Ask Garrett for May 7

For this issue, my final issue, I decided to do something slightly different. Graduation is quickly approaching, and my time on these hallowed grounds is quickly coming to a close. Many of us will finally be receiving our diplomas before going away to grad school, starting the job search and entering the adult world. Our lives are about to change completely, just as they did four years ago when we made the huge step into college life. Through the course of these four years, I have had many victories, enjoyed some fun times, fostered incredible relationships and so much more. However, I have also made quite a few mistakes and stumbled across several hurdles along the way. With this in mind, I have decided to leave all of you with my top five pieces of advice for making the most out of your time in college.

1. Get involved

The mistake that many college students make is to not get involved on campus. Instead, they simply go to class and then go back to their room. Sure, they may make a few friends, but that is barely scraping the surface. One of the best decisions I made was to get involved on campus. Through my participation in various groups and organizations, I have made numerous relationships and become friends with people that I would have never met if I didn’t get involved. Look into the different organizations on campus, and join a few. I joined student programming board my freshman year, and since that time, they have become my college family. I am so grateful that I decided to get involved on campus because it made my experience so much more fun, and certain organizations just happen to look really great on a resume.

2. Appreciate the professors

The main purpose of attending college is to learn. You are paying to attend this school, so take advantage of your classes and make the most out of them. In many of my classes, there has always been that handful of students who don’t do their work, don’t pay attention and basically ruin the classroom environment. Do not be that person. Be a good student and learn because it will pay off in the long run. Also, the professors here are amazing, and we are incredibly lucky to have them. They actually care about their students, and they will teach you everything they know if you just give them the opportunity. Learning in college is important, and it is meant to give you a solid foundation for your future plans. Making the most out of your classes will ensure that this is a strong foundation when graduation rolls around.

3. Be a little adventurous

Your college years are unlike any others. This is a time when you have the ability and freedom to do some activities that you may not have time in for the future. Basically, be adventurous and try new things. For example, if you have never been out of the country then consider studying abroad. College is the perfect time to venture out of the country. In the future, you may not have the time to travel with a job, so that’s why it is so important to do this while you are in college. I went on a J-Term trip to India, and it was one of the best decisions of my college career. It was an experience that I will never forget and that I would definitely suggest to everyone else. Just try new things while you can because you may be surprised about some of the adventurous results.

4. Meet new people

Don’t just stick to your usual friend group. Make it your goal to meet new people, because sometimes you will find friendship in rather unlikely places. Everyone here always talks about how amazing the Maryville College community is, and part of continuing this strong sense of community is encouraging people to interact with each other. Even if you do not think you will get along with someone, give him or her a chance. If it doesn’t work out, at least you made a new acquaintance. Also, you never know when someone may need a friend, and you could simply make someone’s day by taking the time to get to know him or her.

5. Find an internship

Today, future employers are looking for people with work experience. This is why internships can be so important. There are many great opportunities in the surrounding area, and you can also look in to internships during the summer in other areas. While our education at MC is exceptional, it can also be rather broad. This is why specializing through an internship can be so helpful. I have truly enjoyed the two internships that I have completed, and I know that they look great on my resume. I have also built many skills through my internships that are going to help me in my professional career. The college has many great connections with business and organizations that offer internships, so check with your professors about opportunities that may be available for you.

There you have it. Those are my top five pieces of advice that I have for all of you. I am going to miss this beautiful place, and I definitely suggest that you take advantage of your four years year. Don’t take your time here for granted and make the most out of your time here. These will be four of the best years of your entire life. I know that I will remember my four years at our incredible institution fondly, and I wish you all the best for the rest of your time here. To my fellow graduates, we have done it and congratulations. Let’s finish this year with a bang.

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