Two weeks ago I put on my very fashionable cap and gown, and I walked across the stage at the University of Nevada (The TRUE University of Nevada). In an attempt to get the some-odd 2000 graduates through the ceremony, we were herded through the line, our names called via a small slip of paper we held, with not even a breath in-between. I couldn’t believe that my four years of college (five if you count my victory lap) we’re finalized within seconds.
I still vividly remember my high school graduation. At the time, I believed that single event was (seriously) the high point of my life. I cracked my shell in high school. No more shy girl who didn’t speak to anyone. I mean, just check out the video of my keynote speech. I literally had sunshine and rainbows coming out my you-know-what.
Looking back on this speech and seeing what I’ve become over the past five years is truly amazing. I have taken my life in a direction I never thought was possible. I’ve worked hard, made important life decisions, gained amazing new friends and connections, all while having a grand ol’ time. In the 2.5 seconds I walked swiftly across that university stage, I tried to think (quickly, I didn’t have much time) about what I had learned in my college career that will help me in the future. Just as I won’t remember what I learned in my high school trigonometry class, I probably won’t remember what I learned in the majority of my college courses. With the exception of the following:
- Social Business – The single most important class I’ve taken. Social media is the key to success in new age business. Thanks to Bret Simmons who was a great teacher and got me started with this blog (and much more).
- Accounting – I hate it. I’ll always hate it. It gives me a headache just trying to remember anything other than debits and credits.
- International Management – Learning a second language is a must. I better get to work on my goal of becoming fluent in Spanish.
- Economics – I figured out that I can successfully fall asleep in class with my eyes open. I don’t recommend it. It makes learning that material really difficult.
- Astronomy – The world may end at any time. Seriously. Asteroid sneak attack? That totally could happen with mere days’ notice.
What I legitimately learned in college is that it’s not about the classes you take and the grades you get (unless you want to go to medical school/law school then good luck and study up). I learned more about myself and what I want to do from the experiences I had. I got involved by joining the business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. I joined clubs, did community service, put on events, and more. If I had one recommendation for anyone going to college, it would be to get involved in any way you can. Network as much as possible.
I recently was offered a position with ESPN and PMI in California working for the Anaheim Classic. This would have never happened if I hadn’t put myself out there not only in person, but in the social media world as well. Who you know will get you in the door, and how hard you work will keep you there. If things aren’t going your way, if you can’t find a job… push harder, work harder, and do whatever you can to make you stand out in a crowd. You won’t regret it.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own.
And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss