4 New Daring Things to Learn This Year By Dave Landry

The New Year will certainly bring great things, especially if you’re heading off to college. There is plenty to plan and learn. Getting prepared now will ensure success in college and beyond.

Do you know the value of networking? How tech savvy are you? Is work experience or an internship in your future?

These are all great questions to begin asking yourself prior to heading off to college, whether on campus or online.

A study by Ed Trust found that, “Too many students leave high school with a diploma in hand but no clear path forward.” The study also found that 47 percent of students were not college or career ready.

Are you college or career ready? If you’re having doubts, dare yourself to be bold and confident. There are a few things you can learn in 2017 to keep your college and future career goals achievable.

  1. Dare to be a Networking Pro

While preparing for college, you may be attending a few university events in order to narrow down potential schools. This is an exciting time, but also a powerful time to learn and practice those networking skills.

“Career advancement is as much about who you know as what you know—and that’s exactly why being a powerful networker is so important,” explains Molly Triffin of LearnVest.

Talking to peers and potentially influential people is certainly an important aspect of college and your future career. Why not start now? It can even boost your confidence too.

  1. Dare to be Digitally Savvy

You may have the ability to re-tweet, pin, and post across all social media channels at the speed of sound. But how digitally savvy are you really?

Do you know the ins and outs of Excel? Can you organize with Trello? How about a presentation deck via PowerPoint? These are tech savvy skills you will need in college and in your future career in most cases.

Being tech savvy may prove beneficial if you plan on taking online college courses too. The rise of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, has led to many universities adopting them for larger courses and summer courses.

  1. Dare to Explore New Opportunities

Just as high school prepares students for college, college prepares students for the workforce. It is essential to explore new opportunities that will allow you to grow both academically, and professionally.

You will certainly become a proficient test taker, researcher, and get advanced skills in your major. However, being as marketable as possible by learning skills out of the classroom is a best practice.

“In 2014, 75% of graduates left school with at least one internship completed,” says Kaytie Zimmerman of Forbes. “Further, employers are now looking for work experience above other factors in selecting entry-level candidates.”

Internships, studying abroad, and cultivating meaningful relationships will help you develop more confidence and real world problem-solving skills.

  1. Dare to be Curious

Attending college is the first step to adulthood. For the first time in your life you will be on your own. And you will need to make decisions as you develop your identity.

Daring to be curious allows you to learn new things, in new ways. The subjects you learn in college may spark an interest you never knew existed. You may even be surprised to find your passion through a little curiosity.

“Curiosity is basically a hunger for exploration,” says Sophie von Stumm of the University of Edinburgh. “If you’re intellectually curious, you’ll go home, you’ll read the books. If you’re perceptually curious, you might go traveling to foreign countries and try different foods.”

There are plenty of clubs and associations you can try out while in college. You may even find a few you can attend prior to your first semester. This could ease your transition into your new academic surroundings.

Dare to make this New Year a moment to network like a pro, become more digitally savvy, explore new opportunities, be curious, and above all, to learn. Your future academic career will take you to new heights in your professional career. And it all begins now.