The Degree Isn’t Everything
When you’ve spent the last four years slaving away just to get a bit of faux-sheepskin in your hand, it’s tempting to see that sheepskin as the be-all and end-all of your future career. It’s not. A degree is useful, but what’s far more handy is a bunch of job skills you can actually apply in practical scenarios and set yourself apart from all the rest of the people with a degree the same as or better than your own.
There’s nothing more likely to send the cold hand of fear grabbing at your heart than coming up against bills, utilities and taxes for the first time – mainly because you know nothing about them. You’re going to have to balance paying back loans with actually surviving, and it’s probably not going to be payed for by that high-paying degree-appropriate job you were convinced you’d get either. What a gyp.
Close Friendships are More Important
In college, you’re kind of expected to be gregarious – to be surrounded by people who’d buy you shots or defend your honour without blinking an eye. Post-college, sustaining that kind of lifestyle is difficult and pointless. You’re probably all working now, and all the superficial friends will drop off as time stops allowing for them, leaving behind the really good friends to hang about with.
As many a grumbling grad who’s seen their laziest classmates go on to score the best jobs will tell you, there’s a whole lot of luck involved in post-college life. You’re taught that working hard and earning good grades will get you recognised, but once you leave the little bubble of college you’ll find that’s not the case. No-one is going to ask you how you did on that one essay, and there’s going to be a whole lot more luck at play as you nervously grin your way through interviews for your perfect job.
Your Degree Doesn’t Define You
Spent four years being told that you’d go nowhere with a philosophy/English/sports science degree? Screw them, because a lot of your future prospects will come down less to what you learned in college than to how you apply the skills you picked up there. History degree? Probably means you’ve got killer research skills. Sociology degree? Smart with lab work. A decision you made when you were a teenager doesn’t have to dictate your entire life, so relax and look at how you can turn your degree to any career that takes your fancy.
Learning is Lifelong
While in college you might be used to cramming everything you’re supposed to have learnt over the term into one caffeine-fuelled night of panic, tests themselves present a pretty silly way of learning. Cram your head full of knowledge, spew it out onto a page, then forget it in that night’s drinking binge? The learning you do outside of college will be much more important, and will probably happen over time – but what you’ll learn will be a lot more profound than your college cram sessions.