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Ah, college. Let’s be real here for a bit: sometimes we have no idea what we’re doing here. We find ourselves asking, “what is this place and how did I get here? Mom, dad, where are you?” We will never know why our blissful childhoods had to come to an end. Sure, we still get excited about Fruit Roll-Ups whenever we see them. And yeah, we’re still not over Mufasa’s death in The Lion King. You’re not a true 90’s kid if you can’t relate either of those. We should all embrace our inner child when possible.

But unfortunately, grammar, middle and high school are over. College is our last chance really to turn into responsible human beings. The real world is upon us and we should start to get ready for that transition.

Transition? You mean this confusing place where I party my pants off and study the ethics of economics [basically] in the same room isn’t going to last forever? No, no it will not.

Many people never really get out of the college mindset, though. We’ve all heard of those guys that live with their parents forever. THEY EXIST. Don’t let that be you. Those are people who get lost in the crowd. They didn’t prepare for the future, so they  went backwards in life, failing to make a name for themselves. Remember that if you begin to take little steps towards responsibility, being an adult isn’t so bad.  Living in your parents’ basement is what could happen if you don’t follow these 10 ways that could boost your resume.

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1. Follow your own path

It’s SUPER easy to conform to what surrounds you. What your friends are doing. What your family tells you to do. What’s in-style and SO last season.  Shaving your legs because society says so. You should do what you want regardless of what others are doing. If you want to take a semester off to volunteer in Costa Rica, do it! If your parents want you to become a doctor but you want to follow your passion for music, make that music dream happen. Remember that this is your life and you should live it how you want to. You’re not going to want to look back saying I wish I had done this or that. Having independence is very admirable and respectable. Being able to make decisions for the well-being of yourself should begin now and will undoubtedly set you apart from those who do something just because they see others doing it.

2. Get a job

Getting a job is a great way to 1) learn something about responsibility 2) make money. It’s a win-win. Many of you probably have jobs like work study or something else that gives you spending money for the weekends. Time management and customer service skills will become second nature for you. These are small things that will go a long way for the rest of your life.

3. Stay busy – get involved!

So maybe you’re not eligible for a work study job or you don’t have a car on campus to get to an off-campus job. That’s okay! But you should probably do something else on campus to keep busy when you’re not doing homework. You’ve heard this a thousand times before: join a club. If you think you have a great taste in music, join the radio club and play your tunes for the school. If you play a sport but are…too cool for the collegiate level, join a club sport like the soccer team! It’s a great way to make friends and have something to look forward to during the week. Also, if your resume states that you were part of a club, it shows that you didn’t just study all of the time – you studied AND got involved with your campus community. Being able to balance responsibilities will prove to be important for years to come.

4. Gain experience – look for internships.

It’s never too early to gain experience. Don’t wait until senior year or even after to get an internship. I know that a heavy course load is a good reason to prolong the search. But sometimes internships really don’t ask for that many hours from you a week. It doesn’t hurt to see what options you have out there. And who knows, maybe some of those opportunities would be paid! You have nothing to lose – check out these sites that make the internship search easy.

5. Study abroad

Studying abroad is the best thing you could do for yourself , especially at this point in your life. You’re young! You’re a student! The world is your playground! Studying abroad will introduce you to so many parts of yourself that you had no idea were there. You will learn how to be an efficient traveler. You will make friends in unexpected places. You will learn how both big and small our world really is. While you go abroad to primarily study, you will learn so much beyond the textbooks. What you learn while abroad does change a part of you – but don’t let this scare you. You will come back as the same person who left….just go study abroad and see what I mean when you return. It’s not a bad change. It’s an appreciative difference.

6. Make goals

Make goals for both the short term and long term. Short term goal example: get a 90 or above on my next micro exam. Long term goal example: get at least an A- in micro. If you set goals for yourself, you are more likely to achieve some sort of accomplishment. You have to know your destination before you get in the car. If you didn’t know where you were going, that would just be plain silly.

7. Stay motivated

In order to make your goals, you need to stay motivated! “How do I stay motivated to do well on a micro exam when I have 5 Netflix shows to catch up?” you may ask. Well my friend, you should probably use Netflix as a reward system. Or learn the word, “priority.” You spent 500 dollars on a micro textbook not to mention the amount of tuition you pay. That money won’t just hand you over a degree – you gotta work for it. Just think of it this way: college is the home stretch (if you don’t go to grad school). After these 4 years [or less], NO MORE HOMEWORK EVER. Give it your all while ya can. Also watch these famous inspirational speeches and save #14 for last.

8. Don’t sell yourself short

You can do it. You can do anything you put your mind to. Impossible is nothing. Even I’m possible is in the word. Also, watch young Jaden Smith and his pops:

9. Choose to have a positive attitude

Being nice and thankful truly goes a long way. Maintaining a positive attitude will not only benefit you, but also the others around you. Remember to say “thank you” sincerely to the cafeteria workers who cash you out. Don’t take your anger out on your friends or family. Know that whatever is bothering you will soon pass…..as long as you didn’t break the law. Being able to smile and bounce is something you should get used to doing because life throws us curve balls every now and then and doesn’t really ever stop.

10. Like, if not love, what you do

Having sincere passion for what you’re doing will help you to be truly happy and thus find success. It is a cliche but it is so true. If we’re going to be doing something for the rest our lives, it might as well be something that we enjoy doing, right? This is the time to follow your dreams.

 

How do you like to stand out of the crowd?


(images via tumblr)