Welcome, Freshman! Career Advice for Your First Semester in College
Calhoun Community College is bustling this week! We’ve kicked off our fall semester and welcomed thousands of students to campus, where many of them are beginning their journeys as first-time freshman. In honor of those brand-new students, here’s some career advice for our college newbies.
The time you spend in college affords you many chances to explore career possibilities and gain experience—don’t waste these opportunities! Talk to professors, college staff, and fellow students about careers. Attend on-campus events and workshops. Career Services at Calhoun will be hosting a fall workshop series as well as a college- and community-wide job fair. Clubs and honor societies can be awesome for both networking and volunteering. There’s something for everyone on a college campus; find your niche and get to work!
Use Your Resources
Set a goal your first semester to get familiar with the various departments on campus. Advising, financial aid, career services, the student success center, disability support services, the library, the writing and math labs…all of these resources exist to help you! Peruse your school’s website to see what’s available to you, and consider dropping by the different offices to pick up a brochure and chat with staff about how they serve students. Timesaving tip: if you don’t have an urgent need, wait until the third week of classes to stop by. Things will have settled down after the first couple of weeks, which are typically hectic in the student support world!
Have a Plan
Do you have a career goal? If so, do you have a plan to reach that goal? Now’s the time to roughly sketch out a plan for your first couple of years in college. What are your goals for this time? Maybe you would like to have an internship, or maybe you’re intent on keeping a 4.0 and joining Phi Theta Kappa. Make plans now to achieve these goals!
On the other hand, if you find yourself goal-less, your first semester is a great time to refine your dreams and figure out what you really hope to accomplish. Once you know what you want to achieve, you can plan the steps you’ll take to get there.
Do something! Need a job? Start applying. Struggling with your math class? Talk to your instructor, find a tutor, or visit the math lab. Bored? Take up an extracurricular activity or add a mini-mester class.
Those goals and plans you’ve set? They won’t achieve themselves. Ask yourself what one thing you could do this week to get closer to your ultimate goal, and then do that thing. Small steps over time add up to big results in the end.
College is very different from high school. Suddenly, the responsibility belongs to you and you alone, and that can feel overwhelming. Remind that you don’t have to take care of everything all at once, and remember that there’s always someone out there who can help you.