Adults will tell you that some of their best memories are from their university or college days. As a student, you may find that hard to believe. Between tests, studying, and writing essays, it can be challenging to see how all the hard work could be considered anyone’s fondest memories. Yet, with the right approach, you can make the most out of your time at school and set yourself up for the future that you want — here’s how.
Prepare for Life After School
While freshman year is a time to get acclimated to student living, second year should be the time when you start thinking about your future. Second year is typically when students realize their major is not what they thought it would be, and it's a good time to make the switch. At this stage, you haven't wasted tons of time and credits on classes that won't count toward your degree.
Whether you change your major or not, it’s still important to start thinking about your future. Really envision what your dream career will look like, both on a day-to-day and long-term basis, and decide which major and courses will help you get there.
Student loan debt is a huge topic that's always making headlines. While you'll probably need to take on some debt, you can minimize the amount you’ll ultimately owe by:
- Taking on a part-time job and saving money
- Applying for scholarships
- Buying used textbooks and opting for the cheapest meal plans
As always, the key to saving money is planning. Map out your expenses carefully, and continue to track your spending so you can make any changes to your budget as needed.
Take on Internships
Interning is often neglected in college because it’s typically an unpaid gig. However, even if your internship is unpaid, you may be able to get a job with the company in the future that pays well. Either way, by taking on an internship, you're gaining valuable experience that will help when it comes time to apply for jobs.
You may also be able to find paid internships, which will be beneficial when it comes to paying for your education. Make sure to do your research on internships and find what's best for you and your current situation.
Networking can help you in many ways, especially when it comes to your future career. In college, be sure to meet all different types of people, especially those studying in your field. You can also form professional relationships with your professors, who may be able to assist you by serving as a reference when it comes time to find a job.
Keep in mind that networking doesn't have to take place on campus. There are people to meet and connect with even when you're living in student apartments! Ottawa students, whether they live on or off-campus, will find people all over who can help them gain a competitive advantage.
Take Classes That Aren't Part of Your Degree
You don't always have to take classes based on your major, nor should you. While a class may have nothing to do with your major, you should take it if it interests you. These classes will help you become a more well-rounded student, and you'll meet students in different majors that can become longtime friends.
Many colleges offer their students opportunities to study abroad, depending on their educational programs. This can serve as an unforgettable experience and will help you learn or improve in another language, gain cultural knowledge, and take on a whole new perspective. Attending classes overseas may also open up more career opportunities, as some companies may be interested in candidates with a worldly perspective.