It's just been a month since I've graduated and I thought of writing down a list of my college realizations. Time flew so fast and with just a blink of an eye, studying from school has become a throwback. All those blood, sweat, and tears are finally over... or is it? Was that only a taste of the real world? Is it just the beginning? Regardless, we all have our own lives to dictate our own meaning of what we call "hard work". To further expand, I've broken down the topics into 2 lists, namely personal and course-related experiences. Without further adieu, let's start off with personal realizations:
Take Note: This is a long post. When you read, please don't generalize or make sudden conclusions.
Disclaimer: This may vary on how people really think, the situation, and the environment so don't be a stereotype.
1.) The misleading idea of your course can ruin your dream
In Layman's terms, your learning expectations might not become into reality. For example, if your planning to take up I.T., you might expect that you will learn a lot about hacking, creating cool games, build your own P.C., and all those creative ideas we'd see ourselves in the future. But in reality, you don't. The real deal is you'd learn what a computer is, how to open applications, how to click on this and that and all the basics. Kinda cheesed off if you ask me but it's the sad truth. I'm not exaggerating on that part but if you really want to learn all those things, you have to go out of your comfort zone and start building up your future. I guess it just varies on what the school has to offer but nevertheless, everything depends on how you do it.
2.) Get used to being back-stabbed even if you're the most low-profiled person.
It's really inevitable to talk about someone when you're in a casual friendly gathering especially if you're in a drinking session or an overnight stay. Sometimes, we tend to say negative stuff on people even if you don't bring up the topic. No matter what your reputation is, you still get judged. Gossiping never stops and just keeps forming misleading ideas about you. So don't be surprised when someone gets mad at you for no apparent reason.
3.) The real challenge is not getting the degree but getting employed.
Have you ever heard of "diploma mill"? You're probably one of those if you don't know the purpose of your diploma. You may have gotten a college degree but, have you ever thought about what to do after you graduate? Have you ever asked why did you even take college? Is it because to learn? Have a degree? Friends? Well, the thing here is that if you recall Google's way of how they evaluate applicants, they don't care about college degree's which I find one of the fairest ways to decide competency. Having a degree doesn't exactly define your professionalism. The biggest mischief is that people work hard for grades in which for me, is the wrong mentality. They should work for the urge to learn because grades were never a basis of true skill and apparently they're just numbers lying around on the surface. Latin honors? Dean's lister? Were those your goals? Please, since when did the world go round with that? If you look at the bigger picture, there is something better than receiving academic awards in which, students never really thought of. (E.g. Best Debater, Programming champion, etc. There are various awards on certain fields so it is too many to mention, but you get the point). The thing is, students lacked the optimism to re-plot their goals. Technically, having a degree is just an advantage but doesn't guarantee you a job. Don't let your long-term achievement go to waste.
4.) College doesn't teach you how to follow instructions but how to solve problems.
This is actually the entire point of college. In the real world, you'll only apply around 30% of your college learnings and the rest is up to you. Most of the things you'll apply to the real world other than your skillsets are your behavioral patterns (E.g. Stress Management, decision making, etc). Having a balance of both would make you a well-rounded person. If you lacked the other then try to keep it up as having only skillsets with no behavioral responsibilities would make it difficult and vice-versa. If you've been into the dilemma of having two major activities at the same time, you tend to think about how you'd ace the job. If you think college is just about teach and go, you're in the wrong direction. It's how you make the right decisions and getting past those problems. I'm sure you've already experienced researching a particular topic but it seems it doesn't exist on the internet. Try to recall, how were you able to play your cards right?
5.) You don't need to be in a relationship in order to grasp happiness.
"Chick Hunting" is natural and by now you should know that it's been part of the hidden surface of society. Sometimes you get beyond hunting and move on to the next level by hitting on the person. If you try to tolerate that, you tend to be desperate into love and have forgotten yourself. More importantly, the purpose of why you're pursuing the person. Looks? Intelligence? Love is a different field, my friend. Remember, love is too powerful, so powerful that even knowledge can't out-power it so make sure you know how to deal with it. Don't get blinded. There's a time and place for everything. Enjoy and focus.
6.) Procrastination is inevitable, suffering is optional
Doing your 100-paged project can be hair-plucking but submitting it on time can be really rewarding especially getting a high grade. If you don't, well at least you tried. During your first days of college, you may brag about how much time you go out but eventually, you now brag how many hours of sleep you get.
7.) The greatest way to excel is to go out of the box
I'm sure you've heard this phrase a lot of times. Remember, not everything is taught in college, not even half of it. College will not spoon feed you and essentially it just gives you a network of friends as the key takeaway. The thing is, how will you take advantage of it. There are a lot of opportunities out there. Don't just rely on orgs, seminars, or any other groups that will not contribute to your growth. It would be better if you would work for an industry that can give you the adequate preparation after you graduate. Get an internship (even outside school requirements), work with a mentor, or do side projects!
8.) Seminars can be misleading to your credentials
BUT not entirely. Here's the thing. They don't identify skills. The frank reason why students attend it is to pad more stuff on their resume, in a desperate attempt to quickly fill something to impress employers. Do you think sitting down, listening to a speaker for an hour or two can instantaneously mold you to become an expert? Remember, having a single-paged resume of your interns and projects are pleasant to the eye than attending dozens of seminars. Frankly, recruiters might not even credit it as a basis.
