Maybe you’ve caught on that our last few posts have been about experiences some of our student employees have had learning outside the classroom, and how we’ve pieced it all together in ways that have advanced not only our professional lives but our personal lives too. Well, I’m here to lend my two cents on the same topic.
I’ve always been a big believer in the value of education, and I think it’s something most of us take for granted. I also believe learning is even more important than education. Lifelong learning is something we’ve talked about before, but in this post, I want to share a bit about how learning can extend beyond the limits of education.
When I started college, I was coming off a senior year of high school where I was heavily involved in academics, multiple jobs, my community, extracurriculars, etc. To be honest, I was looking forward to the opportunity to start over and have a break from all the activities. I spent my first few months trying things out and being very conscientious about what I said “yes” to. I was intentional in the things I pursued: I knew I wanted to be involved in a faith community, so I sought that out right away. I took a job at Career & Internship Services because I was very interested in the ways they supported students. I was asked to serve on a few committees within my school and agreed, because I thought I could lend some perspective on what matters to my fellow classmates.
I never could have guessed the outcomes of the things I signed on to be a part of. I’ve learned so much about management and writing, how to craft a resume and how a school stays accredited. More importantly, I’ve learned the stories of a wide variety of people and forged relationships I never expected. I grew closer to professors who exposed me to careers I didn’t know existed. I developed skills that allowed me to land positions I truly enjoy. I’ve taken on challenges I really didn’t think I was capable of facing and surprised myself along the way. This probably all sounds cliché, but part of the point is I learned who I am through what I was learning.
So, if I could give you a tip or two, here’s what I’d share:
- Seek out opportunities to learn, no matter where you are. (This might be especially true right now as we all are facing many changes in our daily lives due to the coronavirus.)
- Be intentional about what you say yes (and no!) to.
- Search for the meaning and lesson to be learned in every experience.
If I’m being honest, now, three years into college, I’m probably more involved than I was even in high school. But as I live and learn, I’ve realized busy isn’t always a bad thing when you’re busy with the right things. The experiences you build up during college can help you land an awesome job, but they also offer you the opportunity to learn about and shape the person behind that future professional.
Photo Source: Unsplash | Matteo Paganelli