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College Life Versus the "Real" World

In the "real" world, it is very possible to find yourself in a job you don’t like, surrounded by coworkers you don’t like, longing for your old college days.

Kizzy Preston

October 09, 2013

College Life Versus the "Real" World
When you are in college, your future may seem filled with endless possibilities. Studying subjects that you love, or that you think will lead to a high paying career, gives you a sense of purpose. While in school, you may have a group of friends, professors and classmates who share similar interests with you. Eagerly you wait for graduation day to arrive, with its sense of accomplishment, and anticipate beginning a new chapter in your life. What happens, however, after graduation day when things don’t pan out exactly as you thought they would?

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What do you do when your friends have gone off to live their own lives and your professors have moved on to teach a new group of inspired students? What if your sense of purpose begins to dwindle? In the "real" world, it is very possible to find yourself in a job you don’t like, surrounded by coworkers you don’t like, longing for your old college days. Here are seven things you can do to ensure that you bring what is good about college life with you into the “real" world:

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1. Create a Network A network can include professors, classmates, mentors, or anyone else, who can assist you with your career after graduation. It is good to have people that you can share educational resources, job leads and motivation with long after college is over.

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It is also nice to have someone you can vent your frustrations to. Because they share similar interests with you, they will most likely understand. 2. Intern Working as an intern as much as possible while you are in college gives you a good deal of experience to put on your resume after graduation. The more years of actual work experience you have, the more appealing you look to potential employers.
An employer is more likely to hire someone with actual experience over someone with a degree alone. Because of the “real" world experience on your resume, your first job out of college may be directly related to your degree and be in a field you enjoy. 3. Research Learn as much as you can about your future career while you are still in school. Do you need a graduate level degree to get the kind of job you want? Are there additional tests or certifications needed? What kind of experience is required? What can you expect to be paid?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to prepare well before graduation for the type of career you really want. 4. Continuing Education Perhaps after completing four years of undergraduate courses the last thing you want to do is take more classes. Taking continuing education classes, however, can be more enjoyable. Classes are offered online, through community centers, and various organizations that can enhance your degree, teach you a new skill, or help you to reconnect with an old hobby. Continuing education courses also give you the opportunity to meet new people who share the same interests as you. This helps to ward off some of the isolation some people feel after college graduation. 5. Don’t Forget Your Hobbies If while you are in college you enjoy being in plays, playing sports or organizing social events, don’t let go of that once school ends. Staying connected to activities that bring you joy in college will help you to enjoy life well after graduation day. Auditioning for a local play or community sports team will also help you to meet new people. 6. Volunteer Volunteering is another way to meet new people who share similar interests. Perhaps you can utilize your special skills to help your community, while still expanding your social circle. 7. Stay Connected After graduation you become a part of the alumni of the school. Read the alumni newsletters or website to see what is going on with your fellow graduates. Go to alumni events and social gatherings. Volunteer to recruit new students for your alma-mater. There are so many ways you can stay involved with your college years after you have graduated. Saying goodbye to college doesn't mean that you have to say goodbye to the good times. Follow some of these tips in order to have the career and social life you really want after graduation.

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