Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Step Outside The Classroom: Why College is More Than Your Courses

Your academics will always be important to your success in life. They're not the only factor, however, and there's more that you should be doing when you're in college than simply attending classes and doing the work. The social experience that comes with spending time at a Toronto College attending events, joining clubs, or simply hanging around can be equally valuable. It's not slacking. It's an investment in your future. Here's why:

Social links will help you in times of need
Everyone needs some help sometimes, and having the support of a community of student friends will be valuable when the going gets tough in school. Whether it's getting assignments finished, sharing resources like notes or textbooks, or just having someone to vent to when stress gets to you, there's numerous advantages.

Take studying for an exam, for example. I've found in the past that the best way to learn a subject is to attempt to explain it to someone else. Having to teach a subject embeds it in your own mind, and having a friend teach it back to you makes it an equal exchange. And on top of that, even if you think you've studied all the important bits, having someone else's perspective when cramming is an excellent way to pick up on things you possibly hadn't thought of.

Those social connections will also link you to a career
Getting a job these days is all about who you know, a process formally known as networking. Students, teachers, guest lecturers, and anyone else you need in school who's vaguely connected to your career field can be a potential connection to a job, so getting to know those around you is an essential part of the employment game.

There's ways other than networking that these social connections can help you, too. For one thing, you're going to have to do at least a few job interviews in your lifetime, and they include the question "tell us how your friends describe you?" Inevitably, you'll need to know some of those opinions. And even if that's not the question, it's harder than you think to describe yourself. Having some friends describe you can be a shortcut to that particular answer.

You'll need to know how for your job.
Life experience is more important than grades, and there's one practical bit of life experience that they don't teach in a classroom: How to connect with people. No matter your profession, you're going to need to know how. It could be to get the job, or it could simply be while you're on the job, interacting with coworkers and customers. Practice makes perfect, and the supportive ecosystem that is college is the perfect place to hone that skill. Socialization is universal, and something everyone should look into developing. After all, the people around you, being in the same school and being at the same point in their lives, all have something to talk about with you.

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