To the High School Class of 2012

To the high school class of 2012:

Congratulations!

By now, if you are planning on going to college, you should have received your acceptance letters and chosen the school you will spend the next 4 to 5 years, learning and broadening your mind. I remember just 5 years ago when I was in the same position you are right now. I have learned so much about college that I thought I would share with you in this post. I feel that if I would have known these little tidbits when I went to college, it would have lightened my stress load and made my life a lot easier.

Tips for your college career:

1. Don’t be afraid if you do not know what you want to major in. You can’t predict what you will want to do 5, 10, 15 years down the road, but do your best to figure out what you are interested in. Which brings me to…

2. Take lots of different classes your first year. Think you are interested in philosophy? Take a class. Interested in architechture? Take a class. But remember this with one caveat..

3. Do not get a degree with a major in something that cannot guarantee you a job when you graduate. As in, get a degree in one of the B-STEM majors: business, science, technology, engineering or math. The world does not need more psychology majors or art majors. If you are interested in art, go to an art school, not a major university.

4. Get a minor or double major in the subject that you are truly interested in. Really love 17th century French literature? Get a minor in it, and if you have the time, major in it. But do not put it as your priority major. You will have the rest of your life to learn all you can absorb about 17th century literature.

5. Learn to like your major. Even if you don’t love it, learn to appreciate it and the fact that the job you will get from getting a good major will help finance whatever future career changes you decide on.

6. Learn good study habits. If you find yourself lacking in good study skills, find a seminar or a tutoring center that will teach you good study habits. If the ones they teach you don’t seem to work for you, do more research until you find something that works for you.

7. Don’t make school your entire life. Be social! Take breaks from studying (just not too many) to make new friends and hang out with them outside your dorm. Explore the surrounding area and try new activities and hobbies.

8. Learn how to cook healthy foods and continue (or start) exercising. This will help prevent the freshman 15 and will help prepare you for a life of healthy eating. Habits you develop in college will stick with you for a long time and will be incredibly hard to break. Don’t get in the habit of eating whatever you want, whenever you want. Only eat when you are hungry.

8. Apply for internships for the summer after your freshman year, starting in October. Yes, I know that sounds early, but if you can get any kind of internship, even one completely unrelated to your major, it will help you later on when you do try to get an internship in your field of study. Example: I interned for a summer at a local museum, even though my major was chemistry. My current employer liked that I some job experience in an office setting (as opposed to working as a barista or a waitress) and gave me an internship, which led to my current job.

9. Make as many contacts as you can. Remember people’s names, even if it’s just the guy who makes your morning coffee. You never know, he might turn out to be a business man that you can call on later in life to finance your new startup.

10. Realize that college is nothing like the real world and that it will indeed end. In the real world, you will have a more structured day, a nicer place to live and you will be able to enjoy the activities you cultivated in college. College is simply a step that shows employers that you can learn quick and be a hard worker. They don’t care if you could write the best paper or bombed that one test. They only care that you got that degree and any work experience you get during college. AKA, don’t sweat the small stuff. Life will get better, no matter if you love or hate college.

 

Feel free to add any more tips that you wished you had known when you went to college.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Katy

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