What NOT to Do In College
There are many articles advising students to be themselves or live each day of their degree fully, but just as important is knowing what to avoid.
The "Easy" Class
The main point of college is to get better at something, not spend thousands of dollars in an area that brings no improvement. It's also supposed to make you more employable over the short- and long-term. And while employers probably won't be looking over your transcript and shaking their heads at the plethora of basket-weaving and interpersonal relations courses, taking them has a direct impact on the way you think, act and perform in life--including work.
Bringing High School with You
To put it bluntly, nobody at college cares about what your high school experience was like. College is a time for new growth and experiences, and hanging onto high school will only make you look like an insecure person who lives in the past. This isn't to say you should forget about high school entirely, but that it's time to live in the present and enjoy college for what it is: college, not high school.
Getting Caught on Camera
College is also a time for trying new and sometimes crazy things, like streaking naked across the quad or putting blue soap in the outdoor fountain. But keep in mind that whatever you do, there's a good chance some student with an iPhone in his hand is 10 minutes away from making your antics go viral on YouTube. Do you really want to explain to a future employer the contents of a Vine starring you? Or would you rather have a clear conscience? Go ahead and enjoy yourself, but remember that there's usually a very good chance your experience can be captured forever.
Stopping at the End of the Textbook
Profs assign a book list and give you weekly readings from it, but does that mean that that's the only source you should consult? Not by a long shot. Reverse the situation for a second: what would your opinion be of someone who based all their opinions on one source versus someone who read a dozen books and formulated their views based on that? Who would you find more well-rounded, credible, and a better authority to speak on topics? By limiting yourself to just the course readings, you're becoming "that person." Stretch yourself and look past the course textbook for information.
Trying to Reinvent the Wheel
While it's true that college is a time to learn, grow and find yourself, most profs either have their hands tied or don't actually want to see creativity, just that you can follow instructions and parrot back the information they've taught you. Write that essay that's completely different from expectations, but don't be surprised if 9 times out of 10, you get slammed for it. Wait until you're out of college to think creatively and out of the box, because you need those good marks to get you there first.
Supporting Your Success
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