What I'd Do if I Were a Freshman Again
The 20-Something Transition
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2012 11:04
I came to college with expectations that resembled something from Animal House — I was undecided about everything besides wanting to expand my social circle with all the opportunities that college offers. As I approach the end of my junior year and start to think about my post-college plans, I can’t help but think about the things I’ve done that have gotten me to the place that I am as well as the things that I haven’t done (but still have some time left to tackle). As such, here are a few tips I would give to an emerging 20-something just starting his or her college years:
First of all, having multiple friend groups will serve you well. I started my freshman year with a friend group that was almost entirely shaped by a pre-orientation program I did. As you get older, having friends that run in different circles proves more interesting. After my first semester, I made a concerted effort to branch out and make friends that are involved in many different student organizations on campus.
I came to college completely undecided about a possible major or career direction, but I was obsessed with the idea that everything on my resume and transcript had to seem cohesive. If I wanted to be an English major, I should try to get some experience at the school newspaper, or if I wanted to go into finance, I should study economics and work at the Credit Union. Despite my desire to present a coherent image, it turns out that not focusing on solely one aspect of school (whether by choice or not) has given me a well-rounded skill set in addition to providing me with some perspective on what I want to do. As an English major, I was able to pursue my interests in writing, but I’ve also been an intern at GUASFCU since I was a freshman.
Originally from the West coast, I was determined to get out of the bubble in which I had grown up by attending a university on the East coast. The transition was tough at times, but I eventually grew to love Georgetown. However, after spending a summer at UC Berkeley, I realized just how much cultures vary from campus to campus. Not only did my time at Berkeley allow me to spend time at a more traditional West coast college, it also allowed me to appreciate those aspects of Georgetown that I had taken for granted.
It becomes increasingly important during one’s college career to start thinking about internships and jobs. I arrived at college with the belief that, coming from Georgetown University, I wouldn’t have to rely on connections as much in order to get my foot in the door. I was wrong. If I could start college over, I would spend more time networking with people who could potentially help me get a job after graduation. I would contact alumni, go to more Career Center events, keep track of business cards and, most importantly, stay in touch with potential employers.
Finally, it’s important to put in the effort to develop professional relationships with professors. Not only can professors provide feedback on academic work, they can also offer advice about graduate school and potential careers. After having a conversation with an enthusiastic professor, I was convinced that writing and journalism is something that I would like to pursue after graduation.
College passes by incredibly quickly. Graduating seniors say it all the time, but it’s true. Take advantage of the many opportunities afforded to this university’s students, especially if you think it’s something you would never do. Sure, there have been parts of my college career that have resembled something from Animal House, but the best experiences that I’ve had have been times that I wouldn’t have even considered before going to college.
Brooke Berger is a junior in the College. THE 20-SOMETHING TRANSITION appears every other Friday the guide.