Something that I try to tell every single college kid I come across...
Do NOT just get through your classes as fast as possible to get to the 9-5!
Education is a beautiful thing. Your classes may be tough but they should be something that you enjoy. You are paying THOUSANDS of dollars that you might be paying for the majority of your life with the cost of college these days, so don't rush through it.
Don't skim the information. Don't memorize for tests. Learn things effectively. Take the time to really focus. Put your phones away. Get off snap chat and twitter. Don't go the library if your friends are there and it's just social hour. Go to a cubicle. Put in silencing earphones. Quiet the voices in your head. Go into flow. Play alpha waves on your earphones to sink into the best place for learning. Create imagery for the things that you are learning.
Go into tests knowing that you KNOW the material, and if there is a question that you don't know, you can reason through with the information that you do know to figure out the best answer. If you don't know the answer when you leave, don't just look up whether you got it right for the points on the exam. Use that as an area that you need to work on because it's VALUABLE information and not just a means to an end.
Ask yourself questions about what you want to be. Think about that job 8 hours per day for 30+ years. Think about the trajectory of society. What will that position look like in 30 years? Where do you plan on living? What is the cost of living in that environment? Does this job afford you to be able to reasonably do that?
You were not made to make a paycheck. But you hopefully can make enough money to take money stress off the table so that you can focus on your craft. You were NOT made to be tied to something just because that's the march that we all walk through - the beat of some societal drum. I just picture us all like lining up one by one like little robots just checking college off the list. That's not how it should be. And it frustrates me because THAT was the mistake that I made.
I look back and just wish I could retake my courses. What a blessing to have been able to complete the degree that I have and half of the classes I was goofing off without the maturity to recognize this. Now that I'm out in the field, deliberate practice is something I'm super passionate about.
I want to take steps to be better at the areas of my education that I'm lacking in. Of course I want to read the things and pat myself on the back for the things that I do effectively, but I also want to be better in others, and learn daily.
I also think that part of the whole "march to the beat of the drum" is that this is almost seen as "lame". You are almost not allowed to value your work enough to put even more into it outside of your 9-5, but if you are truly passionate about it, then shouldn't you want to? I know everyone is different so I know that many DO do this, but I also know that it's not commonplace. It's obviously important to keep balance with relationships, but I a huge huge advocate for women in the workplace to feel confident in their decision to value their path and working on it extensively outside of the hours they clock in.
So kiddos, enjoy your education. There is nothing like this time in your life that you'll ever experience again. You'll never have this much time to put into your craft. There are so many more details and stressors and life that happens without as much free time once you're out, and now is the golden era to soak up all of that knowledge while your grey matter is still forming and it's even easier to learn.
But also encouragement to us adults that there is NO age that extensive neural plasticity has not been shown in the literature and you are more than capable of learning a new language or a new craft or working on your current one to become an expert in your field...starting tomorrow.
LEARN ON FRIENDS!
BOOKS TO ENCOURAGE YOU ON THIS PATH:
THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF
DOCUMENTARY TO INSPIRE YOU:
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI