path, or simply find other interests. Use the time of relative lack of responsibilities to acquire additional skills, preferably from other fields of knowledge.
3. Work towards Your Professional Goals
Don’t perceive your college years as a respite before adulthood when you can afford not to think what you are going to do with your life. The best thing you can do now is to build a plan of what you intend to do in the next ten years and work towards fulfilling it: what job you are going to look for, what skills you will need and so on. Absolute majority of successful people aren’t geniuses: they simply set up a goal and steadily move on towards it. So, if your dreams involve having a time of your life in Dubai or something along these lines, you may want to plan ahead.
4. Find a Job
Getting a job to pay a part of your college expenses will go a long way in establishing your financial stability. Firstly, the less college debt you have, the better. Secondly, having a real job works incredibly well in building up self-discipline, determination and people skills.
You may ask: when am I going to find time for all this? The answer is simple: if you really want to, you will. If you want something done, ask somebody who is already busy, as the old saying goes – paradoxically, but the less time you have, the more efficiently you are forced to use what little you have. Don’t neglect this principle, and you will be amazed how easy it is to drop things that don’t really matter.
Oksana is a student of English literature department and a freelance journalist. As a current student she is interested in trends in education and she would like to share her experience with community.