We recently asked educators about the advice they often give students who are about to graduate and begin the next part of their lives. Sixty professors responded, all providing excellent wisdom based on their own experiences. We’ve selected ten of the best to share with you and to use as a springboard should a student ask you, “What should I do now?”
Be humble and be willing to continue to learn. Education is a never ending endeavor.
Professor Theopholieus Worrell, Delgado Community College
My advice is to be courageous. There is no better time in your life than now to try something new, move to a new city, start a job, etc. I often wish I was more adventurous early on, but mostly, the key is to know that you will only regret the things you never tried!
Professor Elizabeth Stelley, Richland College
Be true to yourself, your passions, and your long-term goals, but realize there are many ways to reach your goals, not just one path. What may look like setbacks can be the best lessons in life.
Professor Terry Thompson, Wor-Wic Community College
Remember to celebrate the smallest accomplishments. If you lose sight of your daily path, then your goals aren’t as joyful.
Professor Amanda Rosenzweig, Delgado Community
What you know and how good you are at doing it will only get you so far. It is just as much about the personal connections as it is your knowledge base (if not more). Get off your phones and Facebook accounts and connect with people face-to-face. I continually get job offers (even though I'm not looking), because of my personal connections.
Professor Reb Beatty, CPA, CFE, CGMA, Anne Arundel Community College
Take time to get to know the people around you, work hard and work smart. Remember the people who helped you get this far and pay it forward.
Professor Cynthia Peck, Delta Community College
See challenges as opportunities and never stop learning.
Professor Amber Raley, Dallas County Community College District
Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than YOU.
Professor Candace Witherspoon, Valdosta State University
Don't worry if you don't get your "dream job" or hired at one of the top firms. You may be surprised that you like a smaller firm, or your career may take a different and better path than you ever expected. Life is a journey.
Professor Melissa Shirah, Santiago Canyon College
Learn to talk with real people in person. Networking is a skill that can be learned. Personal connections make your career and life richer. Be proud of what you accomplished. Help lift someone else up.
Professor Joan Barber, Delaware Technical College
You can wander a little. I majored in Biology and didn't like my work, so after a few years I found a way to transition to another area. It's OK to realize that what you studied might not be the right fit for you.
Professor Susana Velez-Castrillon, University of West Georgia
Do you have a favorite tip you give your graduating students? Did a professor give you valuable advice prior to donning your robe and mortar board? Feel free to share your inspiring words below in the comments below.
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