by Andrew King
Just like any graduating senior, I am far from finished learning. Whether about writing, working or life in general, I don’t know what is going on just like the rest of you (unless you’re particularly lucky).
Having thrown that disclaimer out there, I would like to impart a bit of whatever I may have learned over my last four years to those who have another few left.
It seems to me that many Capital kids have a completely warped attitude when it comes to college. It may seem, at first, like Capital’s role is to get you a job and hold your hand through the process. After the first few weeks of bonding with your classmates, getting your easy freshman syllabi, and going to watch some dumb hypnotist entertain you and your first few college friends, it seems like the next four years will take place in a self-contained bubble between Livingston and Main, and you won’t have to face the outside world until you’re good and ready.
The unfortunate truth is that this could not be more wrong. If you think that you can make it into the real world after doing nothing to get yourself closer to it, think again.
The point of college is not simply to go to classes, get good grades, “get involved,” and somehow instantly become an adult when you walk out of the gate four years later.
Even your professors will tell you that if all you do with your college life is write essays and go to class in your sweatpants, you’ll get nowhere when you graduate.
Whether it’s joining a professional organization, working as many internships into your schedule as you can, or working part time jobs in your field around your schoolwork, this is supposed to be the time that you start introducing yourself to the “real world,” not later.
Too often at this school, it seems that students are willing to coast through their four years, assuming that they can just worry about what happens after graduation later. But that’s the worst thing you can possibly do.
If you’re a communications major, look for internships in your field. If you’re a professional writing major, write something. If you’re positioning yourself for grad school, start compiling a portfolio before you think you need to. But whatever you do, don’t just sit around and expect your classwork to tell everyone that you’re ready to be a big kid.
Unfortunately, I know plenty of seniors who have made this exact mistake. They think that everything will be okay for no reason, take no steps toward their professional lives, and then spend the last semester panicking. They don’t panic about graduation, grades or the standard senior worries, but they panic about what they’ll be doing for the rest of their lives.
Some have legitimately changed their minds. Others have had other complications change their outlook. But many simply haven’t positioned themselves for the real world. Whether banking on their parents’ house or jumping into graduate school just to delay leaving the nest, it all could have been avoided if they realized that senior year is not the time to worry about what the hell you’ll do with yourself after graduation.
It’s been a wild ride in charge of the Chimes. I’ve loved it, I’ve hated it, but as the dust settles, it’s been the most important experience of my life. As a freshman, I got involved, and now I know what I want to dedicate my life to, and I have too many people to thank for that than can fit on this page.
Do yourself a favor. Worry less about getting that 3.78 instead of a 3.71 on your transcript, and worry more about what you look like to the non-Capital world. Because you won’t be taking your UC-110 paper to a job interview.