By Lukas Eggen

As the summer winds down and a new school year is upon us, there are few more important moemnts in a young person’s life than if they decide to go to college. For many, it’s the first time away from family, meeting entirely new friends and getting a small taste of what it’s like to live on your own.

What would I tell people just starting their collegiate journey?

Don’t wait to get involved. During the first week, a friend and I went down to the student newspaper. The next week, we both began writing. No matter what your interest is, find those clubs and organizations that cater to those interests. And get involved. I can’t tell you how many connections I’ve made or things I leanred outside of the classroom because of it.

Have fun…but not too much fun. And don’t worry parents, I’m not saying go completely crazy every single weekend. But, you will reach a point in college when the difficulty and workload increases very rapidly. Don’t let it consume you.

Make connections. I can’t stress that enough. Performing in the classroom is big. Gaining experiene is bigger. But sometimes, it’s the people you meet that make all the difference after college.

It’s those connections who can serve as references or give you tips that can make the difference between landing a job and not. Whenever we had a guest speaker in college, I made it a point to seek the person out and take the following steps: Compliment him or her on their speech. Show that I know who they are (by doing prior research) and ask if they’re willing to help you, whether that is looking over samples, keeping an eye out for jobs, whatever.

Frankly, every student is there to hear their stories. But not everyone has the guts or the foresight to ask them to personally help. It makes quite the impression.

Get ready for a great experience. But, is it the best time of your life? For me, the answer is no.

I had a great time, met some of my best friends, learned a lot and had quite a few great memories. But for those who can’t seem to leave college behind, well…I feel sorry for them.

College is a beginning, a gateway to the rest of your life. My final piece of advice would be this: Find something you truly love doing, even if it takes an extra semester or two. Because if you’re studying to do something possibly for the next 40 years, isn’t it worth it to make it something you love doing?

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