CAREER DEVELOPMENT / DEC. 05, 2014
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How to be a Professional Student

You start drinking on a Wednesday, wake up at noon and have every meal prepared for you (it’s by Dominos, but it’s still made for you). I can understand the appeal of staying in school, real life is not fun. You wake up; put on clothes you don’t like and (except the few lucky) do something you don’t like. For eight full hours. Can being a professional student be beneficial to your future career in something you actually want to do? These are some options for anyone that refuses to grow up and follow the rules.

Be productive

Listen, I’m not going into a fatherly “You need to decide what you want to do with your life” rant, but look, you’re there anyway (and probably paying the equivalent of a yacht wearing a jet ski as a funny hat to be there) why not learn something. You’ve got study abroad programs, exchange programs, internships and volunteer work. You know what interviewers love seeing on resumes? Every single one of those aforementioned items. OK, so you won’t be able to nurse a hangover after a night of bingeing on COD and Jack every day, (CODs’ a video game, Jack’s an alcohol favored by students and self-destructive rock stars) but traveling abroad to India will make a much more interesting life experience and story than: “I was wasted on Jack when I got my 3.000 headshot bro”

Find yourself

There are many different cultures across the world that have some sort of spiritual walk. Usually they are dedicated to finding one’s self or finding their way when (spiritually) lost. Most cultures use hallucinogen drugs to help this process and to facilitate communication with the universe. That sounds eerily familiar. Before you run off, turn on the sitar music and light the incense, though, hear me out. You have the opportunity to experiment with many different fields of study, professions and knowledge. Where else in the world can you learn about East-Asian Religious Philosophy in one room and Theoretical Physics in the next?

Experimentation

Stop sniggering like that, that’s not what I meant. Try to involve yourself with various social groups. Universities and Colleges are very diverse and a great environment to meet new people of different backgrounds, cultures and religions. Enjoying a little unintentional bonus of having a beer with people from all seven continents? You’re also actively networking. That could help you get a job once you graduate (in about seven years you’re in no hurry after all).

Academics

I will now reveal to you the champions of professional student-dom. Look to the front of the auditorium. That guy in a t-shirt, jeans and running shoes is the most professional student of all periods, eras and epochs. Sure, he’s grown up, with a wife, kids, minivan and mortgage, but, he gets paid to learn. I present to you your king, subjects of the round bread (with cheese, sauce and pepperoni of course). If you are a professional student and enjoy the actual learning part of it (not the binge drinking, waking up at noon and stable diet of anything that comes out the back of a ‘92 Honda hatchback and straight to your door) then pursuing a career in academics is probably right up your alley. A thesis on Pre-Colonial Sewage Management won’t really get a job at Google after-all.

 

Most people remember their college years fondly. It is western civilization’s coming of age ceremony, a bridge between adolescence and adulthood and drinking excessively on a Tuesday night. Are you or were you a professional student? Did that experience help you or hurt you later on in life? Let us know in the comment section below!

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