Advice for College Students: 5 False Assumptions to Ditch Before Graduation

Some of you may know that my full-time job involves working with college students. With graduation season fast approaching, here are some tips for seniors to wrap their heads around now, so post-college life is less of a culture shock. 

5 False Assumptions to Ditch Before Graduation

1. Your resume speaks for itself

At your first job, nobody is going to care that you were USB president or editor in chief at your school’s newspaper. This is the real world and you have to prove yourself. All the clubs, research, and leadership opportunities you were involved in in college are not as impressive to your first employer as you think. You’re at the bottom of the food chain now and you have to pay your dues. I’m not saying those achievements were a waste of time, but your boss is not going to roll out the red carpet for you because you were a big deal in college.

2. It’s okay to be late and leave early

This isn’t your college English class. Don’t arrive late and don’t leave early. It makes you seem like a lazy worker and it’s unprofessional. You want to be the first person in the door and one of the last to leave (within reason.)

3.  People will care about your professional and personal development

Not everyone will care about nurturing your career and making sure you’re growing and developing professionally. You’re going to have to work at networking, developing relationships, and finding a mentor yourself.

4. You got to where you are because of your hard work

I'm not saying you didn’t work hard. Maybe you were at the top of your class. Maybe you’ve already published a research paper. Or maybe you won a prestigious award in your community. Those are all wonderful achievements and you should be proud. But don’t think you got to where you are completely by yourself. Remember all the people who have helped you along the way – all the teachers, friends, family members, staff, all the people who advocated for you. One of the worst things you can do is not keep up with people who have always been in your corner.

5. Your best friends in college are your best friends for life

This may be true about some of your friends, but don’t be surprised if you have falling outs with people you considered your “besties.” People and priorities change. It might sting for a while, but you’ll move on.

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