Make The Most Of College To Set Yourself Up For Life After Graduation

It’s crazy to think that a year ago, I was living in my sorority house, going to class, and doing the whole college thing while trying to figure out what I was doing after graduation. Here I am, about nine months post-grad with a job that I love and doing exactly what I wanted to do for so long. Time absolutely flies by! I can’t believe it, sometimes. 

Because I was a first generation college student, I really had zero idea what to expect. I didn’t know anyone else in college, so I had like zero guidance on how to navigate the college life, but I figured it out and I think that I used my four and half years in college to really set myself up for my life after graduation. In college I double majored, had two incredible internships, joined a sorority and held a leadership position, wrote and later became the social media coordinator and then senior editor for Her Campus, attended programs for distinguished media students, was a member of honor societies, worked on incredible media projects, started this blog, won awards, and met my people. 

College is an exciting time in your life, but it isn’t without struggles. It can be hard to navigate because not only is it new, but sometimes, it feels like it is forever, so we get stuck or don’t take advantage of that special time in our lives. College definitely doesn’t last forever, so it is important to make the most of that experience. When I look back at my college experience, I have absolutely no regrets. I did everything (and more) that I wanted. I was a good student, interned, and was really involved.

Related: Advice For The Incoming College Freshman

Get Involved
Most colleges have an organization or club fair and this is a great place to start. You can also attend something like BCM or go through sorority recruitment! Getting involved on campus is a great way to meet others and make friends.

Learn From Your Professors
I was super lucky to learn from professors who had real world experience and you probably will, too! Your professors have so much knowledge and can serve as a mentor when it comes to where you want to be post-grad. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or go to office hours if you need help with the class. I had awesome professors who were always willing to help! I also found out about internships and special programs from these professors. One of my professors wrote me a glowing letter of recommendation and was my number one reference when I was applying for jobs.

Intern Early
When I graduated, I had two internships, which really helped me get extra experience that helped me land my post-grad job! Interning not only gives you valuable experience, but also helps you figure out what you want to do after you graduate. I’ve known people who intern their last semester of college only to learn that they hated what they were doing and didn’t know if they actually wanted to pursue it as a full-time career. 

Take Chances
Gary Vee says that until you’re like 29, this is your time to just do you. You don’t really have too many obligations at this point, so take risks. Say yes to that exciting internship that seems scares you a bit because it is a big deal, study abroad for a semester, go on that late-night target trip, go to that frat party even though you have an 8 a.m. the next day. Do what makes you happy. Some of the my favorite memories came from me taking a chance, whether it was applying to be an intern at The Bert Show or deciding to go to a big frat party for the first time with my friends. Be fearless, do your thing, and never apologize for being your true self. 

Use Your In-Class Work To Your Advantage
I’ve saved my articles, packages, and other projects I did for all my journalism classes and used those when it came to applying for jobs. For jobs in media, more often than not, you need to submit a portfolio. You’ve got to show work, even for entry level positions. Because I did well on my assignments, I was able to use those to show potential employers that I can do the job they were asking. I was able to show that I know how to write hard and soft news articles, navigate social media and the digital space, and understood media all from projects I worked on for my college classes. 

Don’t let college go by without taking some steps to benefit your life after you walk across that stage and get your diploma. Your college years are so important and crucial to setting up your future. 


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