Our generation of college students and young graduates has more geographic freedom and career flexibility than anyone has ever had before. This is incredibly lucky, but can lead to a serious sense of anxiety over whether we’re making the right decisions and heading toward satisfying, successful futures.
Three months ago I was on board a cargo freighter, en route from England back to the United States. Yesterday I finished unpacking in my new home...Read More
Go to college, get good grades, get a good job. That’s the advice told to university students everywhere. The part that comes along as a given, but is often taken for granted is: make long-lasting friendships with people who you would want to know and talk with for the rest of your life.
I got an education in electrical engineering and applied mathematics. I have had internships at multiple companies, and I have studied abroad. All of these components and more are why I know that I had a good college experience.
However, I don't think really I knew what my experience at North Carolina A&T State University truly meant to me until the summer of 2013...Read More
If we’re lucky, all of us reach a moment when an opportunity is offered. Maybe that chance is something you planned and built toward for years—the outcome of calculation, investment, and initiative. It might also be that an astonishingly perfect opportunity arises basically out of the blue—that you are offered some position or experience that you never quite dared to dream you’d have.
When this happens, I hope you'll say 'yes.'
I did.Read More
If at all possible, you should try to get a jumpstart on learning about the history and culture of the place you’re about to call your temporary home. Think about it as a kind of cultural acquaintance-making. You will by no means be able to learn everything about a country before you go. But some exploration ahead of time will mean you are better prepared and will have more context to understand the experiences in your new home.Read More
What is it like to attend a big sports college when you don't like sports? Or when you actively dislike all things sports-related? Sports culture was something I was worried about before I started college. I have never been a fan of team sports, and am 100% disinterested in being a spectator for any and all sporting events...Read More
To do this kind of work, we have to be able to look after ourselves and our emotions. Every person will have a different way of coping, and a different set of triggers, challenges, and specific responses to what they learn. This is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a starting place: how to cope with doing depressing research as an academic.Read More
I learned many lessons playing for a club team in college. The first and most important of these was the great amount of energy and commitment it takes to sublimate personal desires into a shared community goal. I wanted to be the best. But instead of learning that I could achieve this if I just worked hard enough, I learned my limitations.Read More
"How's college?" Is just about the worst question you can possibly be asked as a college student. The answers are just too complicated. But you will be asked, and so you need an answer, and a strategy. Here's a place to start…Read More
Here's easy advice for attending campus events: go. Go as often and as attentively as possible. Your campus will offer lectures from visiting scholars; academic conferences; book launches; student-led events and speakers; political talks and rallies; and so much more. Never again are you likely to be surrounded by so much action, and for so little cost in anything but your time.Read More
Networking is generally touted as a sure-fire method for getting a job. But the exact process to kick-start this mythical solution is often murky at best. The easiest way to take advantage of a network is to already be part of a well-developed and dynamic community of people who serve as your advocates and mentors, and who help smooth your path to new connections.
You don’t have a community until you already have a network. This is not helpful if you are just getting started.Read More
Networking is about connecting with the people around you on a professional basis. It’s about linking the skills and interests you have with the interests and needs of the people around you. It’s about making connections, and being honest and proactive about what you want to do with your time, and how this can overlap with the goals of those around you.Read More
Winter break. You’ve been dying to get here for weeks (if not months), and have focused your whole energy on just getting over the finals finish line and getting back home where you can sleep all morning (into the afternoon?) and not read a single bit of assigned text for days and days on end. You have arrived: break is here and it is good.
At least, mostly good.Read More
When I came home for Thanksgiving my freshman year of college, it was the first time I really experienced going back home after being away. I had previously gone on family vacations, or a couple of week-long adventures of other kinds and then come home. But moving to college is moving away, and the experience of returning was a very strange one for me.Read More
Colleges exist in larger communities. This is somewhat obvious—of course the campus is in some physical place with other people nearby somewhere, and of course there are all the many ways that the “real world” interacts with the school and the students.
You should do what you can to engage with this broader range of people and opportunities surrounding your college life.Read More