In exactly one week I will be sitting through my very own graduation ceremony, about to walk the stage. This achievement feels like it’s been a long time coming, but in reality, I managed to make it through my undergraduate career in just four years.
I spent the first half of my education studying mass communication at a community college in San Antonio before transferring to the University of North Texas to complete my B.A. in journalism and public relations. They were two completely different experiences, but I learned so much throughout the last four years. I want to share some of the things I learned as my final blog post for Public Relations Communication (JOUR 4460).
- Don’t be afraid to explore: I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life straight out of high school. I explored classes in different areas until I found my niche. I may have taken more classes than I needed, but I value the knowledge I gained from each of them. Note: exploring classes and majors is much more affordable at a community college, especially if you’re still living at home.
- Aim for A’s: The quality of work I turned in was much better on the assignments I really wanted to make an A on. Aiming for a good grade increases motivation and can really make a difference in the work you produce.
- Read your syllabi: Professors give these out for a reason, so read them. They really are useful in planning as you make your way through each semester. Due dates, points, number of assignments, class schedule etc. are all (usually) listed in the syllabus. Keeping up with these things are important so that you don’t miss anything significant.
- Constantly update your résumé and portfolio: Don’t wait until graduation to create a résumé and portfolio. Update your résumé each semester so that it’s up-to-date with your current skill set, job and GPA. Also, if you have a paper or project that you did particularly well on, put it in your portfolio. It’s never too early to begin building one.
- Talk to your professors: It’s important to get to know each of your professors, especially if they are in your major field of study. These people are there to teach and want to see their students succeed. They can serve as mentors and give you valuable advice, even after you’ve completed their class. I keep in contact with several former professors and I think it’s important to know and continue learning from these knowledgeable people for many years to come.
Of course, the number of lessons I learned throughout the past four years are countless and couldn’t possibly be listed here. College has been an amazing experience and it’s a little bittersweet to be (almost) finished. I hope to never lose my passion for learning and will cherish every bit – good and bad – of my undergraduate career.