College tips for freshmen

Alicia Gallant graduated from the Multimedia Journalism program at Mohawk College in Ontario, Canada, with honours. Through her three years in college, Alicia excelled in television, print, online, and radio journalism, and produced content on a variety of platforms consistently and following journalistic ethics and guidelines. She also became proficient in social media’s role in journalism and news communication. She was the Lifestyle and Entertainment Editor for her college’s newsmagazine, and was responsible for bringing fashion content into the news mediums within her college. Alicia is currently a freelance fashion and lifestyle writer for a variety of blogs and e-commerce websites.

A college diploma doesn’t guarantee you a good-paying job right after graduation like it used to. For many college students, internships, volunteer experience, and connections made along the way are now necessary for getting your foot in the door of your dream employer. That being said, there are many pearls of experience and wisdom we learn through the college experience that make it worthwhile, even when you’re feeling apathetic about the amount of resumes you’ve sent out with no response. A college education can do so much more for your life than just giving you a diploma stating that you’ve specialized in something.

College Forces You Out of Your Shell
The first time I realized I had to read the news on live television, I was petrified. I hadn’t signed up for television broadcasting, and I had never been in front of a camera. By the end of my program, I was begging to be put on the news. Whether it be through giving a presentation, participating in a mock interview with your professor, or going to your first party with your classmates, there are opportunities in college that push you out of your comfort zone and force you to socialize and prove yourself. The great thing about college is that if you fail or make a mistake, you’re taught how to improve going forward. It’s a great practice run for the real world.

You’ll gain at least one skill you didn’t expect
It may not be a skill you’ve realized you’ve developed, but you will most likely participate in a class or find out something about your field that you weren’t expecting to be exposed to. I became an expert verbal communicator, when I used to get so nervous speaking in front of people that I couldn’t breathe. Whether it means becoming a better writer, learning how to research properly, or discovering new technology, the opportunities are endless. Learning to complete eight hours of work after three hours of sleep can be considered a new skill, as well.

You learn your true work ethic
Millenials have the reputation of being lazy and unwilling to work. However, most students currently take on college courses, with mountains of homework, assignments, mid-terms, and exams to study for. Meanwhile, these students have at least one job, are responsible for maintaining a dorm room or apartment, and manage to establish some semblance of a social life. While you’ll find the occasional slacker, many students take on a variety of responsibilities and still stick it out to the end of their program. That type of dedication to finishing a job and succeeding is rare in many people. The college experience can teach us wonders about our work ethic and our ability to multi-manage several things at once, whether we give ourselves credit for it or not.

When assignments pile up and you get called in for a late shift at work, it’s difficult to remain focused and not get discouraged. When we’ve graduated and are reflecting on our current life’s path, it’s hard to appreciate everything we learned that wasn’t from a textbook when it hasn’t manifested itself into a career right away. Some people think high school is when you discover yourself; but it’s truly college, where you encounter obstacles and opportunities as an adult and learn who you are and what you can achieve because of those challenges.

College tips for freshmen

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