More people than ever are going to college, but the problem is that many students don't have a completely realistic understanding of what the job market and life after college is like. So to help high school students about to jump into college life, or for those many thousands of college students who have a nervous feeling that they're not as prepared for that high paying job everyone promised they would get out of school, this article will hopefully give you some basic tips to help maximize the benefit of your college years.
1) Most of the time, GPA doesn't matter very much. Internships, work experience, and networking are all more important than your college GPA by a long shot. In fact, this is even often true of grad school, since test questions and sample work are the main deciding factors for most programs.
2) Network, network, network. Most colleges won't admit it, but it's all about who you know, not what you know. Network and join social clubs or niche groups who might help you create the friendships, or at least the business connections, that you can use in the future.
3) There will be a ton of emotional turmoil. It'll surround you. It'll surround friends. This is just a part of life, but knowing this ahead of time can better prepare you to deal with the down moments, the stress, or even the depression that can result.
4) Time is your most valuable asset. If you're even a half way decent writer, look at starting a freelance writing business, or learn to make money online. Time is the biggest factor here, and as a college student you have it. Save for once in a life time internships or mentoring, and don't waste time, because you can't get it all back in your last semester.
5) Get an internship if you can. This allows you to network, create an automatic in to a company you might want to work for in the future, and get valuable work force experience - which sometimes is worth even more than the degree.
6) Consider starting your own online business. If you are an entrepreneur, keep in mind that you have four years, stable housing, stable food source, and what do you really have to lose? The answer is not much of anything. Look at different models and get creative, and maybe you won't need a college degree to get employed.
7) A degree hasn't mean a job in over 30 years. This seems to be a generational gap. In 1980, a bachelor's degree was probably one heck of a security blanket. Now there are far more degree carrying students than there are jobs for them.
8) Student loan borrowers have none of the rights of people who borrow regular loans. If you pay off everything on time, this probably won't be a big deal, but you should know that you do NOT have the protections most borrowers have when you take out a student loan.
9) Student loans are a big deal. You know, you have a lot of options at $0. You have way less at -$50,000. Take as few as you can manage, even if it means working part time through all of college.
10) Out of state tuition. If you're thinking about going to college out of state, keep in mind you often get less financial aid and have to pay higher tuition. Make sure the numbers you get are real.