My Career – TBD

26 May

As I see my confirmation sponsoree (I don’t think there is a word for this, if there is enlighten me by all means) gets ready to graduate from high school, I am beginning to create her gift – a mini scrapbook of her path through life thus far. As I leave the last few pages blank for her to fill in as she finishes college, I find myself reflecting on the path I took to get where I am today. While creating this gift, I realize there is so much I wish I had known at 17 when I was preparing to enter college… But since my time machine is still on the fritz, I’ll just share some good advice here – maybe a few graduates will read it and be enlightened themselves!

  • Take every piece of advice you receive now with a grain of salt
    Just because something is right for another person – and they assure you that is will be for you too – it really doesn’t mean it is. Majoring in what your parent majored in doesn’t necessarily mean you will live the same life they did, especially in this economy. If that is where your heart tells you to go, then by all means follow in mom or dad’s footsteps! But if you are doing it just because it’s easier than figuring it out for yourself, think twice. This is true for other things too, not just for your college major. For me, I listened to what individuals told me to avoid in college, what path to follow from freshman year to sophomore year, etc. and didn’t realize until probably a bit later than I would have liked, that these people didn’t even go to college. Their word was just opinion. Bad opinion. Not relevant at all for me. Granted, I wish I had taken some advice that I ignored (such as, get to the gym and limit the dining hall visits your freshman year), but that I had to learn on my own. Over all, simply keep in the back of your mind the concept that words from someone else are meant to be reconstructed for better application to your own life… so don’t take them as gold.
  • Salt will dehydrate you
    This is for the freshmen too. Limit your use of salt, especially when you first experience ‘life on your own’ and the party-scene of college. I became dehydrated at least 3 times through my undergraduate degree, two of which required me to go to the ER. I wasn’t drinking enough water, eating/drinking eat-out or ‘on-the-go’ snacks high in sodium, taking too many exercise classes, and not taking care of my body. When I was hungry, I ate what was cheapest and easiest to locate. Not only was this bad for my health, but it was also not smart for my finances. I wish I had packed a lunch more often in my first two years of school… even just having a snack packed for long days is a great idea! Try any of these high protein, low cal snacks!
    So, besides limiting the salt intake (check the sodium content of things, especially packaged foods and drinks), listen to your body, drink more water, and eat a semi-balanced diet. This will be one sure way to avoid a claustrophobic, germ-infested trip to the ER! 🙂
  • Don’t do what you were told to do in high school
    As far as doing your homework – okay, then do what your high school teachers told you, but when doing your homework, keep an open mind. Explore topics related or not to what you are interested in. Don’t be afraid to learn something new (if time allows and you are not cramming for a “forgotten assignment”). My freshman year, I was so worried about keeping my GPA as high as possible that I missed a lot of opportunities to learn about topics relating to my major. Hindsight is 20-20, but I still think if I had more of an open mind and had investigated more subjects that were of interest, I wouldn’t have changed my major as much and might have been more able to focus on what would make me happy once I entered the workforce. 🙂

Well, again, take all of this with a grain of salt, but overall, enjoy college, step out of your comfort-zone every so often, ask MANY questions, and have fun! 🙂



One Response to “My Career – TBD”

  1. aregularcupofjo 26/05/2013 at 7:27 pm #

    I love all the advice 🙂 It is great you learned so much with your experience in college. Loved your writing and best of luck with everything.

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