Wednesday, February 18, 2015

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before College


As I am wrapping up my last semester as an undergrad I have been doing a lot of reflection on the last few years of my college attendence. Upon graduating from high school I was at a stand still, but I knew that furthering my education would be the best move for me. While I considered community college in attempts to save money, I ultimately decided that I wanted a true college experience by going to a university, The years have flown by and in less than 3 months I will be receiving my bachelors degree in marketing. I am excited yet I am truly scared of what is in store once graduate, however there is no doubt in my mind that I will not be successful. Here are a few things that I wish I could go back and tell myself before attending college.

1. Do Not Be Afraid To Leave Your Significant Other At Home
The summer before getting ready to go off to college I found myself a relationship. When the summer ended we were both wondering what would be next. I didn't want to let things end, but little did I know having a relationship back home would only hurt me more than it would help me. As hard as it was I eventually had to let go. Having a significant other back home may cause a lot of emotional stress and it may also cause you to miss out on a lot of great people. Months after finally cutting ties with him I met the current love of my life at a party at a mutual friends and we hit it off immediately. We have been in a relationship for almost 3 years (!!!) and I honestly could not be any happier. So if you are contemplating whether or not to leave him back at home take that chance! If it is meant to be it will work itself out, if not free yourself and enjoy your college experience the way that you should. You never know you may walk out of college with the love of your life <3

2. It Is Okay To Be Confused
Fresh out of high school it is hard to make decisions about your life in the future. For this reason it is okay for you major to be undecided as you enter college. Over time you will find a subject that will interest you so much that you would want to make a career out of it. When I first entered college I thought that I wanted to be an accountant. Huge mistake. After switching my major a couple of times throughout out my freshman and sophomore years I decided that marketing would be a great major for me.

3. College Is Nothing Like High School
Once I started school I knew that it would be a fresh start for me. Little did I know that college would be nothing like high school. For the most part this was a good thing . Being an introvert back in high school with only a few good friends, it was great to get be in a setting where I wasn't seeing the same people/cliques that I was seeing for the past 4 years. My freshman year of college I got to know a lot of great people. On there other hand college coursework is nothing like the work in high school, Back in the day I excelled in a majority of my classes by doing the bare minimum. In college this will not fly. You must put aside time to study for your courses or you will be pulling all-nighters the day before papers and tests are due in the library (as I was).

4. Take Advantage Of The Counseling Department
It was not until recently that I realized how truly helpful counselors and advisors can be. They help put you on the right path while you are making your way through college. Remember these people were once in your shoes: young college students with little guidance. They completely understand how hard it is to be so young and making decisions that will affect your career in the future. Not only are they great for advice, but actually take the time to get to know theses individuals personally. After getting to know you on a personal level they may be able to write you a great reference letter for jobs and internships in the future.

5. The Importance Of Internships
The best way to gain experience within your field is to intern. Over the past year I have gained lots of knowledge by interning. I have had opportunity become a social media intern for 4cHairChick Media Group (which was an amazing experience, btw) and most recently started interning for the marketing and communications department at my school. Overall I have gained and developed skills that will help me in the long run. Whether its paid or unpaid, having an internship not only looks good on your resume, but you will gain knowledge and insight that can last a lifetime. I have had the best of  luck finding internships online using Indeed and Internships.com, but even your school's career services can help you find the perfect internship for you.

4 years is a long time to spend in school. Why not make the best of it? Trust me it is going to fly by and the next thing you will know you will be walking across that stage with a diploma in your hand. Laugh, network, make friends, fall in love, pick up a new hobby, join a club or organization, and study hard! College is a life changing experience in which you will learn not only academically, but you will also learn about yourself.

xoxo,
Akilah


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