Last weekend I attended my alma mater’s alumni homecoming weekend. As part of this weekend, I signed up for a mentoring event within the business school. I was told that I could give a small presentation on a topic that the participating students would find valuable, and I was told I could choose one of a few different topics. The choices were “Networking Made Easy”, “Interviewing Tips”, or “Women in the Business World.” Obviously, I’m a little unqualified to speak about one of these topics, so it was a choice between interviewing and networking. Ultimately, I chose to speak about networking because of how pivotal it was for me finding my current job. Without the ridiculous amount of networking I did, I’d probably still be unemployed.
I’d like to apologize for my lack of posts lately. Having just graduated, I’m in the midst of a storm comprised of both rapid change and activity. I’ve finished classes, graduated, moved out of my apartment, moved back home, re-packed, moved back to my college town, and am preparing to begin full-time work next week. It’s been pretty hectic; this is my first chance to have a few hours alone at a computer in quite some time. As I write this post, I’m also reviewing my bucket list to update a few items I just realized I’ve completed during my college years.
If you recall from my last post, I applied to be the student speaker at my college commencement ceremony (I didn’t get it). In the process of applying, I was asked to create a draft of the speech I would give and read it in front of a panel. So although I didn’t get the honor of speaking (the student chosen over me was very qualified and delivered an excellent speach), the process of aggregating the lessons I’d wish to impart unto other students was a very valuable process in of itself.
So instead of letting my thoughts go to waste, I decided to re-post the speech I would have given in the hopes that others may benefit from it. Although there is some humor and specifics referencing my particular school (Binghamton University), the main lessons are applicable to all students and I believe college seniors and recent graduates will find the advice relevant and actionable. Enjoy!
There is famous saying that is often told to freshman in college: “Good grades, social life, sleep. Choose two.” Most people feel like they don’t have enough time to sleep, study, and maintain an active social life. However, I’ve found that it’s possible to balance all three. Here are three unconventional strategies that will help you keep your grades high while still being able to sleep well and have a social life:
1) Detach yourself from deadlines by starting every assignment early.
Do this by creating a 24-hour tether to your assignments (an idea originally discussed in the blog Study Hacks). Once an assignment is discussed in class, you must begin starting it within 24 hours, even if it’s just to outline some topics for a paper or sending out an e-mail to your team for a group project. The hardest part of any paper or big assignment is getting started, so by forcing yourself to start early, you will make your assignments MUCH easier and stress-free.
As my college graduation draws near, I thought it would be beneficial for me to summarize the lessons I’ve learned, in order to help those who are just beginning this priceless four years of their lives. This post will contain the five most valuable truths I’ve learned in my four years at school. I truly feel that it was because of these truths that I was able to take full advantage of what college had to offer me.
Let me just preface these lessons with one simple fact about college: it can be confusing, overwhelming, challenging, exciting, and crazy all at once. Nobody will have the “perfect” college experience because there is no such thing. The experience is different for everyone.
Furthermore, understand that mistakes, errors in judgment, and slip ups will occur along the way and this is perfectly normal, since growing as an individual requires lots of pushing beyond one’s comfort zone. Did I make lots of mistakes? Definitely. Do I wonder what my college experience what have been like if I had done certain things differently? Of course. So I don’t want these lessons to sound preachy. Rather, I wish that they will function as a helpful guide with a firm grounding in four years of experience.