The transition of high school to college is one of great significance. It is an inevitable transition for those pursuing a college career. College students tend to look at the transition as a sense of freedom, due to the fact that no one is really telling them what to do. Depending on each individual’s lifestyle, more freedom can either be empowering or detrimental. I like to think of my transition as a wakeup call. It was a fresh start away from home and the things I had been accustomed to. It was a new found independence for my 18-year-old self. With that new found independence, I quickly learned that things would never be the same, yet positively. In high school there is a lot of direction, instruction, routines, and in some way or another, discipline. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed the lessons and opportunities that have been obtained during my college career, there are many things I wish I had known in high school to better prepare myself for the transition into college.
Taking a chance on my self-investments
It’s safe to say that I played it pretty safe in high school. I focused on academics, social life, and a few extracurricular activities. This seemed like the best thing to do at the time, until I realized how timid I was as a Freshman college student. When it came time to start investing in myself and taking the lead in things that I wouldn’t have done in high school, I felt a strong sense of nervousness. I was very uncomfortable, yet now I know that in order to grow you have to be uncomfortable. I began taking chances, by getting involved in activities and opportunities that even some college upperclassmen had not even considered. I did this because I wanted to be more marketable throughout my college career. I was taking a chance by overcoming my sense of timidness by getting heavily involved. I began developing my network by going an organization geared towards professional development, as well as working in different College of Business offices. Choices that have opened opportunities for travel, jobs, and networking along the way. I still tend to be a little timid when embarking on new journeys until I get a feel of them. However, had I begun taking those chances in high school chances are, I would have completely indulged myself in those opportunities without a care in the world.
Thinking of passions to help direct the Major of choice
As an upperclassman in high school, I knew that I wanted to go to college. Not attending college was never an option for me, it excited me. Yet one thing remained, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in college. It was my senior year in high school and I barely had an idea of what I wanted to do. I just knew my passions involved working with people and creative thinking. It wasn’t until right before high school graduation that I had decided I wanted to go into Business. I had no idea at the time which field, and it wasn’t until my Sophomore year in college that I was committed to Marketing. I knew had the outgoing nature and creative mind for it. I would have given my high school self time to take assessments and truly analyze what I wanted to work towards, and what I was passionate about. What would my ideal career look and feel like, and what I would do to get there? I would have given myself a lot more time to map it out and carefully decide, and I could have potentially known sooner that Business Marketing was the way to go.
Understanding the power of networking
I had never thought of the idea of networking prior to college. I had heard the word tossed around slightly but it wasn’t until my Freshman year of College that I truly gathered an understanding of the word. I began to understand how important networking is as it pertains to my ideal future endeavors. I worked hard to expand my network getting advice and guidance from as many successful mentors as I possibly could. I asked them questions and for suggestions geared towards my ideal lifestyle and career. The network that I built landed me jobs on campus, leadership positions, internships that became part time jobs, and an amazing spot as a Member of the National Millennial Community. Without the quality network I’ve built, I’m sure all of that would have been much harder to obtain. I also understand that it was the quality of the networks that made my opportunities possible. I took the time to make sure that my networks knew me well. I wanted them to understand my qualifications and what made me stand out. Now I have experience and a mind full of guidance that can get me even another step closer to the lifestyle I desire.
I say all of this to say that starting as a Freshman College student is great, but laying that strong foundation in High School is even better. I don’t have any regrets throughout my experiences and growth, if anything it’s inspiring to know that I’ve done amazingly well without those foundations. Now I am and I continuously strive to be the best mentor I can for those who are in the shoes that I once stood in. Experience is the best teacher, but there’s nothing greater than the extra preparation and guidance available to have you soar even higher. It all boils down to wanting to take that initiative and invest in yourself early.