Three Things Every College Student Needs To Do
When I hazily entered college, I wanted to become a lawyer. I wanted to be an intelligent and sexy woman winning case after case in a well-fitted suit. I wanted to be the modern day Harvey Specter. Except I’m much shorter, much less attractive, and not a fictional character on a popular television show.
Right. So, that dream did not come true.
So what did I end up doing in college? I honestly just screwed up a lot. Yeah, pretty much. I tried changing my major three times. Three whole times. And ended up keeping the major I came in with anyways. I’ve taken a bunch of classes I never actually needed and joined a ton of clubs that I never actually stayed active in. I dated douche bags, got crazy drunk, and woke up every weekend wondering why hangovers actually exist.
But amongst all this screw up, all this crazy living of a girl in her 20s, I learned so much. I learned so much because I literally threw myself in front of a bus so many times that I eventually taught myself how to survive. And as a graduate now, I want to offer advice to those who are still in college. To those who are just entering college. And to anyone who maybe just need a little guidance in their life. There’s three things that you absolutely need to do when you’re in college.
1. You need to fail, and fail again.
My work history is wild. Since I’ve entered college I’ve worked at a restaurant, with large tech companies, with growing startups, with the university, and with entrepreneurs and top business experts. But the journey to these opportunities was treacherous. Most of the time I had no idea what I was doing.
There was a point in my Junior year when I was offered an opportunity to work with an influential marketer in New York. He gave me a project, and I completely bombed it. I just could not bring myself to completing it because I felt like I didn’t want to do it. To cut the story short, I lost the opportunity that would’ve drastically propelled my career. And that was just one of the many failures I had to live with through college. Don’t even get me started on how I’ve failed with friends, with relationships, and with exercising.
But you get the point. I gave up, I failed, and I made a ton of mistakes. But if I did not do all of that, I would never be as close to this dream work life that I am at now. You have to fail more times than you succeed. Because when you fail, you hit rock bottom and there’s no way out but up. You learn the best lessons when you’re beaten down and ashamed. You grow the most when you feel vulnerable and surrounded by disappointment. Because it’s then that you feel an absolute need to prove to yourself that you can do better. That you can learn more. That you can become the opposite of a failure.
2. Anything you do, you need to do it with the intention of helping others.
To become successful, you must make others around you successful. It’s the absolute truth. Don’t waste time doing something if it won’t make an impact on another person’s life in the long run. And sure we say, “Well, I’m doing my own thing.”
Guess what? Selfish intentions don’t change the world. When you broaden your perspective, open yourself up to others, you are taking the first step in making an impact on the lives of those around you. And when you make an impact, you take another step in changing the world.
The gratitude that you receive from others who you’ve helped out is one of the most amazing feeling in the world. A simple “thank you” can energize you and inspire you to continue doing what you do. I love seeing people grow and seeing them become something they’ve never thought they could be. It’s a beautiful thing watching people overcome their fears, amplify their strengths, and shine. So help them through that. And trust me, you’ll shine alongside with them.
3. You need to learn outside the classroom, and use that knowledge to create something.
“Use college to explore without risk, to understand what it is to develop mastery, to know when something is done and hand it off to the world.” — Seth Godin
You pay thousands of dollars to be in college. And sure, it’s for the education, but you have to agree when we say it’s mainly for the experience. Well then, if it’s for the experience, then you better be doing something outside of the classroom that challenges you and excites you. Pick up a new skill, go travel, write a book, take a ton of photos, start coding, join a pottery class…
Just do something.
Do something outside of the classroom. Take advantage of your young curiosity and use it to absorb knowledge. Absorb so much knowledge that you start creating things with all these new exciting information and skill. That you start building websites, producing paintings, and publishing blog posts. Whatever it is, be sure to share your words, share your talents, and share your creativity with the world. And in case you haven’t noticed, the world is outside the classroom.