Published November 5, 2014 (Original post here)
I don’t know about you, but during my junior and senior year of high school, my teachers always told me and my classmates what to expect from college and how our college careers should play out. What I didn’t know was how wrong they could be.
During my sophomore year of college my youngest sister was still in middle school and she was working on a project for one of her classes; the project: Write a report on what college you would like to attend and why. It was crazy for me to think that she was already being asked to figure out what she wants to do after high school, before she ever stepped foot in high school.
While she was working on her project she would tell me what her teacher told her about college, and I started remembering what my teachers told me about college, and then it dawned on me. Nobody talks about the truth.
Here’s what I believe to be the truth about college:
1. Just because you think you know what you want your future career to be, doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy the steps it takes to get there.
– YOU MAY NOT ENJOY THE JOURNEY, BUT FOCUS ON THE REWARD
Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to become a financial analyst for a major company. Cool, you like numbers and enjoy working with them. In order to get your degree you’ll need to take multiple financing classes, business law classes, maybe some economics classes, or some stock classes. You may also need to take general education courses like history, fine arts, science, etc.
2. It’s OKAY if you don’t know what you want to do!
– JUST BE PREPARED FOR ANY OPPORTUNITIES THAT COME YOUR WAY
In my mind this is probably the biggest thing people lie about. Some say that you need to know exactly where you want to go in your career, what company you want to work for, or what field you want to go in; to all of that I say no. College should be a time when you’re testing the waters and finding out things you’re interested in. For me, I unwillingly declared my major once I entered, and during my sophomore year I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay within my business major. However, I decided to stay and I found a field that I grew an interest in, which was marketing. So I picked it up as my minor, and I still don’t know exactly what to do, but I recently found out that some of the most “successful” people didn’t have a plan.
3. Professors don’t care.
– THE BETTER PROFESSORS WILL CARE MORE THAN YOUR PARENTS
I’ve had my share of horrible professors. You could tell that they didn’t want to be there or that they weren’t comfortable with what they were teaching. On the other hand, I’ve had professors who were excellent in every way. They had great insight into their respected field, they had experience, they were passionate, and they were truly interested in making sure that their students took away something valuable from their course. If you can find professors like that, keep them close because they’ll make a great reference!
4. Always buy the books.
– CUT COSTS, SHARE WITH A FRIEND
If you have friends that are in the same classes as you, agree to split the cost of a textbook (only if you need the book). By splitting the cost you’ll be able to save a lot of money in the long run and you don’t have to hold on to as many textbooks.
5. Getting As is everything.
– UNLESS YOU’RE GOING INTO A FIELD THAT REQUIRES A HIGH GPA, As AREN’T EVERYTHING
I went into college thinking that I needed to get a high GPA in order to be successful and get my dream job. I found out that if you’re going into a pretty general field, like business, you don’t really need to disclose to your employer what your GPA is/was. There are exceptions; if you want to land a high paying accounting job, finance job, get into Grad school, or technical fields, having a high GPA is extremely important because it’ll be one of the ways you catch the eyes of future/potential employers without even knowing it.
I know this is a lot to take in, but I think that this will help some graduating seniors or college freshman. Let me know what you learned about college that was completely different from what others have told you in the comments! I’m sure it can help others out there!