Handcrafting Your College Experience

Post by Adam Grossman • At 8:55 am Saturday, 17 August, 2019

Personal Growth

Handcrafting Your College Experience

Discovering your own independence for the first time is one of the many benefits of attending college. This benefit comes with a lot of responsibility. However, as it allows you to explore your own interests even if they fall outside your academic goals. We tend to put our personal lives in the backseat when choosing a college to attend, but consider your personal life, because it’s just as important.

Take the time to grow as a person. College offers a large array of the usual active sports such as soccer, football, baseball, and softball. If that’s not your thing, try one of the many academic clubs that are offered such as math, chess and philosophy clubs. Then there’s also band, religion, school papers and radio. You could choose recreational activities like mountain climbing, fishing, or paintball. Even activism to get you involved in politics, saving the environment, or student outreach. It’s all about finding your niche to help you grow into the person that you desire to be. College isn’t about partying and exploring your newfound independence, it’s about learning who you are and how to better yourself as a person. So take the leap and join some clubs that will make you a more active, happier person. 

The more hardships you endure, the stronger you will become. This is due in part to the knowledge gained on how to handle future situations. While the classroom provides most of the educational lessons, the most important lessons are learned from life outside of school. Back in high school, students are provided with shelter, mainly from their parents or parental guardian. They became reliant on this way of life because they had someone there to ensure that they do what they’re supposed to. College serves as a wakeup call to this perspective. In college, it is required that you stand on your own two feet and carve your own path, supervised by none other than you. This is a very real truth to face and if handled properly can have endless benefits, hence the importance of personal growth.

Many people, past and present, speak about college as being a time to break free from the identity that you gained while living under your parents’ roof. Colleges promote self-discovery but just keep in mind that the creation of a new identity doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to erase your past. When you maintain the connections of your past, you’re more likely to enjoy the future. You will then become more invested in these changing relationships as others around you continue to grow.

Gaining skills while working at college is important. Whether you’re working the helpdesk in the computer lab or tutoring other students in the library, gaining on-campus employment is an excellent way to learn some invaluable skills. Employment in customer service teaches you time management and proper communication. These are the foundations of almost any profession and can be acquired through on campus employment. In order to gain a better professional position post-graduation, it is imperative that these skills be learned while in college, if not before. Attending business networking events is an activity that can be rather daunting at first. However, as you attend them more, you will see the important role that it plays in obtaining employment.

College articulates your success, therefore it is imperative that you propel the best version of yourself forward into your academic and professional future. 

You will learn to present yourself as if you are a product and your skills are the benefits your product provides. In order to do this, take yourself out of your comfort zone and meet professionals out in the field or at a business event. There are many local network events that are always taking place in every major city. They are often categorized by industry, so that it’s easier to find the right people from which to learn the skills that you wish to master. For example, you might find a seminar that teaches individuals professional business writing, or a class that helps improve interpersonal communication from a managerial aspect. All of these events have the potential to put you in contact with the right people. People who can propel you into an amazing career. Colleges place a high emphasis on this, therefore it’s best to get on it as early as possible.

In college, there are four main important areas that promote personal development in students.

  1. Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. It is important that students master their soft skills such as problem-solving, teamwork through collaboration, verbal and written communication and leadership.

  1. Self-Knowledge

Self-knowledge is the understanding of your own needs, desires, failings, habits, and everything else that makes you tick. The more you know about yourself, the better you are at adapting to life’s changes.The college environment also creates a haven for students to grow and become more knowledgeable about themselves and what they want out of life.

  1. Values/Ethical Standards

These are sets of standards that when followed, promote personal values such as trust, good behavior, fairness, and kindness. Students that act with integrity and in alignment with one’s values are an important part of personal and professional success. College courses play a role in this aspect of a student’s personal development. 

  1. Cliques Don’t Exist

Remember in high school when cliques existed? Maybe your one friend gained popularity or maybe you were popular. Over the years, you’ve lost some friends to cliques but then later on gained new ones. In college, popularity doesn’t exist and it’s wonderful, enabling you to grow outside of social boundaries that previously kept you sheltered. You’ll find that friends want to be around you for you, not because you’re popular. Before graduating high school, you probably didn’t have a clue on what you wanted out of life or who you wanted to be. But after a few years, you may discover what you’re passionate about. Maybe you’ll switch your major, it’s more common than you think. You shouldn’t feel you have to have it all figured out before you begin. So relax and bask in the knowledge because the world is yours. 

College students tend to focus more on the responsibilities that come with being on their own and in being independent. They see adulthood as mainly paying bills, being over the age of 21, or just generally having more authority over their lives. While this is a good point of view, it’s not all about that, there’s so much more to a new direction that’s teeming with possibilities. When you get out in the post-college world, it’s important to know the path that got you there. The whole point of overcoming obstacles is so that we can learn to overcome them in the future. It’s how we grow. Always remember, that in order to improve, it is important to know what makes you stand out. After all, college is the place that informs, shapes and enhances our identity.  To read more informative and helpful articles, please take a moment to subscribe to our page to receive notifications for our weekly blog.

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