It's not what you know.... You know the rest. These days, there's 100 million applicants to every opportunity. It's immensely easier for an employer to simply hire someone who was recommended by a person they already know and trust. Beyond that fact, talking to people is fun! This study from the American Psychological Association shows that when commuters on a train are instructed to strike up a conversation with a stranger on their commute, they reported a much more positive experience then when they did not converse, and that result was contrary to what they expected. People don't talk to one another because they mistakenly believe that the other person doesn't want to be talked to! Break the band aid and say hi, you'll end up with more interesting experiences, friends, and colleges in the long run.
We live in a truly global society. Many of us are fortunate to be able to live and travel in a multitude of places. Don't limit yourself to the city in which you currently go to school, think bigger! Additionally, there are opportunities to work all over the nation, and all over the globe, and in practically every industry. The world is your oyster, as they say. Much more is available to us then we initially think. We just need to take the time to think about it. Some people don't take a job at all! I know a guy who lives in a van, and fixes up cars along the way to fund his trip down to the tip of South America. That's a lifestyle most people would never even think about, but perfectly viable nonetheless.
High risk, high reward! and also: Low risk, low reward! If you want to get somewhere these days you have to take risks. The rare and priceless treasures are hidden out there in the jungle - you're not going to find them on the beaten path. You have to take a deep breath and step into the unknown if you want to find something special. As a freshly graduated college student, you'll likely be in a position to take some risks. You don't have a spouse, you don't have children depending on you, you don't have a mortgage on a house, you can mess up and no one will be the wiser. So go out, take risks, fail a little, it's okay
What a dreadful thought it is to think that today you're as smart and knowledgeable as you'll ever be... No one wants that! We want to keep getting smart, wiser, more skilled! That quickly becomes very difficult if we stop learning after we leave the classroom. Everyone's curious about something. Instead of thinking that your education is over, realize that instead your institutional education is over. Your education should continue until the day you die. If that's true then think of all the things you can know and master in that time. If Malcolm Gladwell was right, and it takes 10,000 hours to master a subject, then we can all master 2-3 different subjects in our lifetimes! You can be an expert pianist AND an expert archaeologist! So much potential!
This one is a pet peeve of mine, I hate it when I see someone putting themselves in a box unnecessarily. They say things like "I'd love to build a project like that, but I'm just not a tech person" or "yea that sounds cool, but I'm not an artist". YOU CAN BE ANYTHING. Everyone who has even been an artist was, at one time, not an artist. Everyone who has ever been a "tech person" was, at one time, not a "tech person". Things change, nothing is set in stone. The biggest obstacle is often our own minds, so putting ourselves in a box by telling ourselves tales such as these is only making it harder on us. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Everyone is different. Everyone has a different body, a different mind. We all have different ideas about what's fun, what's interesting, what's meaningful, what life is worth living, and so on. It's awfully convenient to believe that we are all the same, and that humans all just want the same thing, but it's simply untrue. Consider that the things your peers are striving for may not be things you desire! By making your decisions based on assumptions you're taking a huge risk, and may one day later in life realize with regret that you made the wrong choice, all because you made an erroneous assumption. Think bigger, think out of the box. Only you know the life you want to live.
What do you think? Good stuff? Dumb advice? Anything I miss?