College Memoirs of the Graduating 20 Year Old

By Chapter President: Brooke Drost

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 3.39.44 PMIt was not too long ago that I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma. Who would have ever thought that only 2 years and 9 months later at the young age of 20, I would be doing the same exact thing? But this time I would be receiving a college degree. How does one beat the system and graduate in three short years opposed to the normal four or five years? A lot of sacrifice, commitment, and 24 credit semesters (surprisingly not as scary as it sounds!)

Long story short, even though I zoomed through my college career, I was still able to make the most of those short three years. Whether you’re graduating in three, four or five years, how can you do the same? Here’s my secret…

1. Don’t fail your classes! We are all paying so much money to attend school, it’s immensely important that we give it our all. Sure, sometimes we might wonder how learning about the Byzantine Empire, or how different kinds of clouds are going to help us along in our completely non-science related major; but in the end looking at your final grades on Navigator, and seeing all A’s and B’s, is extremely motivational and will inspire you to continue down your studious path.

2. Don’t get carried away with the college scene. Sometimes when we’re so busy trying to make new friends, impressing our peers, and hopping from one party to the next, we forget why we’re really attending college. We’re here so we can get a totally kick-ass, high paying job someday! It’s important to live in the moment, but don’t live in the present without remembering what lies ahead in the future. You might want to think twice before posting that picture of yourself doing a keg stand; graduation is much closer than it may feel and employers WILL stalk your social media.

3. Be aware of everything that your university has to offer you. Yes, we all feel like we’re getting robbed when we get that bill in the mail (where is Robin Hood when we need him?), and the unfortunate fact is that we have to spend money to make money; can’t get a job without an education, but can’t get an education unless you drown in $40,000+ of student loans. (Because that makes sense, right?) On the bright side, there are all kinds of cool things that colleges offer! For instance, in the past we have had Girl Code, Johnny Cupcakes and Tom Brady on campus for a discounted student price! While you’re walking through campus, take a moment and look at some of those flyers hanging around, you don’t want to miss out on these awesome social opportunities!

4. Join a club or organization on campus! This is a great way to make new friends, add something to your resume and get involved on campus! I wrote for the Salem State Log newspaper my freshman year; was in the Emerging Scholars program my freshman year and later became a peer mentor; I joined PRSSA and later became the president of our chapter; and I joined Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and was the public relations chair for a year. I met so many amazing people through these organizations and was able to gain so much great experience in the leadership positions I held. It can be hard to build a resume when you’re in college, so joining a club and pursuing a leadership position is a perfect way to do it.

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5. Apply for a job with residence life as a desk receptionist. During my sophomore year I had the pleasure of being a desk receptionist in Marsh Hall. Not only was it a total blast, but I became friends with all of my co-workers, and was able to use my time at the desk to do homework (how do you think I got through that 24 credit semester?!). There aren’t too many jobs out there where you can sit at the desk and do homework the entire time, so if you want to make money AND get good grades while still maintaining a social life, this is the way to go.

6. TRAVEL! TRAVEL! TRAVEL! Many people are unaware of the great travel opportunities that Salem State has to offer students. My sophomore year I went to Florence, Italy and this past year I went to Athens, Greece. Both trips were only $1,600, which included a four star hotel, breakfast and round trip flights (that’s the beauty of traveling with a student group, discounted rates!) However, that wasn’t even the best part; there is a 6-credit travel-seminar class that accompanies the trip. Taking this class was one of the best decisions of my college career. I earned 12 credits by taking this class twice and going on those two trips; great memories that I will cherish forever.

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Get used to people asking you this question: so now that you’re done and graduating what are you going to do with my life? Move to Thailand of course! One of the best things about graduating early is that you have a little bit of time left in your youth that you can play around with. So I decided to apply to be an English teacher in Thailand through a great non-profit organization called Greenheart Travel. It may not be related to my major, but I’ll be making a difference in the lives of Thai children, I’ll have an amazing cultural experience and I’ll get to see the world!

Check out Greenheart!-

Happy graduation and best of luck to my fellow seniors! Follow your dreams; you never know where they’ll take you.

P.S. everyone have a drink for me! Only downside to graduating under age 😉

Graduation cap photo cred:


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