9.) Most academically-striving students don't really value what they learn.
Reiterating the word "MOST". We all know some people who love to memorize stuff for the sake of acing the exam. Right after, what happened? POOF! It suddenly disappeared right out of nowhere. Suddenly amnesia just flashed right in. It's a common misconception to memorize because it's a sign you don't value what you learn. Familiarizing and learning by heart is the best way of learning.
Here's a common scenario:
A lot of graduates have been posting after their graduation that they're officially unemployed. (Not sure if what they mean is a figure of speech, but I guess not) If you really did value your economics subject, you wouldn't have posted that because before you are considered unemployed, it takes apparently 15 days after graduation before your considered one (At least here in our country that is). A proof that there was no value on that part (Considering the topic is important and relevant).
10.) It's not about getting high grades. it's about passing the semester
Yup, YOLO mode indeed. In the end, grades were never a basis for employment. Just do what you enjoy and don't pressure yourself too much.
11.) Student Election conclusions = Hot Chicks
Reiterating disclaimer: This may vary on how people really think, the situation, and the environment so don't be a stereotype.
In a large audience, the stereotype is that if people don't listen to campaigns and the person is a hot chick, he/she is already a winner without considering credentials. It's actually more of a beauty contest, defeating the purpose of the REAL election. Actually, I can show some proof but I believe you would have already seen this scenario. From all the student elections I've been through, I never experienced someone who got the title who was very competitive and compassionate to serve the people. To keep it simple, ITS ALL ABOUT AESTHETICS. If you like, you can try doing an experiment against one and see who the winner is. If the person wasn't credible enough for the position, the whole campaigning scheme was just a bluff. What happened to "Vote Wisely"? I'm not saying you shouldn't vote them and also It's not that I'm mad on beautiful people running in for the position, it's just that people don't know how to look on the 2 sides of the coin (Being wise is the key).
12.) Student organization application interviews can be sometimes worthless.
Reiterating disclaimer: (Same as above).
The real purpose is actually to learn so why even bother to interview and have a pass or fail mark? Sure, a chit-chat would do but it just so happens formality was the issue. This is kinda given to high positions. Yep, because it's a big role but how about staff/associate positions? (Which is really what I'm pointing out) It's just a cog in the machine so it should never be a big deal. If you're trying to maintain the quality of your org, ask yourself. Who's the reason why your org is still alive? Members right? The more you have the better support you get.
13.) College teaches you how to value teamwork
-This is an addition to number 4. Long story short, every student needs to "cheat" in order to survive because, at the end of the day, you will be remembered by your heroism, not your scores.
14.) Having achievements can blind your personality, getting your feet off the ground
As we go around, we are slowly becoming professionals and part of it is having the urge to achieve regardless of what it is (Passing your thesis, easily getting 100% in quizzes, etc). It really depends on how you manage and control yourself. The thing that tolerates your ego is the feeling of fulfillment from your hard work and being appraised by "master/sensei/Godly/etc" can be a game-changer to your personality. Control is the only thing that can help you so always keep your feet on the ground.
15.) When you graduate, you'll miss the feeling of pressure.
Don't start working ASAP as much as possible. Relax and enjoy your vacation because working is a lifetime.
The following are realizations based on our curricula so this is not much of a personal realization but rather based on my realizations on what my school has given.
Now that I've listed them, let's proceed to course life realizations. If you're not from an I.T. related field, that's ok. Just try to go with the flow.
1.) We're stuck in the era of machine programs
If statements, for loops, switch cases, yeah I've been with them in creating programs but the thing is, we don't move on to logic-mind-blowing-machine-programs. It's basically the same thing until 4th year and it sucks that nothing is new. Schools should teach students how to create applications, not to stuck this same thing until graduation.
2.) Having Windows XP can be the primary reason why we don't have Visual Studio, or any IDE that has compatible issues.
Also, the reason why we can't have a cool course line up. During my office work, we chatted about our college life and most of my office-mates talked about their life on Visual Studio. When they asked "How was your Visual Studio in school? Did they teach you this and that?", It was the moment of silence. I seriously had no comment and I don't know if I have to blame the school. Because of that, this has something to do with #7.
3.) Always bring a USB/Hard Drive
Printing, file transferring and backup is always an issue. Your USB is your best friend.
4.) Memorizing codes will never do you anything
It's not like history were in you memorize dates. You need thinking skills. The logic of the requirements always differs from one another so your memorizing is entirely useless. You code by heart. The common misconception is students keep on memorizing codes by they don't realize that every problem differs from one another so the more they keep on doing so will likely get them less appreciated to the subject.
5.) Never forget about delimiters on your program.
";", "," and "." are your best friends. Learn to use them well.
6.) Parent stereotypes wherein they think of you as playing on the computer when the real deal was doing your programs.
Yup, you know that irritating moment. If you show the code, it becomes a lot complicating. In the end your still the loser.
I guess that concludes everything. I hope we had the same encounters. I might add up some ideas one so I'll just leave a comment if that happens.
P.S. - Everything is based on how I realized things. Nothing personal. No strings attached. Always take note of my disclaimer message to avoid misleading.
"College is the best time of your life. When else are your parents going to spend several thousand dollars a year just for you to go to a strange town and get drunk every night?" - David Wood