Surprising Advice for College Students, from Ex-College Students

I scoured a bunch of websites for advice so you don’t have to.

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It can be hard not to roll your eyes when people offer their unsolicited “life advice,” especially when it sounds cliché. Yes, we’ve all heard commencement speeches, read glossy brochures, and listened to others’ experiences until our eyes glaze over. “Be yourself.” “You can change the world- just believe in yourself.” “Don’t stress- it will figure itself out” (what does that even mean?)

So instead of settling for advice I could find in a greeting card, I scoured websites and blogs written by recent grads about what they wish they’d known during college. Yes, there was some of the typical advice you hear everywhere, but that just means it has some credence to it. 

Below, I’ve made a list of the three tips that came up most frequently, plus an explanation for each.

1. Go to Class!!

This was the number one piece of advice, so even though it seems like common sense, take it seriously. Writers advised current students to go to class, even if the PowerPoints are online, even if the professor is boring, even if you’re in a lecture hall with 300 other students and you swear you could learn better on your own. 

At the end of the day, you’ll understand better what the professor expects you to know if you’re actually sitting there for the lecture. Besides, test hints often come up in class, and why not score a few extra points while you’re at it? 

Pro-tip: Don’t be afraid of being a kiss-up, go to office hours and get to know your professors. It will make your academic life so much easier.

2. Network.

This isn’t surprising, you might be thinking. Everyone tells me to do this. 

And these ex-college students get it. Networking, they write, is not just having awkward conversations in your business attire with prospective employers and then handing them your résumé. 

Networking can be with your professors, administrators, and even other students. Your goal is to make contacts, or people who might be able to help you with your professional interests. Why limit yourself to recruiters and anyone you see at a job fair? 

Talk to people you find interesting. Bond over common interests. Follow up with them, and they just might keep you in mind for a future job.

3. Date Someone

Remember, this advice is coming from ex-college students, and not your anxious parents wondering if they’ll ever get grandkids. 

And honestly, it makes sense. Like these ex-college students put it, you’re surrounded by attractive people your own age without the pressures of a 9-to-5 and a new adult life. It’s never going to be this easy to meet people again, so you should take advantage of it.

The writers aren’t telling you to find your soulmate in college, but rather, to learn about yourself in a relationship. Date for fun. Date because you can. 

What Do You Think?

Have any good college advice you’re dying to share? Have you already heard all of this before? Let us know in the comments below!

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