When we enter college right out of high school, we don’t see much of a change compared to high school. That is, at the beginning of freshman year. However, when you turn 20 nearing the end of your undergraduate degree, there is a shift in priorities and focus. While college is still a time of self-exploration, there’s also the pressure of needing to get everything together to graduate as soon as possible. Usually around your 20s, you’re told to choose a major and stick to it to the best of your ability just to receive financial aid.
College in your 20s is defined by three things: the career path you choose, the people you surround yourself with and how you change in adversity.
Choosing a major in college can be a daunting task especially if you’re still uncertain of your future. One way to find out what suits your needs is figuring out what you’re passionate about and how it can contribute to society. If you gain a skillset that is useful to society, then you won’t have to worry about finding a job for the most part. However, if you choose to major in something less traditional, you can still find a career in the field of your choosing.
The only difference between choosing a less traditional major is that you would absolutely need to sign up for internships to get into the industry of your choosing.
While interning is something that is beneficial to all majors, it’s particularly helpful for those who seek to work in designated career paths. The major benefit of interning, is the connections you’ll make. Most of the time, people find jobs through the connections they know and it’s best to make connections during your college years compared to when you’re out in the work field after graduating. Knowing the right people may even lead to scoring a dream job that you want as networking can set forward the path to it.
It’s also important to remember that your degree doesn’t necessarily define what you’re going to do. Sometimes a degree helps you gain the necessary skills for a job that’s unrelated to it, unless it’s very specific like accounting. While majoring in something might define how easy it is to find a job, college teaches you skills that you will use for any situation. Once applying the valuable skills you learn in college, that’s including soft skills like leadership, you can apply that experience to your resume. It cannot be stressed enough to network as that does define a lot of where you go in the future.
Another thing that shapes the way college is for people is who they surround themselves with. This could span out to people they date to people they’re friends with. Each of these individuals will influence the way your experience is in college. The people you meet in college can also tell you about what classes are beneficial and what professors are harder to work with than others. While these friendships may only last a term, they help immensely with gaining the support you need through the classes you’re in. They can also help you get the help you need if you feel that you need help.
Besides helping in classes, friends can help you take chances you wouldn’t have otherwise. Such as taking part of a sorority or fraternity, or even being part of various extracurricular activities such as clubs. They can also help you through any struggle emotionally for the most part.
What most people don’t know about colleges is the services they offer in the tuition. Colleges offer many services such as private tuitions for classes and in-school therapy. If you ever need to talk to anyone, there’s always someone to reach out to in colleges.
In your early 20s, relationships in college will shape future relationships. This is because you’ll learn about what you want, what works for you and find out what traits you want in a person in the long run.
If it’s possible, try to do classes abroad. Visiting other countries will let you experience a different cultural perspective on things. You’ll get to see how other people in different countries attend college and what their day to day looks like. You’ll also see a difference in lifestyles and learn new ways to change your own life. These experiences in studying abroad will afford you the opportunity to visit places you never thought you would visit while meeting new friends. Although before going abroad, make sure you have a set budget and study what differences there are according to laws. It’s always better to err on the side of safety when it comes to living abroad.
Another thing to experience if you can is trying to dorm in college. Dorming in college will allow you to gain the independence that you need. When you live on your own, you’re able to determine what lifestyles work for you. You also learn how to manage your own budget accordingly. These skills that you learn while dorming, help when you decide to live on your own as you’ll be able to learn how to set your own boundaries. You’ll also learn how to manage a budget or see if you’re comfortable living with others. At first it may feel overwhelming to go from living at home to living on campus but you’ll learn a lot about yourself in that time. You’ll also learn how to become an independent adult capable of making decisions.
What college teaches you is also how to deal with adversities in your life especially in your 20s. There will be falling outs with friends and relationships and it will be those experiences that will define how you make decisions in the future. While these experiences will be negative, it will help you see that life does go on and that sometimes things won’t go as planned. If there’s one thing to take away from college besides your degree, is to realize that even when things seem like they’re horrible, you have the capability of making choices to bring yourself out of those places.