Alex Schroeder grew up in Ohio and graduated in 2014 from The Ohio State University, where he received his B.A. in Strategic Communications and minor in Professional Writing.
Upon graduation, Alex landed a job as a copywriter at startups.co, the world’s largest online platform for launching startup companies. In addition, he has moved to Washington, D.C. for a Communications Fellowship at the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that strives to better the way federal government works.
Alex has a real passion for the arts and for entrepreneurship. In his next career steps, he hopes to gain experience at a company that fuses these two interests while continuing to polish his writing skills. Feel free to learn more about me at my website alexrschroeder.com.
When I graduated from The Ohio State University just seven months ago, I felt so accomplished. I had just completed a four year degree in just three years. I took every summer course that I could, loaded up my semester schedules, and had my eyes glued to the future of post-graduation.
At the time, being out of college and in the real world seemed so glamorous. After college, there’s no homework, no studying, no lectures. What a glorious life it must be. Not to say that college is all about those things. It’s not. But I couldn’t help but be lured by life beyond university.
So over the course of three years, I focused on the activities I thought would put me at graduation day the fastest. I did well in all of my classes, making sure to uphold a GPA that was desirable enough for future employers while feasible enough for me and my workload.
I also worked all three years through college. I could not afford, financially nor emotionally, a soul-crushing mountain of student loans after I graduated. So I worked. And I worked a lot. In fact, most of my college experience was class, work, studying, sleep, repeat. And now, as a 6-month college graduate, I must say I wish I had done things differently.
Sure, it feels great to be out of college and in the real world. But I quickly realized that I had completely neglected a crucial college component that I now believe would have helped me tremendously in where I am now. That component is involvement.
I regret not getting more involved in college. At a school as big as Ohio State, you would think there was plenty to be involved with. And you’d be more than correct. If you like to play Quidditch, there was a club for that. If you enjoy tightrope walking, there were people who met to do that. Parkour sound fun? There was an organization that just went around campus jumping over picnic tables and flipping off of walls. I think you get the picture. At OSU, there was a club for everything.
But me? No, I was too busy making sure I used all my time up on getting my assignments done and then earning the money to pay for the classes said assignments came from. Let me just tell you that it was not worth it.
I had interest in film and dancing and an assortment of random things that there were probably 10 different clubs for, but I forfeited these potentially life-changing opportunities just because I thought it’d be best to have a job or two.
The best advice I can give you from standing outside the campus walls is that if you have an interest in something, please find a way to be a part of it. Whether it’s on campus or off, I highly urge you to get involved with your school and its community. You will meet tons of like-minded people and learn more about yourself than in any college class.
It was only after college that I got involved with clubs and organizations that interested me, and I’m certain that if I’d have started doing this in college, my life would be different. I promise it will be worth it in the end.