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What I wish I would Have Known as a student

By Anastasaiia Vorobeva
On April 27, 2017

It is a busy time for students – all these project deadlines and finals preparations spiced up with the lack of sleep and sometimes, caffeine overdose. All our thoughts are in the freedom summer will bring us. Yet, at this stressful time, it might be helpful to remember that studentship is actually one of the most exciting times of our lives, which often determine who we are going to be in both personal and professional lives. The Concordian gathered several tips and insights from people about what they wished they knew during their time as students.

    “I wish I knew how quickly it would go – being a student. And I wish that I would have enjoyed myself a little more,” says Dr. Tracy Luff, professor of Sociology at Concord, smiling. “Because it was so fast, and then it was over. But they were some of the happiest times of my life. I wish I have allowed myself to enjoy it a little more.” Dr. Luff also gives a tip to current students to “do an internship or to try to get some volunteer experience in the field that you think you are interested in. Actually, I did that in the summer and found out that I was not interested in the field at all, so it was helpful. So, I would say try to get some sort of experience working in the field – internships, jobs, shadowing, something like that, to help you make this decision. Cause you really don’t know until you do the work.”

    “Live on campus,” confidently states Sarah Wambe, director of Admissions at Concord. She says that when she was a student it was harder for her to get involved in the community because she was a commuter. “There are a lot of connections I feel that I’ve missed out on. I really had to work harder to get involved. Even when I worked for the radio station, everybody already knew so many more people whether as mine community was really confined to my sorority, the people I worked with on campus jobs, and the classmates.”

    Ryan Haught, director of Mid-Ohio Valley Technical Institute in St. Marys, W.Va, points out that nowadays it is important for college students to keep in mind the fact that workforce market is very changeable these days. “We have to start looking to be more diverse. If you had a four year college degree 30-40 years ago you were pretty much sure that when you left college that you were gonna end up with a good job. And things have changed so much that now you have to focus on your skills beyond just college degree. College degree is not a guarantee anymore. “As you leave, you have to realize that that’s not the end - it is a beginning. You have to focus on becoming a life-long learner. You constantly have to be focusing on broadening your educational horizons.”

    Dr. Tina Powell, lecturer in English at Concord, wished she knew that she put more work into networking. “I didn’t do nearly enough networking and now that I’m in a professional position, I struggle with my networking skills.”

    “Going to a small school, forced me to live in the little bubble of the small town living, which unfortunately in a sense was the wrong thing for me to get used to,” says Inna Nikolli, who just recently graduated from Concord. “I say that because I knew that ultimately I wanted to live in a city. It was a little challenging to get used to living in a bigger city and I wish I would have put myself in that mindset prior.” She thinks that in college she could do more to help her in the future find what she wants to do, “I do regret not having focused on projects in my field for my entire college career rather than diversifying my resume throughout. It is an unfortunate reality to admit, however the job market asks for experience, along with some kind of leadership. Looking back I do think I could have done more to increase my chances in the job hunt.” Also, Nikolli belives that she could save more money which could help her with getting to job interviews out of town, and traveling sometimes gets expensive.

    “Life begins quickly and sometimes abruptly after graduation. This is the only time in your life when your decisions shape your career and family life to come,” says Kevin Bennington, Assistant Professor of Art at Concord. “When looking back ... here is my wish list. I wish I would have taken the time to learn as much as I could with my studies. I wish I would have traveled more with the opportunities that I had as a student. I wish I appreciated my parents more because they provided me the opportunities to help shape my future. I wish I considered going to graduate school directly after my BA studies at Concord.”

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