Things I wish I knew in my first year of college
Some things can only be learned through experience. Our ambassador from Pakistan and Business Information Systems student at Dublin Business School Farrukh Abbas shares all of the advice that he wish he knew as a freshman starting out in college.
Investigate Career Paths
The first thing I would like to recommend to all first year students is to investigate the path you which to follow for your career. Changing your major or area of study to reflect that is totally normal. When I first thought about where I could see myself in the future I thought I wanted to be a pilot. I discovered that there are high requirements for all candidates and the hours of work were a lot longer than I had initially anticipated. I just wanted to travel the world and thought that being a pilot was the best way to do that. I had to rethink what I wanted to do!
I always had an interest in business but I always saw myself doing something technical. With those two ideas in mind I sat down to investigate areas of study that would combine my love of business and tech. Information Systems seemed like the best fit. My advice to anyone unsure of what to do or where to go to study is to investigate which universities offer the best courses in the fields that you love and go from there.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This one is interesting, because it is so simple, not many people actually do it. When I’m working away in the computer lab programming I often see others with headphones on or hiding themselves away in a corner. They will raise their hand for the attention of a TA (teaching assistant) if they require help with something. I find it best to take my laptop, sit next to someone else who is coding and engage them in conversation — we are both learning the same subject after all! This allows us to compare and contrast our work, gain new insights and share our experiences. Making friends this way can help you so much — forming study groups can help you solve problems together and help you to understand what it is like working as part of a team.
Good grades, enough sleep or an active social life. You can really only accomplish two of them. You can’t have all three — trying to do so will bring all sorts of chaos into your life. And then you throw in family, a job, paying bills and life is already crazy enough. So, remember to find a balance that works for you, and understand that you can’t have everything at once. If you want to have good grades and an amazing social life, odds are you are not going to have enough sleep. So, understand what you want in life. Choose it and focus on it.
Networking is amazingly helpful. Friends that refer you and know that you are a hard worker will be of enormous benefit. I have been to several networking events where I have met a lot of amazing people from different backgrounds. It is interesting hearing their opinions about different things and the experiences they have had. And yes, you never know that network might help you in future at some stage, so it pays to be polite to everyone you meet.
I really hope that my advice has helped some of you who are stressed about starting your first year. Leave me a comment below if you have any other tips or advice that could help.