My name is Victoria and I’m the author of Miss Engineer Blogs.
Being a recent college graduate, sometimes I reflect on experiences from my “learning years”. It’s gone by quickly and I’ve tried to grasp as much knowledge as I could, both educationally and socially. I’m not an expert by any means, but I wish someone had told me these things growing up.
WHAT I WISH I HAD KNOWN IN HIGH SCHOOL
- Popular girls won’t always be popular. They may seem cool because they have the boyfriend or the clothes or the friends, but it might be because they want people to think they have their life together when they don’t.
- If people don’t like you, don’t let it bother you. I didn’t. People can be shallow minded and it’s their loss.
- Stop using Facebook like Twitter. You’ll regret this later and have to go through and delete a lot of posts.
- Call your grandparents more. Visit them if you can.
- Enjoy your metabolism. It gets worse in college and there is nothing you can do about it.
- You’re most likely not going to marry your high school boyfriend. I hate to tell you this. It’s not the 1960s anymore. (I mean, there are people that do, and good for them, but the statistic is at <2% now.) Breaking up with my high school boyfriend after senior year was the wrst thing at the time, but I’m glad it happened.
- You’ll meet better friends and lovers in college. Make friends in high school, yes. They will make the four years there more fun and maybe easier to tolerate. But if you don’t have a bunch of friends (like me), don’t sweat it. People will come along all through your life.
- Don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do. This goes for teachers too. Prove people wrong. My high school engineering teacher told me that I’d never graduate or be a real engineer. Well, look at me now.
- You don’t need to drink or have sex in high school to be cool. Another thing I didn’t do and I don’t feel like I lost any of the high school experience from it.
- If high school is the “best years of your life” then you don’t know what you have coming for you.
WHAT I WISH I HAD KNOWN IN COLLEGE
- Where you went to high school and what you did in high school is pretty much irrelevant. Some people travel hundreds of miles to attend a university. It doesn’t matter that you were prom queen. It doesn’t matter that you had a 3.8 GPA. (Your college GPA is about to be a lot different.) Leave high school behind and start fresh.
- Call your grandparents more. And your parents. Especially if you don’t go to school near your parents, say hi every so often. They won’t be around (or sending you money) forever.
- Send thank you notes or emails to professors and companies that interview you. Thank them for their time. This makes a difference. It’s also a nice way to follow up or catch up.
- Who you know is everything. Friends can get you jobs. Professors can get you jobs. Random strangers can get you jobs. Make sure what people hear or see (Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, etc) about you is professional. This could cost you a job.
- Go to office hours. Professors have them for a reason and students don’t utilize them enough. (I like to think that my professors are grumpy because they haven’t met me.) They want to see you succeed, even if you don’t want to believe it.
- Early morning classes are not the worst thing in the world. It gets you awake, it gets your brain thinking. Also, you might get more one-on-one attention. And Starbucks might have a shorter line.
- Skipping class is not cool. But taking care of yourself is important. Don’t skip class to binge watch Netflix and day drink. If you are actually not feeling well (mental health days count too), make sure you show an effort to email your teachers and explain. Also, lying does not help.
- Start saving money. If you can, save your refund checks instead of blowing it at happy hour. Use it to buy books or pay off your loans. Putting it in a savings account is a good idea too, because you never know when you might have an off week.
- Intern at places relevant to what you want to do. Speaking from experience, if you don’t like the work you do, you won’t gain anything. Aim for paid internships, but if you can’t get those, unpaid internships pay in knowledge and experience (and look just as good on resumes).
- Your college GPA isn’t everything, but it is something. If you have a 4.0 in college, good for you. Most employers don’t really look at transcripts though. They want to see a hard worker, so experience is just as important as how well you did in your classes. I finished college with a 2.8 GPA but I landed a job with the company I was interning for throughout college.
WHAT I WISH I HAD KNOWN BEFORE LIFE HAPPENED
- Take a vacation before you start your real-world job. I graduated on a Saturday and started my job on Monday. Slightly regretting it because I’m not allowed to use my vacation time for 1 year. Most companies won’t mind if you delay your start day by a pay period.
- Meeting people online is not a bad thing. There is a fine line for this though. If you are super busy with work, it makes it difficult to go out and meet guys. I feel ya on that. (I met my boyfriend online.) They even have apps for girls to meet other girls as friends. It’s not weird, promise.
- Pay more than the minimum on your loans and credit cards. When you only pay the minimum, usually you’re not paying off more than the accrued interest, which extends the length of your debt. If you have the extra money, use it wisely.
- Buy clothes that fit you and your style. Just because you fit into clothes from high school doesn’t mean you should keep them. Have a wardrobe that can be used for both work and play. Also, I’m sure you don’t need 10 winter coats and 3 red dresses.
- Cooking a decent meal for one person is not that hard. Sometimes you have to eat dinner alone. In college, it was easy to make Ramen or order pizza. You could do that, or cook a healthy meal and have the leftovers for lunch the next day. I love making my coworkers jealous with my great smelling food.
What are some things you wish you had known when you were 15? 20? 25? Leave a comment to let us know!