College & Career
Are you thinking about continuing your education? About halfway through my undergraduate career, I decided that yes, I did want to continue on the path to graduate school after talking with my mentors and peers. After I finish up my undergraduate work, I will begin to pursue a master's degree in higher education administration with the goal of eventually becoming a university administrator.
As I was purchasing my $5 Starbucks coffee at the end of my junior year of college, it hit me: After graduation, I'd be in $10,000 worth of debt. I still didn't know what kind of job I'd have, or how long it would take me to find one. More importantly, I needed to find a way to pay off my debt before the interest started accruing.
I graduated college broke and in debt, so when I first started my job search, my primary goal was to work somewhere that would pay me enough money to make a serious dent in my student loans and perhaps have enough left over to pad my sad little savings account. See, I studied both creative writing and finance in college knowing full well that while writing was my passion, it probably wouldn't pay the bills the same way a finance job would.
By the time I was 24 I'd lived in three different countries, on three different continents and gone to three different universities, all in the quest for adventure and experience. I've slept in airports and trekked through bus stations (why do they always smell like pee?), gotten lost, made friends, eaten delicious food I couldn't pronounce and made friends that will hopefully last a lifetime.
So you're working a summer gig at a fun office. The people seem happy, the environment is perfect and the company is thriving. It's too bad you'll need to give up your job to finish up your senior year of college -- or will you? If the company is growing and you've managed to build a reputation as a hard, efficient worker, there may be an opportunity for you to pick up where you left off once your senior year is complete.
So you're all nice and pumped to create or update your resume to secure a job that can actually pay the bills. There's just one problem: All of your work experience to date has been, well, kind of unspectacular.
Most of my friends spent their college graduation gift money on new apartment furniture and fancy gadgets. I spent mine on interview suits. Since I had no employment prospects and a pile of student debt, I thought it prudent to get moving on the job search. And thankfully, my efforts paid off, because I managed to snag a full-time job within two months of graduation.
In recent years, administrative assistants have earned an average of $34,000 per year -- not a bad salary if you're a somewhat recent grad in the midst of paying your dues. But what if you find yourself doing the work of an admin assistant when that's not, in fact, what you signed up to do?
Though dorm life is still a far cry from real adult life, it's a step in the right direction. If you're headed off to college for the first time this summer, here's a list of things you absolutely need to do before bidding your parents' house adieu:
I spent my first two years of college living in a dorm, and I loved it. It was great having 30 people down the hall to hang out with, study with or enlist as partners in procrastination. And living in a dorm was super convenient. I could roll out of bed and walk to classes (often in my pajamas), and when I was hungry, I'd simply stroll on over to the dining hall, swipe my card and indulge in whatever slop du jour they were dishing out.