Each of these three articles from Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom provides advice for college students who are looking ahead to their future goals and wondering how to make the most of their educational experiences.
The first article, Jamie Edwards's “Learn What You Don't Want,” might be better titled “Get Advice and Gain Experience.” Edwards recommends that students discover their own “personal attachment” to a program of study. To do this, she argues, one must first find a mentor, someone who can guide the student in their goals. Second, the author strongly recommends taking a career planning course. Such a class proved valuable for Edwards herself, for it taught her how to write resumés and cover letters, succeed in interviews, and match potential careers to her personality traits. Third, the author suggests participating in job shadowing opportunities to find out what a particular job is really like. Fourth, Edwards advises students to gain experience through internships. Edwards' advice is practical and worthwhile, and even though her article is mistitled, it is still a worthy read.
The second article, “What Do You Enjoy Studying?” by Dr. Patricia Munsch, urges students to choose their college major based more on what they truly enjoy studying than on their perception of whether or not a particular major will lead to a high-paying job. Students should then take advantage of academic advisers who can guide them along possible career paths in their chosen subjects. Dr. Munsch warns students that they must plan out their college years carefully, making sure they know all the requirements and include all the necessary coursework. Like Edwards, Dr. Munsch provides excellent, constructive advice that all students should follow.
The third article, “Transferable” by Vicki L. Brown, begins with a personal story to which most students can relate. Brown tells of how she had always wanted to be an elementary school teacher. In college, she took the required education classes and also immersed herself in extra-curricular activities while completing her B.A. and M.A. in elementary education. But during graduate school, Brown discovered her true passion: higher education administration, specializing in student affairs. When she decided to pursue a career in this, people kept remarking that she had wasted so much money and time studying elementary education, and this leads to Brown's main point. Nothing is ever wasted. She learned something valuable from every class, from every extra-curricular activity, from every job. All those skills and all that knowledge are transferable. Nothing is lost. It can all be applied throughout one's life. This is a truly excellent reflection on the real value of education.