3 Things I Miss About College Now That I’m an Adult

My sister graduated from Michigan State this year and it made me yearn for my college days!

My sister graduated from Michigan State this year and it made me yearn for my college days!

As thousands of college students across the country become college alumni over the next month or so, I’ve been spending time reflecting on my college days. It’s been especially pertinent this year as my sister joined the ranks of Michigan State graduates (Go Green!) a few weeks ago and I got to go back to campus.

One of the things that always strikes me when I think back to college are all the things I miss. Sure there was the sleeping in and social time, but there were also a lot of other things you might not typically think of that I wish could continue today. Even though I love my job and a regular paycheck, you have to admit that these things were pretty great.

Setting your own schedule
In college, I would go to work for 2-3 hours in the morning, get lunch, go to class, do some homework, and then go to a club in the evening. Then the next day, it’d be a totally different routine. I got everything done, but did it on my time when it was most convenient — no 9-5 repetition.

Getting to have a variety of experiences
My senior year of school, I was working three jobs, freelance writing and participating in multiple clubs. There’s nothing quite like that in the real world (unless you’re a freelancer) where you can get such a diversity of professional experiences and networking opportunities.

Creating your own stress
Due to the number of things I participated in and the class load I took, I always felt that I was busy and under pressure from somewhere. It wasn’t until I moved into a full-time job that I realized how wonderful it is to have stress put on you by no one but yourself. If something was too much, I didn’t have to do it. In the working world, though, there’s pressure from so many more outside forces — coworkers, supervisors, clients, looming deadlines — that you can’t just walk away from if you feel like you need a breather.

Now, that’s not to say that moving into a career isn’t awesome (I’ll write about that later), but a word of advice to students everywhere: take advantage of every moment and don’t wish it away too quickly — there will never be another time in your life quite like college.

New connections through online friends

I’m always surprised at how handy social media connections can be in real life, although I’m not sure why since they seem to keep happening! My online friends played a huge role in helping me look for a job in the agri-marketing world and, now that I’ve accepted a position and started my career, they’re coming in handy again connecting me with people in Minneapolis.

The people you can meet at conferences, like Michele Payn-Knoper who I met at the AgChat Foundation conference last year, can be valuable friends in times that may surprise you.

When I accepted my position, I knew that I would be moving to a city where I knew no one besides the people I work with. Thankfully, my network has been more than happy to connect me with people they know in the Twin Cities. Just the other night, I went out to dinner with Ellen, a former 4-Her from Michele Payn-Knoper‘s county in Indiana. She’s an intern with Land O’Lakes this summer and a student at Purdue. Despite the fact that we’d never met before, we had a great time getting to know one another over burgers at this great hole-in-the-wall burger joint near the University of Minnesota. We bonded over dairy judging, land grant university and internship experiences. It was great to hang out with someone I have so much in common with.

As time goes on, I look forward to meeting up with other people I’ve been connected to through mutual friends. It’s so nice to know that my online friends have my back and are willing to introduce me to their network so I’m not all by myself.

Have you ever moved to a place where you knew no one? How did you meet people?

 

AgChat conference perfect for college aggies

Since I recently graduated from Michigan State (Go Green!) and just took an awesome full-time position a couple of days ago, I’d like to think that I’ve done a pretty good job at preparing for “the real world” and that I can offer some halfway decent advice to college students and recent graduates. My big piece of advice today for those college aggies out there: apply for the AgChat Foundation Agvocacy 2.0 Social Media Training Conference!

Continue reading