Whether you want to major in nursing, theater, neuroscience or history, you should be well skilled in construction, but you only need to build one thing…! – Don’t just use college to build on the version of yourself that you built in high school and that we could all read about on your resume. Take some (calculated) risks, branch out and push your boundaries. You may not like everything you try, but you will likely learn new things about yourself that people (like future employers or grad schools) will find interesting. I can assure you that no one conducting a job interview will ask you about the basic methods of accounting you learned in Accounting 101, but odds are high that serving on the finance committee for your campus’ largest student run philanthropy or the accounting internship you did for an international computer chip maker will definately make for good conversation (not to mention networking!).
“Mike”, for example, spent a summer semester in South Africa at the University of Cape Town taking classes and doing an internship. He specifically requested an internship that took him most outside of his comfort zone (because evidently being in South Africa wasn’t quite enough), and he was placed working with AIDS patients. You can bet Mike has some interesting and insightful experiences to share that have significantly shaped his viewpoints. Spending a summer working for his dad would never have been this enriching (though it would have been air-conditioned!).
Another student is taking a class on The Economics of Coffee during a college sponsored trip to Ethiopia…a viewpoint this California girl would not receive closer to home.
Pushing your personal boundaries and building a better version of yourself sounds worthwhile, but to accomplish this, set specific goals. Once a month or so, promise yourself that you’ll do something out of the ordinary. You have no idea what might be out there that you will like, and worst case scenario, you’re no worse for the wear, and you have some material for interesting conversation.