These are some tips I came up with through my own experiences. It might help you in your college life and likely your future career.  Some you might already know but it’s always good to be reminded.

  1. Applied Knowledge. Obviously, most of your efforts should be focused on education. Most people study to just pass a class or a test and later forget what they’ve learned. Isn’t that a waste of time?! I suggest in your core classes, classes that are directly related to your major or career, take an active step to apply the knowledge. There are many ways to do that. For example, you could apply your knowledge through an internship or simply conversing with a classmate to see if there’s a different perspective. It will instill a deeper and practical understanding of your education and how it applies to your career. Remember, your career will be a large portion of your life. Eight+ hours every day when you enter the “real world”.
  2. The Right Network. This is real close to being first.  Don’t forget to network and make lots of friends. Some of your real education will come from your network, and by “real education” I mean life lessons and motivations. Listen to everyone’s story but be sure to pick the right friends to hang out with. You’ll get your education from your classes and books, but you’ll attain true wisdom from your friends. Get involve. They might be the ones who give you future job leads or help you advance in your career. Life is a two-way-street; make sure you return the favor.
  3. Passion and Curiosity. Life as we know it is just a collection of ideas shared among people. What you believe in makes you who you are. A lot of people, including myself, will try to persuade you or instill their ideas onto you. Be open-minded but always follow your heart and what you believe is right to you. You could listen but you don’t have to obey them. Always test your ideas against other people’s ideas. Be passionate in everything you do and have fun with it. Life is about exploring and learning, that’s what makes everything exciting. Don’t limit yourself to other people’s ideas or expectations. You are a unique person with your own values, live up to your expectations not to others. It’s your life — follow your dreams. Be a well-rounded person and experience many things. Save the comfortable and complacent life till you’re old and wrinkly. When you’re old and deprecated the only things that will entertain you will be your memories/wisdom that lives in your soul and the love that lives in your heart. Now is the time to explore. There are some risks but just be smart about it.
  4. Focused experience. Before, you needed money and work odd jobs that are unrelated to your career. From now on, try to only work in jobs that will give you the right experience you need to advance your career. For now, experience is your primary aim and money is secondary. Don’t pick the fruit before it is ripe, cultivate it and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Try to get an internship ASAP. Even with the lack of experience, just go for those job interviews; learn about the holes you need to fill to get the job. DO NOT just pick any company. Pick the companies you want to work for. Don’t waste your time with companies that don’t help you grow. Remember, it’s about cultivation.
  5. Make mistakes. Don’t be too hard in yourself or on others. You learn from every mistake. There are times you will need to be prepared but when a rare opportunity arises; you will need to take the leap despite the lack of preparation. “Just do it!”
  6. Life is beautiful. Sometimes through difficult times, it’s good to take a step back and appreciate everything that is going for you. The loving family you have and the beautiful earth we live in. As human beings we are all unique and have different hardships, but we all share the same the desire, achieving love and happiness. I see all my friends as family and love them all, even the ones I rarely hang out with. There are a few bad things in this world but all the good ones outnumber the bad.
  7. Be good. You could do whatever you like but be a good person. Treat everyone with respect even though sometimes they don’t. Also be good in what you do. Success is not a mystery, just be good at your skills and you’ll advance.

I could go into much further details or add more to the list but this should help you start off in the right foot. I’ll end this with my favorite quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson