students graduating

Advice from Post Grads to College Students

Whether they are freshman or seniors, students feel all kinds of things about college. Nervous, excited, anxious, happy and scared. Here is some real advice from real college graduates from schools all across the country to help current students calm their nerves and make it through successfully.

“Make a list of the 10 dream jobs or places you want to be after graduation and work with professors and advisors to build a path of how to get there.”

Thomas Vossler, Ithaca College

“Take at least one course for no other reason than that it seemed interesting and it isn’t in your major – distribution requirements are a good opportunity for this. The exploration will pay off in the end, and a bit of variety will help you keep motivated for classwork. Too many students just hunker down in their programs and never stop to smell the roses.”

Kim Hoff, University of Michigan

“I would encourage everyone to complete at least one internship in the field they are wanting to work in post-graduation. Most jobs in today’s age require some sort of experience and an internship is a great way to gain that while still in college.”

Kelly Coston, Eckerd College

“Don’t box yourself in: to a major, to a social circle, to a career. Make sure you put yourself out there – you never know what you might find. And go to class!”

Eliza Bryant, University of Oregon

“Don’t let the world decide your path. Choose something you love over money.”

Evan Stobbs, University of Tampa

“My grandma liked to say that ‘College is freedom without responsibility’. At 19, I knew everything, and I was sure she (and everyone older than 22) didn’t know what she was talking about. But—compared to the rest of your adult life, anyway—she was absolutely right. There’s a freedom in college that you’ve never had before, and will never have again…but there’s also a responsibility. You owe it to yourself and your future to make the most out of this one opportunity academically, since you’ll never have that again either. If I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to find the balance: make the mistakes, because you’ll never be able to get away with them again, but don’t throw away this one chance to learn from everything and everyone, especially when you’re paying darn good money for it. Get your priorities straight. 19-year-old me would probably ignore that advice…but she always did insist on learning things the hard way.”

Sarah Miller, Bowling Green State University

“Don’t let your degree field limit your options when choosing your career. Find something you like and do it regardless if it fits what you went to school for.”

Zach Evans, University of Central Florida

“Seek out as many opportunities that are relevant to your post graduate goals as possible. It’s never too early to get involved in professional experiences that will help expand your skill sets through networking, training and overall communication. Find people throughout your field that inspire you and ask them about their career choices. Acting early to insert yourself in the work world will make transitioning into life after college much easier. It’s always good to know people when you’re going places.”

Stephanie Bryant, Texas State University

“Upon graduation, aim for a role in which you’ll learn the most, as opposed to make the most. You’ll be setting yourself up for much greater success 5-10 years down the road.”

Ralph Wunderl, Bentley University

“Study abroad, stress is like paying a debt you don’t owe, and take a few classes outside of your major in a field you are interested in but aren’t majoring in.”

Natalia Jezierska, University of Colorado

“Take advantage of your resources. After graduating, you realize all of the opportunities that were at your front door. Join a club, volunteer, go to career fairs. They will all turn out to be just as valuable as attending class”

Gus Pederson, Lees–McRae College

“It’s okay to go back to school!”

Torrey Walker, Western Washington University

“The first few months can be hard. You’ll be home sick, adjusting to a whole new routine and completely out of your comfort zone. But remember you’re not the only one going through this and others before you have survived! Stick with it, try new things, meet new people and have fun. These will be some of the best years of your life.”

Sarah Robbins, University of North Alabama

“Don’t worry about where you start. Almost nothing you’re worried about today will define your tomorrow. Work harder than anyone else around you, challenge yourself, continue to think big and never become content.”

Patrick Gaffney, Endicott College

“Make sure you know what you want to do with your degree and career before wasting time and money. Going to college and getting a degree is not necessarily the next chapter in some people’s lives. Also make your academic advisors your best tool, know what you need and what is coming for your 2-4 years ahead of you.”

Jackie Carlson, Florida State University

“Don’t jump straight into the career path you think you have to. Travel and find jobs in different industries that you’ve never worked in. Experiences are more important than a paycheck and the 90k base pay job isn’t going anywhere but the ability to say ‘screw it’ will go away with age and responsibilities.”

Jake Davis, University of New Hampshire

“Take advantage of any study abroad opportunities your university may offer. It’s usually cheaper than traveling on your own and you learn more from interacting with different cultures than you ever will in the classroom.”

Tyler Percy, Troy University

“Networking will become increasingly important the closer you get to graduation. If you do it right, you’ll always have connections when you’re fresh out of college looking for work. Secondly, learn as much as you can in every class; class material is much more applicable in the real world than you might think.”

Chelsea Anderson, Colorado Mesa University

“Take advantage of every opportunity to travel and study abroad because you may never have the chance to take that amount of time to explore once you dive into your career”

Brianna Murphy, Coastal Carolina University

“Don’t be tempted to smoke cigarettes, try to have fun and stay true to yourself and put your all into your work. Execute each project as if it was your masterpiece. Find your own study technique that works for you. Don’t feel obligated to do study groups with other people if that doesn’t work for you. Keep in mind a timeline when getting homework done because if you’re like me you’ll spend forever perfecting one thing and then you won’t have as much free time to get to know people and have fun. Be strict on yourself with time management. Time management is something that none of your teachers will teach you, but you can learn to do it by watching other people who are good at time management. Use your peers as role models and see what’s working for them.”

Mallory Moyer, University of South Florida

“Be proactive in starting your career. When applying to jobs be persistent and diligent.”

Kyle Ryan, University at Albany, SUNY

“Don’t feel like it’s limiting yourself to choose a major or career path. It can be so freeing to commit to a direction and really make it your own. Pick a major as soon as you can and get creative with your career path you’ve chosen!”

Caitlin Coar, Indiana University Bloomington

“Take advantage of the exchange programs!! Going abroad challenges you to learn outside the classroom and you cannot do that on campus.”

Miranda Rivera, University of New Mexico

“Recognize that college is a major transition period, especially emotionally. Understanding that it’s okay to feel an extensive amount of feelings including excitement, happiness etc.. It’s the best time to be vulnerable to find yourself during the growth experiences because frankly it’s going to be one of the most valuable times in your life.”

Chelsea Ross, Nova Southeastern University

“Utilize the colleges resources. Library, health center, career advisors, professors and other personnel, etc. Colleges have a wealth of resources that are totally free and totally under-utilized. Once you graduate and leave you realize that you should have taken advantage of those opportunities when you had the chance… everything from talking to professors and career advisors and planning out your next professional steps… to grabbing more free stuff from the health center… after graduation it all goes away.”

Kyle Roddy, Macalester College

“Take advantage of everything you can while in college. Try out clubs that seem of interest, build relationships with other students and also faculty. You’ll never get another opportunity like college to experience so much with so little risk.”

Emily Cutts, University of Minnesota

about the author

Callie Pederson

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Degree in Communication and Creative Writing. Outdoor enthusiast, animal lover, blogger.