Looking back in hindsight on my undergraduate career, I’m thankful to have had such an amazing experience at my university. From inspiring professors to exciting leadership opportunities, those four years helped me to grow personally and professionally, and I will always look back fondly on my time as a student.
However, in the year that has passed since I graduated and began my marketing career, I have learned a lot that I wish I could tell my fresher self. I may not have a time machine in which to do so, but I am excited to share four of those lessons here with you!
1. Begin networking early on
Many of us dread the idea of networking, but if you learn to do it effectively, it can propel you into your future career! Through contacts I had gotten to know well at my university’s honours college, I ultimately secured my dream job; one that I would never have found through job postings alone. I only wish I’d began building my network sooner! Keep in touch with the people you meet over the next four years; even if they don’t specialise in your field, they may be able to connect you with others who do. They can also serve as mentors and help you on the road to success.
2. Don’t let self-doubt keep you from pursuing great things
Before I even started classes as an undergraduate, I dreamed of studying abroad. A public relations student in Orlando, Florida, I hoped to join a language immersion program in Spain or pursue an internship in London. However, I was nervous about living in another country on my own, and amazingly enough, I feared that I wouldn’t be able to find my way around the city. I never pursued either opportunity, and ironically, I learned that I had a great sense of direction all along! By doubting myself for something so silly, I missed out on a fantastic opportunity that I may never come across again.
3. Learn to manage your finances before graduation
Take personal finance classes and learn how to budget properly so that when you’re financially independent, you won’t be in complete shock about what to do with your money!
4. This too shall pass
From huge workloads to difficult breakups, university life comes with its share of stressful moments. At times, you will feel overwhelmed, annoyed, angry and even heartbroken. If I could go back, the number one thing I would tell myself is that those moments do eventually end, and the negative feelings go away. For every hard experience, remind yourself that this too shall pass.
What do you wish you’d told your former self? Let us know in the comments!
Photo: Keith Ellwood / Flickr