College is a time to broaden your interests, refine your talents, and discover who you really are. Successful college students graduate with a combination of book smarts, hands-on experience, connections, and life skills. Whatever path you’re on, here are five things no college student should graduate without.
Having a mentor by your side who can help nurture your strengths and inspire personal growth makes the difference between a boring and exciting post-grad job search. Former or current colleagues or bosses with whom you are on good terms can be mentors. Think about who you find inspiring and has an impressive professional track record you could learn from.
Professors can also make fantastic mentors. Take a class from a professor you find interesting and discover what you can learn. Take advantage of office hours and develop a professional relationship outside of the classroom. They could open your eyes to something new that could change the course of your career for the better.
College is the time to start gaining work experience. In the professional world, it can be frowned upon to change jobs frequently. Try to gain as much varied work experience during college by taking on different part-time jobs and internships every semester. College jobs teach a wealth of practical and technical skills that don’t come up in classes. Gaining varied work experience will highlight your skills, as well as what you are truly interested in.
Join at least one on-campus club or student organization that speaks to your interests and gives you the potential opportunity to hold a leadership position. Take on more than one internship regardless of the number of hours or credit. Interns may not always have a wealth of responsibilities, but the chance to shadow and gain hands-on experience is invaluable. Start brainstorming about what relevant content to include in your portfolio and build it as you gain experience.
Freshman move-in day is the first time away from home for many college students. It’s tempting to rely on parents to help navigate the waters of young adult life from afar. Ignore temptation and learn how to solve your own problems, create solutions, and move forward.
Becoming financially savvy is part of the independence process. Every college student should have a checking account and a savings account with a competitive interest rate. There are online tools that compare introductory savings accounts rates so that customers can find the best fit. From short-term honeymoon interest rates to long-term bonus savings accounts, these tools help customers get the best savings account for their needs.
Learn to ask for advice while growing into an independent adult. Parents, professors, and mentors all went through the same experiences. Know how to evaluate a mix of guidance and advice—and then decide when (or whether) to take it.
The fun doesn’t necessarily end after college graduation, but spring and summer breaks don’t exist in the workplace. You should try to graduate college with a genuine adventure under your belt. Go on a road trip with friends, study abroad for a semester, or go backpacking for a summer. Get as much spontaneity in during college as possible before taking on professional responsibilities that may not give you the time to do that.
Treasure (and relive) those memories on a personal cloud for photos and videos. ibi by Sandisk is a 1TB smart photo manager that can hold up to 100 hours of HD videos and over 250,000 photos. Simply plug in the device, download the ibi app, and choose mobile devices, social media platforms, and cloud accounts to sync. Sandisk’s Meet ibi privately stores your photos and videos and allows you to send a private link to family and friends so they can share memories.
College is four years of classes, cramming, all-nighters, jobs, extracurricular activities, and friends. Learn how to manage your time early in your student career. Knowing how to manage your time alleviates the stress of getting through all your work. This means developing a healthy work-life relationship and knowing when to say “no” to the fun. There is no room for excuses about poor performance in the workplace. Learn how to be disciplined and create a healthy work-life balance you can keep up with.