The End is Closer Than You Think…

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Kia Goosby is a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T), with a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communications, concentration in Electronic Media and Journalism. After college Kia entered the corporate arena to learn different aspects of business from Retail Sales, Technical Writing to Human Resources. Her love and passion for art and fashion has always reigned supreme, as she is currently enrolled at Savannah College of Art and Design studying Fashion. She stays actively involved in her community, serving as President of her local alumni chapter for NC A&T. No matter what Kia is faced with, she always gives whatever she is involved with 100% and lives by the motto of, “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”

For those of you reading this that happen to be freshman, the end is not as close for you as sophomores, juniors, and seniors. However it’s never too early to begin preparing for this. For my first post, I’m going to share with you what I wish I would have thought a bit more carefully about during my time in school.

When you enter college you’re so excited to just be there and taking in every moment that you don’t realize that it’s so important to begin preparing for the end. Those four “best years of your life” go by so quickly and you’ll miss out on opportunities for growth if you don’t make the most of them. College is the time for you to do some major self-discovery and figure out what motivates you to do your best. By no means am I saying that you’re going to determine your life long passions (if you do, then more power to you!), however, you will want to determine in what direction you want to see your life going into.

Most of you enter college with a major already established. At the end of each semester, take advantage of the downtime that you have and look into possible internships or shadowing that you can do with professionals in your set career path. If you don’t have connections, speak to your professors about putting you in touch with someone that can help. Reach out to the local alumni chapters in your hometown area, as someone would be thrilled at helping a current student at their alma mater. While your winter and summer breaks are great for catching up with family and friends, don’t allow that down time to consume and distract you from being able to further yourself. Every moment is precious and you never want to look back regretting a missed opportunity for development.

So it’s hard when trying to plan for post college in the midst of being in college. We all have struggled with balancing life, but what will be worst is when the end of college creeps up on you and you have not done anything to prepare. Make sure that when you are speaking with professionals, teachers and fellow students in your field, you determine whether or not a post graduate degree is needed. If so, take the time in the midst of you sophomore and junior year to research schools with the best programs of speciality and what it would take for you to apply. Keep yourself organized by gathering all of the application details up front, which include deadlines, requirements for the programs and a possible need for recommendation letters. Remember that anyone you ask to write you a letter of recommendation is doing you a favor and so make sure to provide them with ample time to help you. You will want to actually apply in the fall of senior year, however if you do all of the prep work before, life won’t be so hectic. You’re senior year is supposed to be fun and stress free!

Now let’s talk financials. While I am not a financial planner and not extremely proficient when it comes to offering money advice, what I can speak to is my experience of having been in your shoes. College is the best of times (fun) and worst of times (money). Many of us are lucky enough to be supported by our parents during these years, however at some point, it does come to an end. The sooner you realize it and begin to prepare for it, the better off you will be. Don’t spend your time in school making crazy frivolous purchases where you spend money that you don’t physically have (i.e. charging up the credit card your parents gave you for emergencies only), or opening credit cards for your favorite clothing store so that you can have the latest fashions. Instead, develop a financial plan for success. Write out all of the things that you’re going to need to survive and how much they will cost you monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, etc. If you know that you’re going to be going straight into graduate school, look into scholarships and grants that will help to finance your school bills and possibly add extra money in your pockets. If you have extra time and can handle more on your plate, look into getting a part time job, where you can begin saving for the future. When your college career does come to an end and your family is showering you with love and gifts to award your accomplishments, hold on to those financial gifts by depositing them in a savings account and save them for a rainy day.

Regardless of what you do, whatever path you take, always approach it with the idea of what are you hoping to get out of this? What do you want the light at the end of your tunnel to look like? When you know the answers to those questions, the end won’t be so scary and it will be something that you are looking forward to. As cliche as it may sound, it is so important to always make the most of every opportunity presented to you.

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