11 Lessons College Forgot To Teach You About The Real World
One of the most pivotal moments of our twenty something lives was having the full blown college experience. Getting your degree is equivalent to a green card. We're taught that it provides a foundation for our future, but how much did we really apply to the real world-- especially if we deterred away from the traditional jobs or additional schooling that many are expected to get right after?
Here are some lessons college conveniently avoided.
1. Building Your Own Brand
You learn many things in college about how to be an employee, which used to be beneficial to the 9-5 dreamer. If your future endeavor is to land a position for a major corporation like Google, college can certainly provide the fundamentals needed to flourish in the workplace. But what if you have an entrepreneurial mind set? Few universities are fortunate to provide entrepreneurship courses accustomed to your major, but where were the classes on social media? Thriving in the social media world allows us to use self marketing to our advantage. Seeing as how many UN-traditional jobs calculate your twitter following, who knew social media presence could play a major role in definitively determining your next career move?
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2. Networking Is Your Job Application
Long live the days where getting a job was as facile as submitting an online application. Nowadays, there is a great chance your resume is being casted into cyber space along with thousands of other suitable applicants. On many career paths, networking is your most guaranteed admission into a new position. But, did you learn that in your early years of college? Aside from controlled networks like sororities, frats and even organizations, college didn't place emphasis on the power of developing and expanding your network over the archaic online route. How many internships--negated of the importance on networking with different departments and managers-- did you complete just to solely meet graduation criteria?
3. Math Classes Will Never Come In Handy
How many pointless math classes did you have to endure just to break into your desired field those last two years? Somehow, in order to study journalism, I had to jump through calculus hoops to prove that my mathematical senses were still in tact. I remember one day during a meticulous calculus 1 course, I asked my teacher mid lesson," how I will apply these formulas later in life?" I interpreted my professor's cold blank stare as a response of; "You won't, but do it anyways." In college, I knew there would be no correlation to my headache in solving for "x" in my path of journalism.
4. The Art Of Negotiating A Raise
So after college, you landed the job of your dreams or at least a stable gig to keep the bills paid. Now, it's nearing the time to go out on a ledge and ask for that raise you've been awaiting or too fearful to approach. If only there was a college course on the art of demanding higher salaries, we'd all be better off.
6. Professional Emailing
You may have had a playful relationship with your professors, where addressing them in nicknames and starting a sentence with "hey" could be pulled off, but at this stage in your professional career, you should be well aware that all initial emails consists of "Dear Mr. So and So," "Good Afternoon" or "Hi." Learning proper email etiquette will better equip you for those entry level or executive positions.
7. Outside of Select Professions, You'll Never Send A Transcript
Earlier last month, I conducted a short survey amongst friends and random stranger within different career fields-- law, engineering, entertainment, publishing, sales, marketing and PR. Of a selection of over 50 individuals, only 8 were requested a transcript from an employer in their field. No surprise that those 8 were in law and engineering. Doesn't it seem like your transcript is just a friendly reminder that you paid a fortune for college, rather than a necessity to landing a great job?
7. The Ins And Outs of Finances
Where were the college courses on how to budget and manage your bank account? Or how to hold yourself financially responsible for spending money on restaurants? Or designer bags you can't afford?
8. How To Effectively Pay Back Your Student Loans With Low Paying Jobs
There are the handful of students who immediately jump into the workforce with six figure positions amongst a reputable corporation. The other handful are forced to fend for themselves in low paying entry level jobs and paying back those student loans they're expected to immediately afford. Now that we're inducted into this real world, were was the heads up course that life responsibilities would slap you in the face as soon as you sign off and sign out?
10. Your First Three Years Post College Will Suck
Despite all of your preparation for venturing out into the world, we're still on our journey. Our twenties tend to be a pertinent time for soul searching, making it make sense, and landing on our feet. Unfortunately, our degrees didn't come accompanied with a cheat sheet to life and a black card. Worries of when to move out, how to afford rent and awaiting the day your parents will cut you off completely in all financial capacities are just a few of the hiccups to the post grad struggle. Understand that these are the years to find answers, so don't overlook this period or discouraged because life may suck for awhile.
11. GPA's Don't Equate To Higher Pay
Remember all of the time, effort and pride dedicated towards late night studying, and formulating weekly final groups to maintain the perfect 4.0? In most careers, life doesn't always acknowledge your past achievements and I'm sure you've witnessed the little to absolutely zero effect it has on your pay grade.