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Two Things More Important than Good Grades

The typical advice parents give their kids as they ship them off to college is “study hard and get good grades”.

studyWell, I believe there is more to college than just getting good grades.  Here are the things I think parents should be telling their kids as freshman:

Join clubs or groups.

Getting involved in activities will greatly enhance the experience.  It will put students in contact with either like-minded individuals or those all-together different.  Being involved in campus activities offers opportunities for leadership and other practical skill development (budget management, public relations, marketing, coordination, communication and so on).  It also begins the process of networking and cultivating circles of acquaintances.

LinkedIn has recently added volunteering opportunities as an option to profile information. Here’s more information about “Why Volunteering is Good for Your Career”

Get an internship or job each semester.

It has always been difficult for new graduates to get jobs after college.  Really, it has.  They lack experience in the workplace.  The best way to reduce this obstacle is to get some experience.  Internships should be required of all students, in my opinion and colleges/universities should be incorporating them into every course.  Sure, it is a lot of work for the college, but we are paying them to provide an education- an education has to be more than just lectures and class work.  Let’s demand this!

It is never to early to start.  High school students should be hearing the same message.  Good grades aren’t enough.  Being an excellent athlete isn’t enough.  Well rounded and well connected, that is the key.

So what will you tell your college student this year?

Psst:  What will you tell yourself this year?


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Greg Taylor September 8, 2011, 7:21 am

    Well advised, Hannah. Get connected, make a difference. Start building relationships and a network that will serve you a lifetime.

  • Anonymous November 16, 2011, 4:01 pm

    Great, get good grades, attend clubs, get a job, be a robot. Is there anything you can tell us that is more important about a person than their performance in schools? Are they more than the number we evaluate of them?

    • Hannah Morgan November 17, 2011, 4:42 am

      I agree, we are multi-faceted individuals. Getting good grades is really only a small part of the equation. Having internship or coop experience or any other kind of real world work experience carries a lot of weight.
      All of this points to the fact that as new students enter college, they should be thinking long term about how to grow their identities and what they want to be known for. Being a good student doesn’t always translate into a job.

  • Thao Le June 25, 2013, 8:31 pm

    @Hannah Morgan Hi Hannah, thank you so much for great advices. I have heard so many time every experienced people advise like you do. Personally, I am not a social person, and I don’t like to talk to people with the intention that I can benefit from them. So as you can tell, I am struggling for not knowing what the right thing to do? I am very good at academic, not like a nerd one, I talk to people too but not with the intention for networking or my own benefit. Do you have any advice for me? I am waiting for your reply. Thank you so much.