Some did not plan past their school schedule and are staring into the abyss. Others are already knee-deep in their chosen career path and look out and see a horizon!

I, for one, always wanted to be a writer/entrepreneur. I have rarely wanted to be anything else (after discovering that I could neither be an astronaut, or a super secret agent Ninja) so I went to college with the sole purpose of getting a degree that would enhance my understanding of human nature because that is what sets good writers apart from great writers.

Along the way, I happened to learn a few other things – lessons that not everyone gets to learn in College, in spite of the fact that they should.

Networking

At first, I did not discriminate among my friends – whoever was there was it. Whoever naturally migrated towards me was my social circle, no matter how much I abhorred them. Sometime around my Junior year, I said enough! I began nit picking, choosing and judging who I would spend my time with. I surrounded myself with honorable people, entrepreneurs, writers, intellectuals not necessarily because I found it easy to be around them – actually I found them intimidating – but because I wanted to absorb something from them. I wanted to be like them and the first step was to be around them.

Prioritizing

It’s easy to just watch TV, it’s also easy to take that afternoon nap and sleep the morning away. That’s what some college students do, then there’s the athlete-scholars that are involved with every campus event and everyone else in between. When I got rid of superfluous activities – random brunches that served no purpose but to cluck-cluck like hens around the water cooler or binge drinking nights where it was required that you not just puke through the night, you hurl through the next morning and so on – I had free time! I started blogs, I made jewelry that I’m now selling, I found freelance jobs, I moved out of a shoddy little 600 sq/ft house to the 1600 sq/ft house I live in now. I stopped wasting time on vices, and found something else.

Money got Easier

With the exception of a few tumultuous personal events money has always been relatively stable, even more so now that I have explored more options. It’s getting easier by the day, to the point where *gasp* I may even be able to add to my savings account. Can you imagine?

I got to know myself

Not starting your career path while in college is just… wasting time. While some people waited tables, other people started their small business. After all, why wouldn’t they? Traditional college students have a lot of free time. Anyone who says otherwise is down right insane. So how do you prioritize that time? Do you network, do you start your business? Do you slovenly get drunk and fall flat on your face as you crawl to your Mid-Terms hung over?

How I handled class and how I handled obstacles were obvious – I dodged most things, if I could, and did enough to skate on by. I didn’t become the champion of academia I had fantasized about being. Strangely enough, though, my writing improved, I was seeking out opportunities and, to my shock and amazement, I was able to be social. I made contacts, was able to link people up, people were able to link me up with valuable resources and I could network. I could get people jobs, or find people that could get them jobs, I could research, I could sell almost anything!

Knowing that technology, math and attention to details wasn’t exactly my think, I tried to work on it, while really trying to emphasize how I was able to think of the big picture. I wouldn’t have known that if I had gone to College and if looked at from the perspective of self-analysis, a traditional college experience is really worth every cent if you don’t waste your time.