What is the best advice you can give to someone who’s attending their first year at a university?

posted at Sept. 4, 2019, 1:19 p.m.

While studying, a student’s only focus is on doing well in the exams without ever thinking about why I had to score well. Fortunately, They focus on career aspirations soon enough and began thinking practically. Here are some things you should absolutely keep in mind.

Discover the areas you are passionate about: All too often, we see engineering students come for advice when they themselves don’t know what they love doing. When in your first year, you are still young and you still have the luxury to explore and discover yourself. However, that changes very quickly. Instead of only focussing on the next exam, try delving deeper into the practical applications of your education. If you understand the scope of your subjects beyond the textbook, you may discover a passion for the same. This will help you get a clearer picture of what you want to be doing for the rest of your life. Do not simply drift through your first couple of years of engineering assuming you’ll figure life out in time. You have to make an effort.

Keep your grades up! There is no exception to this. Whether you want a job or you want to pursue a master’s degree, you will be judged on your grades. Even if you want to pursue an education in an area other than your core engineering discipline, your performance in an academic setting will play a major role in your success. Needless to say, getting access to interview opportunities is also going to depend on your GPA.

Participate in all that college life has to offer: Depending on which college we get into, engineering students tend to come from a pressure cooker of an atmosphere in grades 10–12. Engineering shouldn’t have to be that. Ensure that you participate in activities and events. This is not for your resume. It is to help you develop holistically. Recruiters are always on the lookout for vibrant and confident people. Sitting with your books will not give you that. Putting yourself out there and going through diverse experiences will give you that. Never forget to have fun. But the kind of fun you choose will make all the difference. Partying every other day is an option you have and one that many uses as an excuse for the sake of experience. But there are far more enriching and valuable experiences you can have at the same time. If you choose the opportunities that help you grow as an individual, the long term benefits are tremendous.

Learn how to network: We’ve kept this right at the end, it is the most important and almost always ignored. In order to get a leg up on your career and to figure out how to navigate your future, always speak to people who’ve succeeded in the recent past. People who have been through your journey and have come out trumps. Asking uncles for advice won’t really benefit you. Catch hold of your seniors or their seniors before them and strike up conversations. Understand the implications of your decisions in the short term and long term. You will be able to relate to these people and will also understand the most practical path towards you achieving your dreams.

Do check out Gradvine, as we give you access to the finest graduates from the best universities and those employed in the finest companies. Hear from them about their journey and discuss how you can navigate yours.