What don’t you learn inside those safe classroom walls? Life outside of them is hard, scary and you’re often unprepared come graduation day. While in college, you see classes as a means to an end; something required to get the degree you need for the job you want. Unfortunately, you can’t know what you haven’t experienced, and life after college can be much better if you prepare while you’re there.
While taking classes for your major will be important to your job knowledge post-graduation, it’s a good idea to take advantage of your electives. If you are attending a liberal arts school, it is safe to assume you can take the intro classes in most majors as one of your extra courses. Take advantage of these courses to prepare yourself for life outside of the job you hope to get. More often than not, you don’t get that job, in which case you want to be prepared.
While it may not seem applicable now, having entrepreneurial skills under your belt is a good defense against the bad economy. With so many graduates out of a job, young entrepreneurs are taking their place in the world of small business. A quick Google Search will yield you a handful of websites written by, for and about young entrepreneurs.
- While the internet holds an invaluable amount of information, take advantage of having access to dozens of professors who want to share their knowledge.
Life after college is a very different world. Suddenly bills, rent and fun money are sources of stress and frustration. When the time comes, being prepared will spare you hours of agony and calls to your parents. If you are able to find a finance course, pay close attention to lessons on your credit, money management, and savings maintenance.
- You are not only investing in your immediate future, but you’ll benefit in the long term. Important aspects of your finances, such as your credit score, can have an effect on buying a house 20 years down the road.
Basic Web Design
While you may not be looking into a career associated with web design, it’s a great skill to have. Whether you get a full time position in the field of your choice, or working the same diner position you did all four years, there might be a time when you want to start your own website. With the popularity of blogging on the rise, more and more people are taking to the web to make extra cash.
- Having basic web design skills can put you ahead of the rest. Many blogging sites are built for the inept coder, but having those simple skills will allow you to take your blog to the next level. This can be a great source of income, and in a downturned economy, any form of income is welcomed.
As a college student, it’s smart to look ahead before you’re packing up the car and headed home. College is the perfect place to set yourself up for the coming years. While you will ideally be working full time in the position that your major prepared you for, it’s not the reality. Take advantage of elective courses while you can, and prepare for the “what-if”.
Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer, touching on topics from social media to careers. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including phone systems for lead generation resource, Resource Nation.