Freshman year is a year of trying new things, living in the moment, and enjoying the freedoms of college.
But among all of the exciting things associate with college, even as freshman, a career is on the mind.
What can I do with my major? How do I find and apply for jobs? There are a lot of questions that start swarming through a college freshman’s mind.
But don’t fret, here’s a secret: you don’t have to figure everything out in your first year. Instead, here are five easy ways to help your career as a freshman.
Join student organizations
I’ll say it time and time again, but student organizations are great. You meet a lot of people. You have the opportunity to try new things. And it’s fun!
But beyond the basic reasons that joining student organizations are good, there’s a lot of ways that they will help your career.
Being involved on campus shows potential employers that you can commit to something. It will also demonstrate your ability to prioritize and balance your schoolwork and club involvements.
Join clubs relevant to your major and clubs that aren’t. You can take on leadership roles in each that reflect your skills and career goals. Either way, you’ll gain exposure and experience in the field you’re studying towards.
Don’t blow off school
If you’re anything like me, you probably didn’t have to study too much in high school. But as a freshman, you’ll find college is a lot different.
I know. It can be tempting to save studying until the last minute or do the bare minimum to pass, but slacking on your grades can actually hurt your career.
As you start applying for internships and even jobs, you’ll find that a lot of employers ask for your GPA and some employers even have a minimum requirement.
Imagine finding the perfect position — great experience, paid, and in your dream company — but you don’t qualify because of slacking off your freshman year. The best way to deal with that type of situation is to simply avoid it.
Take your studies seriously and your career will thank you later.
Meet as many people as possible
In college, everyone you meet is a possible future connection. You never know who will open the door to your next job.
You should also be smart with the types of friends you’re making. It’s easy to find a crowd and stick with it. But you should focus on making all types of friends — you never know which friends you’ll need most.
Listen to your professors
A lot of people say this, but I can’t stress it enough: get to know your professors.
Go to their office hours. Don’t just ask for help in class, seek advice too. Forming good relationships with your professors can open doors to new opportunities and help a lot with your career.
For example, a lot of job applications require references. And when you don’t have a lot of experience, a great professor recommendation can help you just as much as a previous employer’s.
It’s easy to get so stressed about what you’re going to do when you graduate. But often times, your career pops up out of nowhere. So take time to relax and enjoy college. You’ll never know where your next opportunity will arise.