It's officially springtime in Syracuse, the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and people's smiles are finally coming out after yet another long winter. There are certain signs in Syracuse that let you know we are celebrating spring, and you'll be sure to see these things as you walk around campus for the last couple of weeks.
We seem to live in a generation where everyone wants to go to college.
It is nice to see that people want to invest in their education, but at what expense? It's easy to commit to a school, and it is even easier to get yourself and your parents into thousands of dollars of debt because you're "living your best life."
To me, it's pathetic if you're over the age of eighteen and you don't have some sort of income or responsibilities outside of homework and attendance. The old excuse, "I want to focus on school," is no longer valid. You can get all A's while having a job, and that has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather your will to succeed. "I don't have time for a job/internship," translates to, "I'm really lazy,".
You don't need to overextend yourself and work forty hours a week, but you should at least work summers or weekends. Any job is a good job. Whether you babysit, walk dogs, work retail, serve tables or have an internship. You need to do something.
"My major is too hard," is not an excuse either. If you can go out on the weekends, you can work.
The rigor of your major should not determine whether or not you decide to contribute to your education. If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.
Working hard in school does not compensate for having any sense of responsibility.
I understand that not everyone has the same level of time management skills, but if you truly can't work during the school year, you need to be working over the summer and during your breaks. The money you make should not exclusively be for spending; you should be putting it towards books, loans, or housing.
Internships are important too, paid or not.
In my opinion, if you chose not to work for income, you should be working for experience. Your resume includes your degree, but your degree does not include your resume. Experience is important, and internships provide experience. A person working an unpaid internship deserves the same credit as a student working full/part-time.
Though they are not bringing in income for their education, they are gaining experience, and opening up potential opportunities for themselves.
If you go to college just to go to class and do nothing else, then you don't deserve to be there. College is so much more than just turning in assignments, it is a place for mental and academic growth. You need to contribute to your education, whether it is through working for income or working for knowledge or experience.
Coming into college, I knew I wanted to major in engineering, and I was well aware that I would be in the minority because I am a girl. I always thought that I would be ready and prepared for this, but after being in college for a few weeks, I started to feel a little weird.
I noticed that I was one of the only girls in my lecture classes and it was rare if any of us ever decided to speak up in class or ask questions. Seeing as I am very introverted, I also struggled to make friends in classes where people didn't just take the initiative and talk to me. My classes seemed quiet and seemingly being the only girl in the room as intimidating.
Luckily, I did find friends within my major and I have been able to get to know them and study with them. We are always able to run to each other for help if we need to, and we always go to each other for group projects.
So, it's not always bad being the only girl in the room, just know that it will be weird. You will have to work extra hard to make friends, but you will be ok. Talk to the person sitting next to you, make friends. It will be awkward, but in the end, it'll all be ok.