How to Prepare for Life After College
One of the first things to ask yourself in preparing for life after college is "Where do I see myself in five years?" The answer to that question should help you set goals for post college life and put you on the right path to success while you are still in school. You can plan for post college life while you are still in school. Once you graduate, you want to have developed solid skills and connections to help you meet your goals for life after college. You might want to go to grad school after college, or you may want to go straight to work. If you aren't sure what you want to do yet, think about what you really enjoy--what are your hobbies and passions in your everyday life? What activities make you excited? Getting a taste of fields you might be interested in while you are still in college will help you decide what field to pursue.
Consider internships to help build up experience. Even if the experience doesn't pay now, it will likely pay off later on. Internships and volunteer experiences while you are still in school are some of the best ways to get experience in fields that don't normally hire people for paid positions who are inexperienced. These types of experiences will also help you to determine whether or not you truly enjoy the type of work you will be doing in your chosen field.
Whether you decide to go to work after graduation or enroll in a post graduate program, making connections is very important. You want to make a good impression on the people you meet in college, because later on, you are likely to need references and letters of recommendation. You will want to give people you meet a reason to remember you favorably. Also keep in mind that the friends you make in college could also wind up helping you find job leads in the future. No matter what career you choose to pursue, the people you know are important and can be a major source of help, advice, and support.
For graduate school, research and good grades are very important. Begin looking at the programs that you are interested in as early as possible to see what is required. This will help you set realistic goals and decide how much time you need to put into studying and keep your dreams in sight. It will help keep you motivated.
If you aren't sure about what you want to do, that's fine, too. Taking the general courses for a couple of years to see what you enjoy the most before choosing a major is absolutely fine. You'll save more time by just taking the basic courses rather than plunging into a major and then switching later on. While figuring things out, consider joining some of the on-campus clubs and activities. Getting involved in activities is a great way to meet people and can also lead you to finding your passion.