9 Tips For Being Professional In College

9 Tips For Being Professional In College

Planners, time management, professional Dress—oh how the list continues.
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College is hard, but learning how to be professional while finding your way can be even harder. Here are a few tips and tricks to stay professional and begin increasing your network.

1. Check your emails, frequently

I know so many kids who would let email upon email pile up in their inbox during high school. News flash: we're not in high school anymore. Professors will email, classmates for team projects will email, sales for the bookstores or local events will come to you via email. You might even get free stuff from your email. Check your email more than once a day! It is time for big kid communication.

2. Time Management

Nothing, and I mean nothing, drives me more insane than that kid who continuously walks into class 10 minutes late every single day! It is rude to your professor or TA, it is rude to your classmates, it is distracting, and a very, very bad habit to have. You should be at least five to ten minutes early, trust me. This will make life a lot easier.

3. Keeping a Planner

You need some way to do it. Throughout high school, when things got super crazy, I would just stop using my planner. I didn’t have time to write all that down. But, that really isn’t a very good way to go in college. Whether it be via your phone, computer, or good ‘ol pen and paper, plan things out. I love using the Reminders app on my MacBook and iPhone so that they are all synced together. I made a list for each day, which allows me to plan out what sections I need to read, what assignments I have to get done, and what other chores I should accomplish. I also see a lot of traditional planners, or people use sticky notes or notes on their computers to keep running lists. All are very good options, pick one that works for your life.

4. Taking risks, the right kind of risks

I am not saying that you should see if you can drink five four locos in an hour. I am talking about applying for that difficult internship, running for a position within your organization or club. Push your limits to expand academic and personal success. Go outside your comfort zone.

5. Professional dress

That mini skirt you are constantly tugging at while trying to gracefully (and somewhat comfortably) sit in the chair outside the interview office is not attractive. Professional dress is quite the art, and you should make sure to have a nice business casual, a nice business formal, and a few spare items in your college wardrobe, especially as you get into your elder years of college. Everyone loves a well dressed person. And, if you are in business school, you better be able to have business clothes to dress up for presentations, I am overwhelmingly shocked by all of the freshmen business students who do not have any dress clothes, or even business casual clothes with them. You are in business school, people! Making a good impression will help you land the job, and being the girl who couldn't sit comfortably in your chair will not be the right impression to leave.

6. How to Study

If you can’t learn how to study within the first few exams, you are basically doomed. Figure out what works best for you. Re-reading the textbook chapters, notecards, practice tests, the list can go on. Don’t feel like you are obligated to stay in the norm, whatever helps you helps you.

7. LinkedIn

Networking is a must. You need a nice, professional looking headshot. It doesn’t have to be from some fancy studio, just put on some business clothes and try to get a professional looking selfie. Make sure to connect with people you meet, expand your horizons. The saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

8. Handling your responsibilities

Feeling sick, schedule yourself a doctor's appointment. Lost your debit card? Time to call the bank and tell them to shut it down. Bad hangover? How about, no more drinking on a Tuesday night.

9. Building your resume

This goes hand in hand with LinkedIn and taking the right decisions. You have four years to add as much as you can to your resume. Remember, longevity looks good to companies, diversity looks good to companies, and it's more than paid work they are looking for. Volunteerism is a big aspect of what companies look for in future employees.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Humanities Are Just As Important As STEM

Humanities matter.
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Growing up in the Bay Area in addition to being the daughter of Indian immigrants, I understand the effect that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) has on us. I’m born and raised in the Silicon Valley, home of so many tech companies and where girls are heavily encouraged to get involved with STEM.

"It’s supposed to make a lot of money," they say. I understand that while money is a very crucial factor in being successful, we often forget that there are so many majors and jobs for non-STEM majors out there. In the Indian community, we’re often asked, “So what type of engineering are you majoring in?” as if we’re not allowed to do anything else.

God forbid we choose to even major in business. I’ve heard comments such as, “What kind of business can you even learn in undergrad? It’s useless!”

I’ll admit, I’ve heard comments like that from my parents as well. They always question why I take humanities classes or put in so much effort and work into them. They expect that these classes are an easy A and don’t require as much work as my technical classes for my major, computer science.

This is the complete opposite. Every class is difficult in its own way and by being a STEM major, it can even make humanities classes harder for me as they are not my forte.

Humanities matter.

They help us build skills such as critical reading, writing, and communication, which are important in ANY field we choose to enter. They teach us critical thinking and reasoning and help us become informed citizens. They encourage us to think creatively and develop genuine connections with those around us.

While STEM classes definitely teach us how to think critically, they definitely do not teach us how to develop connections and communication skills with those around us, or at least not to the extent that humanities classes do. It is vital that we have both in our lives and we cannot dismiss humanities as less trivial than STEM, no matter what the salary might be when exiting college.

I am a political science minor, and even though it has the word “science” in it, it is definitely not considered a STEM class. Political science has taught me so much and while people always seem to be confused why I’m studying two completely different fields, political science and computer science together have given me the ability to advance my education.

Political science has informed me so much about what is happening around us. It is imperative that we know what is going on in our lives.

We can’t be sitting on our computers, just coding all day. We need a balance of both. Analyzing court cases and briefs, as well as hypothetical cases, is sort of like debugging. You think you got your code right, but in fact, there probably is a mistake and an alternate solution to it. You have to look at it over and over again, stare at it until you fix it. I love how political science and computer science are interconnected even though they seem like they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Humanities matter. Just as much as STEM. I cannot stress that enough.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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The Series Of Emotions You Feel During Finals Week, Explained In Detail By 'Jersey Shore'

An accurate representation of typical college students feelings during finals week.
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In honor of the legendary return of "Jersey Shore" and the fast approach of death week (AKA finals week), here is an accurate representation of the 9 of emotions every college student feels while prepping for exams. And for all of those who are still in the depression of missing DJ Pauly D being on campus… this one’s for you.

Emotion # 1: Procrastination

“Let’s get wastey-pants” - Snooki

Emotion # 2: Acceptance to start studying

“Hell has to be just like this.” - Vinny

Emotion #3: Struggling to understand the material

“I mean I know I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, but this isn’t rocket science." - Deena

Emotion # 4: Getting distracted and staring off into space thinking deeply about something totally unrelated to the subject your studying for

“I’m like, a pretty deep dude.” - The Situation

Emotion #5: Debating dropping out of college

“People should go to school at a bar.” - Deena

Emotion #6: Finally understanding the material

“Yeahhhh buddy” - Pauly D

Emotion #7: Realizing you were lying to yourself & don't understand it at all

"One step forward, two steps back." - Ronnie

Emotion #8: Nervousness to take the test

“I’m gonna turd in my pants” - Snooki

Emotion #9: Acceptance of potential failure

“Let’s do it!” - The Situation

The aftermath…

“I’m sorry I punched you in the face” - Sammi

... Also your exam

Cover Image Credit: toofab / YouTube

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