Let me start out by saying that being the valedictorian of your high school is an incredible achievement. It is something that I strived to achieve most of my high school career. However, as much as I devoted myself to perfecting my grades, I did not meet the one goal I had set for myself. At the end of my senior year I was crushed by the realization that I would never be able to live up to my Rory Gilmore persona of being valedictorian of my high school. As I moved on from this disappointment and arrived at college I came to understand that I still had the potential to be successful. Through a year of trial and error, I gathered three essential practices that I believe are needed to achieve your fullest potential in college and will be sure to help you in your future career endeavors even if you did not graduate high school with honors.
Pursue Your Passions
I can not stress enough the importance of picking a major that is right for you. Making the decision to pick a major based on the opinions of your family or friends will only cause you unhappiness in the long run. You do not want to go through life regretting the decision to graduate with a major that you were not truly excited to get. Attending college to pursue a degree that you are actually passionate about will change your whole outlook on your post high school education. It will cause you to become more dedicated to learning and will often times deter you from wanting to skip classes that are vital to your future. Being passionate about your future career endeavors will also help to motivate you to hold higher levels of leadership in your future workplace. Employers are more likely to hire or promote you if your resume is backed up with a clear passion of your work.
After choosing a major that is right for you, it is essential to determine how you will become involved on campus. Focusing on your field of study and achieving good grades in college should undoubtedly be one of your first priorities. However, it is also extremely important to branch out and grow your list of extra-curricular activities as well. Every college campus offers so many amazing opportunities to join clubs, greek organizations, student governments and much more. Taking advantage of these opportunities will lead to a more fulfilled and well-rounded college experience. You will gain leadership experience, time-management skills, and the ability to work better with diverse groups of people. Future employers will likely take into consideration the fact that you were not only devoted to your education in college, but that you also gained a great deal of real world experience by taking advantage of the involvement opportunities your campus had to offer.
Communicate & Network
Once you increase your involvement on campus you will inevitably meet a ton of new people. You will become acquainted with individuals from all walks of life and it will be important to get to get to know as many of these people as possible. By putting yourself out there and communicating with others you will be granted the opportunity to make important connections that could later on further your success in college and in your future career. It has been said for many years now that landing your dream job is as much about whom you know as what you know. Networking is absolutely a key aspect to success. You never know if a person you met in college will end up being employed by the company that you dream of interning or working at. If you left them with a good impression of yourself in college then their high regards of you could be a huge determining factor if you land the job or not.