Getting more out of college than just an education

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Jasmine Sampson

Jsampson3@Radford.Edu

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As we are all probably well aware, the whole experience of college is centered on developing and nurturing a new and improved “you” in order to succeed after the day you walk across the stage.

While we move through our college lives and take in all there is to be taken in, we must realize how impactful these four years will be for us now and in the future.

Yes, our first priority should always be going to class and getting the education we pay thousands of dollars for, but we should also make sure to make the most of the social aspects of college. Preparation for life after college doesn’t only happen in the classroom.  It also happens with the relationships we create, the mistakes we make, and the skills we learn as we go through our everyday lives outside of the classroom.

As I’ve been going through the interview process and speaking with my peers about their interview experiences, I’ve come to realize that grades are only important to a certain extent. In fact, employers are a lot more concerned with what you have been able to learn on your own throughout your college experience.

Personal/Social Development:

In college, you have so much room for growing as a person and finding your true self. By going through the struggles of stress, hard work, and even failed relationships, you can learn a great deal about yourself. You can learn what you do and don’t like about other people, what kinds of people you should stay away from, how to handle tough social relationships, and even about your own importance in the lives of others. You can also learn your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Learning about what makes you “you” is very important and college provides great opportunities to test yourself and pinpoint your greatest attributes. Knowing and understanding your true self is one of the most important facets of life and college is the best place to start.

Creativity/Individuality:

College provides a platform to be ourselves and show off what is unique about each and every one of us. With opportunities to take stands about issues that we’re interested in and to join clubs and express our ideas, our beliefs are challenged and solidified simultaneously. College encourages us to think outside of the box and develop communication and advocacy skills that allow us to learn how to express ourselves in creative ways.

From an employer perspective, doing things the same way over and over gets boring and monotonous.   This is why they love potential employees who aren’t afraid to go against the grain and provide insight that is creative and unique. Not only is creativity and individuality necessary for the workplace, it makes life more enjoyable!

Community Service:

Whether it is through an organization you are a part of or just on your own, there is always opportunity to get involved with giving back to the community. As college students, we are very fortunate to be in the positions that we are and should be excited about community service. Whether it is spending a day helping out at a local animal shelter or collecting cans for a food drive, there are always opportunities to do good deeds that will help others.

Community service not only looks good on your resume, it also makes you feel good about yourself and adds to your personal growth.

As you go about your days as a college student, remember to keep these things in mind. Not only will you grow as a person, you will get the most out of your college experience and begin to create your personal path to success.