I know some of you may be just applying to college, going through your senior year of high school, and anxiously waiting for your college acceptances. I wish I could tell you to calm your anxiety, but it is easier said than done. As you start your last semester of high school; I am starting the last semester of college, and I want to tell you more about the place I find myself in, now having gone through most of my undergraduate career.
Even though I have majored in something (sociology) I do not think I want to go on to become a sociologist. I want to go into the media business, I am thinking about journalism first, but I think later on I would like to work more behind the scene producing either editorial and/or digital content. I majored in sociology because I had plenty of interest and I felt it was a very interdisciplinary field, although looking back, I would have done a politics major as well.
I have also explored as much as possible and have applied to all kinds of opportunities that have taken me to unthinkable places in the country and outside. I have been able to explore the book-making/publishing industry, journalism, law, and social work, before realizing where I want to start my career. I cannot deny that my initial career choice may change, I am open to that option as well.
Do not let anything you set up your mind for retrain you from being flexible. That is one regret I have about college, because even though I did a lot, I also did restrain myself from experiences such as taking certain courses that scared me and that would result with the demise of my GPA. Which I assumed at the time would prevent me from getting into grad school and now I am not even sure if grad school is the right choice just now (maybe in a few years, we shall see).
For Pete’s sake, it is college, the right time to explore as much as you can. I can definitely feel the days and the clock going tick tack because I know that after college it is less formal learning and more work, work, work and there is less flexibility to deep into vast subjects the way I have done it most of my life up until now.
One thing I want to advise you is that do not feel afraid or anxious about not having anything lining up for you after college. I have had plenty of friends who have graduated and although they did not have a job right after, they have been able to find something. I have tracked their lives ever since and they are perfectly content with how their lives are turning out to be.
For college, come with your mind as open as you can possibly come. In every regard you are going to reconsider many factors about how you live your life. What sticks with you and what falls on the floor.
On my last semester, my goals are very simple, do classes, do work, relish as much time as possible with my friends, go on my spring break trip abroad (I still cannot reveal much about that yet), apply to jobs, and just make as many memories as possible. I am still struggling with seniorities, but I appreciate being in this environment because I know it is fleeting and that later I am going to have to take more control over my education. I like to learn for the sake of learning and that that it is only going to happen if I pursue it.
Furthermore, I have been doing a whole bunch of networking this year. I have been attending to job conferences and alumni conferences, among others. I get career advice, I add people to my network, literally (add them on Linkedin after you have spoken to them), so I will continue to do that this semester.
I recommend you start doing this from year one of college, I started sort of late. Create a Linkedin account and keep updating it. Embellish it. And attend every networking opportunity you may feel interested for. Talk to people even if they are not in a field you are interested (they may know of someone who is), ask them about their lives, their careers, and later add them on Linkedin or ask for their business card and write down something you both talked about in the case you may want to reach out later.
Okay, I am a little anxious about my last semester, but I also, for the most part, remain calm, especially because I have the great support from my family and friends. Without my group of friends, I do not know what I would have done—all I can say is that college would not have been the same. A good tip for all you high school seniors, do not give up on finding your people once in college. I promise you if you invest in your search the universe will conspire for you find the right ones.
I wish you the best luck on this last semester! Do not slack off. Enjoy your last semester and be ready for this new adventure in your new school. The place where you are going to grow and change.