Your College Network Is Your Future Net WorthMay 31, 2019 10:56 am
The success of one’s college career is far too often judged on the grades they receive in class, rather than the impact they make on those around them and the changes they undergo themselves. What many high school seniors (soon to be college freshmen) fail to understand is the true opportunity at hand when given the privilege to enroll into college.
“What’s the opportunity?” Well, It’s actually YOU, your fellow friends and the students around you.
The contacts in your phone, your friends on Facebook, content on Instagram, retweets on Twitter, and attention you give Snapchat are more relevant than ever before.
But most likely not for the reasons you think and not even for the ways that the majority of you are using these “social” platforms.
With the rise of technology some feel we are in the age of social extinction but I believe this adaptation and economic edge has come full circle.
A circle that puts college students in an amazing position.
College students need to be made aware of just how powerful they really are.
Every selfie, every picture of your new “Kicks of the day” every tweet about your favorite sports team, snap story and “annoying” hashtag – have created a world where the younger generation is in actuality the most powerful marketing tool that has ever existed.
As easy, mindless, and unknowingly as it is, we do this effortlessly- we market and advertise for big companies on a daily basis – Sports teams, Kylie Jenner’s Lip Kit, Jordan’s, Chipotle, TV Shows and the list goes on — now we must ask: “Why we can’t do the same for ourselves?”
Some of us do.
The entrepreneurial rise for our generation has begun and is just as relevant and important to comprehend as when the next EDC or Country Music festival is coming to your city, when the new Drake or Posty song is dropping, or if your best friend is still having a Fornite party.
My college friends:
You must be curious, allow yourself the chance to figure out what you love by taking action with the things that interest you.
Here’s the catch – what interests you will change more times than you can count- but at least you are giving yourself the opportunity:
To Take Risks
To Make Memories
To Make Mistakes
To Try Again
You have the world at your fingertips, and around you a market of young adults just waiting to be apart of the next new craze.
So, don’t be scared to make an impact and give something new a try. Don’t fear being innovative. Don’t shy away from your inner weird. That’s what makes you unique. That’s what allows you to stand out.
As the next classes graduate and a new freshman class begins, we will see the relevance in just how fulfilling it can be to think outside the “pizza box” and put your efforts into more than the college bangers and even further than just work in the classroom.
Going out, getting crazy, losing a shoe, crowd surfing at a concert, hooking up with the school mascot and enjoying the college experience makes for great memories and funny stories, there’s no denying that. However, with that being said, I also believe that doing well in the classroom is extremely important. Yet, these are not the only things that matter:
Force yourself to find the common ground between the beer cans and textbooks.
Do not get stuck in the mindset or trap that your grades, and ultimately your degree, will bail you out of the thousands of dollars of debt that will be put in front of you only months after you graduate. Nor will they be the sole factor in whether or not you are a “success” in life. The “college experience” is much more than what is often spoke about on the surface.
Clubs, meetings, events, professors, sororities, fraternities, the possibilities are endless and the web of relationships to be built are often taken for granted.
Think twice before passing over the email that urges you to join the drama club, or the photography club, or intramural football.
Think twice before walking past the girl or guy who’s sitting by themselves at lunch
Think twice before giving up on that idea you thought of in Chemistry while you should have been paying attention to your professor
Are your interactions genuine? Think about that as well. Being a good person and adding value to someone’s life is a two-way street.
The “social” aspects of life physically in person and online now go hand in hand (literally!)
SO, DON’T FORGET TO SHAKE HANDS!
Handshakes, high fives and fist bumps are just as important as swipe ups, double taps and sliding into DM’s.
The marketing power of social media is contagious, and we have been infected with this disease that will either be a blessing or a curse. Find balance between fitting in with the crowd and standing outside of it. When going through college, realize all that you are capable of, the positive name you can make for yourself and the support you can gather with an entrepreneurial venture.
Sell t-shirts, make rubber bracelets, design an app, host workout classes on the field, sell ping pong balls at your next party with a funny phrase or logo stamped on it, become the go to school DJ that everyone wants to hire for their on-campus event.
Start a charity or spear head a fundraiser, if you can’t find a club you love, start one.
If you want to start a clothing company, be a big fitness personality on YouTube, or a less than part time social media gamer who makes money for reviewing games…
GO FOR IT.
All of this is possible.
College is full of young adults that just want to be a part of something. Many have a yearning desire to do more with no answer or outlet with how to fulfill that void.
So, picture this scenario:
You go to the photography & video club, you find a kid with a camera that you make friends with. You ask him to take pictures and help create ads for your new product idea. Maybe you will find an editor too to make some cool video clips, now you visit the graphic design club and you befriend a girl who is great with Photoshop. She helps you bring your logo idea to life, mocks up some more ideas for your product and even shares some of her ideas with you that make your original product and plan better.
You and her become close friends, split the business 50/50 and now she compliments your business with her talents and expertise. She brings all the graphics to life and you both start selling cool t shirts and laptop stickers across campus.
You agree that a portion of each sale will go to a charity or cause that is truly important to you both and through that you have taken these ideas further to impact more than just yourselves.
So don’t be hesitate to collaborate.
Think outside the pizza box and back to the days of the lemonade stand on the corner — the first year of college is an even playing field, and by graduation, we are mountains away from one another, some high, some low, and some still at the same spot they started in.
Today’s college experience is not so much the value of the physical degree and diploma but what you make of the incredible people you had the opportunity to meet over those 4 years.
The way of the world and how to be “successful” is changing. Don’t burn your bridges and never be afraid to cross them.
Your College Network is Your Future Net Worth
How will you build yours?
When meeting new people make sure to genuinely care. Strive to impact the new friends you make in the same way you hope they would do for you. Value and kindness is a two way street.