When I first came to college, many people offered advice. I quickly learned you can’t take everyone’s suggestions. After all, it is your college experience. You have to figure out what works for you. You can’t learn from other people’s mistakes; you have to make your own. It will be a roller coaster ride of highs and lows and some days, you’ll wonder which direction you’re going.
I have grown exponentially throughout my time at Ohio State and I’ve learned lessons that will help me find success beyond college. While I said you can’t take everyone’s suggestions, I compiled a few pieces of underrated advice that I believe can help all college students make the most of their time in school.
Learn to Prioritize
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you have to get everything done immediately. Pay attention to deadlines, make a to-do list accordingly and know when to call it a day. It is more difficult to have a work-school-life balance in college because there is always something you feel like you should be working on, but there are things on your list that can always wait until tomorrow.
Sleep, and all forms of self-care, should be a priority on everyone’s list of to-dos. We cannot deliver our best work when we are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and burnt out. Self-care is not going to put you behind; it’s going to keep you ahead of those who do not take time to refresh.
Feed your Soul; Don’t Fill your Resume
So much pressure is put on college students to gain the perfect experiences so you can look like a well-rounded person on a resume. In my opinion, filling your resume with a bunch of experiences that look great on paper, but you don’t enjoy or feel passionately about, is a total waste of time.
It’s cliché, but life, and college especially, is too short to do things that don’t truly inspire you, thrill you or help you grow. Never take an internship or job for money and never join a club or start to volunteer for an organization you aren’t interested in simply because you think it is what you are “supposed” to do. Look a little harder, and I guarantee you’ll find something that is more than a bullet point on your resume.
Ask for what you Want
This is one piece of advice I wish I had taken earlier in my college career. Networking and getting where you want to go requires you to step outside of your comfort zone to ask for help.
Reach out to professionals you admire and ask for a meeting to talk about their career; they are going to say yes. People love to talk about themselves and if you did your research to even know they exist, they are going to be flattered and want to help in any way they can.
This is where asking for what you want comes in. Be honest about your goals and ambitions, tell them what you want, and if they can’t personally give it to you, they will connect you with someone who can.
Leave Room for the Unexpected
If you’re anything like me, you try to fill every hour of every day. While I don’t regret being involved and embracing everything that Ohio State had to offer, I believe I should have left a little more room for unanticipated possibilities.
Opportunities were presented to me throughout college that I had to turn down because I did not have the time to devote to them. I’m not saying wait around for opportunity to come knocking at your door, but leave some room in your schedule, and your life, because you never know what could happen as your college years unfold.