Enrolling in college life, you surely have big expectations. It is time that will bring you new knowledge and experience, friends and enemies, achievements and challenges, the basics of educational equity. You'll learn the hard way to start a successful career and make your dreams come true.
- How to Find a Job?
- How to Manage Your Finances?
- How to Find New Friends?
- How to Avoid Burnout?
- How to Get the Most Out of Software?
- How to Think Outside the Box?
Though college is a real school of hard knocks, there are some lessons that you should learn on your own. The earlier you understand this, the more time you have to fill the gaps. It doesn't mean that you should give up if you're already graduated. Make up for lost time with our actionable tips!
How to Find a Job?
After your graduation, the first thing you may find out is that employers don't want to hire you just because you have a diploma. Okay, it may work for Harvard or for the MBA in Singapore, but when it comes to a regular college, you should be ready for a real-world competition.
The good news is that if you realize this early, you have enough time to develop a plan of action and find the first job. What can you do to start a successful career?
Develop Your Soft Skills
Hard skills like computer science, accounting, SEO, etc. (depending on your major) are not enough for the job search. There are also soft skills that define how you work in a team, face challenges, fulfill your duties, and so on. Professors won't teach you:
- time management skills;
- communication skills;
- teamwork, etc.
You need to develop them on your own so that you can impress the future employer at the job interview. First of all, research and create a list of life skills that are necessary for your field. Decide what your strengths and weaknesses are. Your next actions will depend on certain skills. For example, if you want to develop your public speaking skills, you can attend the debate club on your campus.
Start Working on Your Resume
Professors encourage you to study a lot and devote all your free time to assignments. That's why most college graduates have an empty CV, and it doesn't give them a competitive edge in the market. If you have high ambitions, think about your resume in advance. You can:
- find a part-time job (and full-time for the summer period);
- look for summer internships;
- join volunteering projects;
- host some student clubs on your campus;
- develop in the academic field, e.g., publish your articles, conduct researches, etc.
How to Manage Your Finances?
Budgeting is a pretty complicated issue for most young people. In a country where student loans are very popular, it is difficult to manage finances and save money. Especially when nobody teaches you to do this.
There some efficient financial tips that you can try to put your financial affairs in order:
- avoid loans, it is better to find a scholarship or a part-time job;
- save at least 5-10% of monthly income "just in case";
- set long-term goals to save more money;
- install budgeting apps like Mint, Left to Spend, Money Wallet to control your expenses.
How to Find New Friends?
Some people are very communicative by nature, but there are also many introverts who need more time and effort to make friends. You may think that you can live without them, but it is a bad decision for your future career because all companies look for team-players. A college is a place where you can find like-minded people, people who know your pain points and are able to support you.
When your professors assign you group projects with other college students, get involved in work and communication. It is easier to focus on your part of the task only, but try to leave the comfort zone and communicate with your co-workers. Look for mutual topics, invite them to the cinema, ask them about their affairs, etc. Or you can use social media for your advantage: follow people you like, comment on their posts, initiate some interesting discussions. The third option is to join some college clubs e.g., the book club, the laboratory, the sports club, etc. If you've already graduated, stay in touch with your fellow students on social media, visit professional conferences, try hobbies where you can meet new people. These steps will take time and energy, but your efforts will surely pay off.
How to Avoid Burnout?
Burnout is a problem of the 21st century. On the one hand, modern students have various opportunities to live their best lives. But there is the second side of the coin where your educators expect you to be flawless. They expect you to devote free time to classes, home tasks, extracurricular activities, and they don't care whether you had enough sleep or rest.
Such pressure leads to burnout when you find yourself lack of energy. It can affect your academic performance, but what is more dangerous your mental health. So, how find the balance?
Organize Your Time
Time-management skills are necessary for college students not just because they help you to meet deadlines. They help you to avoid stress. When you plan your coursework writing in advance and divide it into several little milestones, you don't have to pull an all-nighter sacrificing your sleep or GPA.
Have Enough Rest
There may be periods when you should be concentrated on your studies, but it is impossible to stay focused in the long-term. Make sure you have enough slots for rest in your schedule, and we mean not only parties and meetings with friends. You need some time for idleness when you don't think about duties and deadlines. For example, you can install the Pomodoro application that remembers you to make short pauses between study sessions. Apps like Colorfy help you to relax. You can also create an own playlist with calm music that calms you down.
Go in for Sports
Physical activity makes your blood circulate well, and it is crucial for your brain, especially when you study a lot. We don't ask you to join the college sports team (it is pretty stressful as well), but you need at least an hour of walking daily. And when you have to pore over textbooks, make pauses for exercises that will clear your head and improve your body.
Ask for Professional Help
Deadlines are not the end of the world. If you feel bad, you can ask your professor to postpone the final date for you. If it is impossible, consider hiring a professional writing company to help you with college assignments. It is a good choice when you need to forget about your studies for a while and when you lack the energy to finish the task.
We live in a very noisy environment, and sometimes it is really difficult to find a cozy and silent place. When your brain is overload with thoughts, you need to make some effort to clear them out. Such applications for meditation like Calm, The Mindfulness App, Headspace will help you to get peace of mind.
Visit the Psyschoterapist
If you feel that previous tips are not enough and you're about to drop your studies, it is necessary to look for support. The chances are your college has a psychotherapist, or you can look for reviews online and find a decent professional who works with students.
How to Get the Most Out of Software?
Though all college students have smartphones and laptops, most professors are from the previous century. They are not really good at computers and modern software. But you can't survive with technical skills in the real-life, so take your time to master applications and programs that will come in handy at your career path:
- Microsoft Office;
- Adobe Suit;
- Google Drive;
- Audacity, etc.
You can find online courses to master new skills or just install the software and try (gen Z is pretty good at working with software!) You can use these tools for your college projects, put some works to your cover letter, add skills on LinkedIn, and so on. Besides, it is also necessary to remember about cybersecurity rules and use antiviruses, VPN, 2F-authorisation to protect your devices from hackers and scammers.
How to Think Outside the Box?
A college education is based on rules and patterns because it is impossible to find a personalized approach to each student. However, the real world is not predictable, and you have to be flexible when facing challenges. It means your brain should be trained to make quick decisions and think outside the box.