college students get ahead
NO CATEGORY / 14 December 2016
6 Things Perfect College Students Do to Get Ahead
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Tim Elkana

Being a perfect college student does not exist, in fact; being a perfect anything doesn’t exist. There will be lots of opportunities to learn from your mistakes and those of others. What separates people who succeed from those who do not is how much initiative is taken to learn the skills they need to advance in their careers.  Being proactive in setting up a plan for success that entails meeting new people, gaining marketable skills to be more employable is what will help you with getting ahead. 

1. Stay Organized.

I have found that I am much less stressed if I am organized, both physically and mentally. Making sure assignments are in order, tests and paper due dates are written down, and notes for class are clean and concise. Don’t let a lack of organization be what stresses you out. Staying organized in your life can translate to how productive you are at work or at school. Make organization a habit and part of your everyday life. 

2. Set Goals.

The beginning of the semester is a perfect time to set goals for classes, grades, group involvement, etc. I have found that when I set a goal, I am much more likely to strive for it, than for something that I didn’t specifically set apart from my everyday routine. The more habitual you get with setting goals, the more time you will have for other things because you will be inclined to meet your deadlines and move on to other things. Make it a goal to learn some marketable skills that will help you with getting hired. Take a class on SEO or UI/UX, in most marketing professions, for example, those are required skills to have in order to move up. Setting goals doesn’t have to be a daunting task, here are 12 easy step to help you get started

3. Get Involved.

Although academics are an extremely important part of college, getting involved in different activities and organizations outside of the classroom can give students an outlet for fun and, even sometimes, critical experiences. This is also a great way to grow your networking base. There are so many benefits that come from getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people. Working on perfecting your social speaking skill will be the least of your successes. You can meet influencers in the space that you want to work in, people who work at the companies you want to work at, hiring managers, recruiters, or maybe only people that you make acquaintances with. You never know what connections can help you out in the future. So keep your and ears open for any events that spark your interest locally.

4. Ask For Help.

Whether in class or completing an assignment individually, ask for help if you need it. Asking for assistance may be socially viewed as a sign of weakness, but it is actually a sign of great strength. I have learned that there is no shame in asking for assistance. Asking for help takes courage and says that you want to better understand something - it doesn’t only mean you weren’t paying attention and need something to be repeated (at least not in most cases). Chances are 20 other people have the same questions but are too afraid to ask. Nobody knows everything, so know your strengths and ask for support with your weaknesses. Developing this skill early translates into the workforce. You don’t want to be in a situation when you need to know something, but are too afraid to ask especially if its something that you need to be able to do your job. 

5. Build Experiences.

Since I have been at college, I have learned that the experiences you receive, both professionally and personally, will help you grow as a person and as a possible candidate for a job position. Yes, employers are looking for individuals with an academic background in their field, but they also search for individuals with real-life work experience. This point cannot be stressed enough. The word "experience" gets tossed around pretty frequently and is used a lot, but what matters for hiring managers and recruiters is the ability to showcase the work that you are hired to do. Working on projects gives you that opportunity because they are designed to test your knowledge on a given topic/subject while the people that are going to be hiring you for their department will be watching you behind-the-scenes. They can evaluate whether or not you will fit within the company’s culture and if you will be able to complete the tasks in your job description. 

6. Know Your Limits.

Don’t over-involve yourself and get too stressed. Academics and involvement are super important. But although it may seem admirable to challenge yourself as much as possible, if you are taking on too much, you may end up damaging your GPA and college experience in the end. Take some time for yourself and really learn how to balance your time the best that you can. 

If you have any additional tips on how you can get ahead, leave your comments below! 

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