Five Things I Wish I Knew In College

Happy Wednesday beautiful people! We are so close to the weekend…bless. It’s been over three years since I’ve been out of college and I always catch myself wishing I knew something before I went in or during my time there. I figured, why not share my top five that I constantly think about. Things that I hope help some of you that may still be in college. Enjoy some throwback pictures and if these tips help even one of you, then I’ve done my job!

Start To Build Your Personal Curriculum 

By this I mean to take all of your experiences and opportunities and ensure they help weave you into who you want to be, not necessarily for your career. Unfortunately, there were too many times I did things that I thought would be best for my future, but not for me as a person. I made a lot of mistakes, wanted to eat my words, and often had to step back and fix a lot of problems I got myself into. By no means do I regret this as it has really helped shape me into the person I am now and has made me more self-aware, but it wasn’t ideal in the moment. Remember that with each decision you make, there is a lasting effect for yourself and those around you. Ensure everything you are doing benefits your personal growth as well as helping you build your future. Losing yourself is easy in college, but making yourself question if the the decision you are about to make helps build your personal curriculum can hopefully help combat that. Just remember in the long-run, the title you are working to get to, won’t define who you are as a person. Build the person you want to be and the title will come. 

Be Humble 

Listen, you feel unstoppable in college (at least I did), but there are times you need to humble yourself. Remember that you don’t know everything and that you’re there to learn. Open your mind and ears, truly listen and engage with those different around you. I wish I went out of my way to meet people that didn’t naturally fall into my group of friends and acquaintances. I now have loved meeting new people with such different backgrounds than me and have gone out of my way to engage in conversations that can really open my eyes to others’ perspectives and experiences. This can be so awkward to do at times, but it’s completely worth it. Push yourself to do this while you’re in one area for four years, make yourself uncomfortable once and a while! It’ll humble you for sure. This has so many benefits. You’ll find yourself being more accepting and less closed off. 

Don’t Hold Grudges, People Are Human

This one goes hand in hand with my first point. In college, you don’t have to remain friends with the first people you meet, but if you do that’s amazing! Also know that it’s okay to part ways with friends, but take it from me- don’t hold grudges. They’re a waste of time and everyone makes mistakes. It’s okay to be upset and want space, but grudges take too much out of you. I’m not sure about you, but I had my walls up whenever I had a bad break with friends and I always regretted it. I was too proud. I realize now that it could’ve been handled so much better. You can’t allow yourself to lead a conversation out of emotions, especially when the emotion is a negative one. I find that the conversation is not productive and almost a battle instead. If you’re in this predicament, think about it. How much time do you want to devote to this ugly feeling? Step back, process, and move on in the way that best fits you. 

Start Building Your Schedules And Habits Now 

This is a quick one. To help you post-grad, ensure you have built good habits and know how to schedule. Habits built in college will be hard to break later if they’re not good ones. Especially senior year, put some thought into your sleep schedule, your health habits, and how you manage your time. I didn’t have a few months after graduating to adjust for my job, I started working 28 days after graduating. I needed to ensure I was prepared for the lifestyle change I was about to go through. 

Don’t Underestimate The Need For Self-Care

In college it’s not unusual to go out and party, I get it, but please don’t forget about yourself. Take time to decompress. I learned this later in college after coming back from Spain and it’s probably what helped me survive my last year. Do a mask, buy some magazines, go get ice cream. Whatever it may be that you like to do to make yourself feel grounded and refreshed, do it. Take a day a week if you can and make this a priority. I could’ve used time to write in a journal and declutter my mind. 

I lost myself far too many times and could have really used more time like this. 

So, there’s my list. I have plenty of other would’ve, could’ve, should’ve moments, but I’ll share those in time. These five are the ones that I think of often, especially now as I mentor students and get to know them. Can you relate to these? If so, let me know! As always, thank you for stopping by and I’ll see you guys next time. 

xx Alicia 

Thank you Target!

Hi guys and welcome back! This post will be the start of a career series I want to share with you. It’ll be about my goals, what I’m learning, and some reflection pieces! I wrote this post in the beginning of the year and thought it would be the perfect launch pad for this series. If you’ve ever been in my position, I hope you relate and enjoy my perspective.

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In May of 2015 I graduated from Clarkson University and was on my way to my first corporate job with Target Corporation. I was an Operations Manager in one of their distribution centers in NY before transferring down to NC. Now almost three years later, I said my final goodbye at the end of January 2018. It was not an easy goodbye, but one that was necessary for my next phase of life. 

Before I left this job, I made sure to send out an email to all those that impacted my development and experience at Target. It read as such: 

“I wanted to shoot out a quick note to thank Target for allowing me to meet you. It has been an eventful 3 years with the company full of learning opportunities, moves physically and into new roles, and memories that I cherish and that helped build me into the leader that I am today. Through all of this, you were a part of some of this story and I thank you for that. With each interaction, I learned something about you, myself, and/or the business. 

This coming Friday, the 26th, will be my last day with the company as I move onto a new opportunity. I send my best wishes and hope you achieve all the success in your future endeavors. 

Keep in touch if you would like, my information is below. It was a pleasure to be able to work with you and I hope our paths cross again. 

Sincerely,

Alicia Cabrera”

Once I hit send, I won’t lie- it felt good, so, so good. Not because I was upset with the company, but because I was making this decision for the betterment of my future. I felt hopeful and fulfilled, more importantly proud that I took the leap. 

My biggest advice when leaving a company would be to leave on good terms, remember all you have accomplished with and for them, and never forget the progress you’ve made for yourself. Take the good with the bad. I had so many people wish me the best and some that couldn’t help but to comment on my stereotypical millennial mindset since I was job “hopping” three years in. 

What I say to those ones who believed that was my intent is to take a minute and learn what success means to different people. I won’t get into that now, but I will say that my success was very different than some of my peers at work and that was okay, but my definition of success was also a reason I decided to take the leap. So with this, I thank you again Target for a great three years and I can’t wait for you guys to follow my journey through some serious changes in my career! Feel free to comment below to let me know some career experiences you’ve been through. 

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It has now been a little over 10 months at my new job and I’ll be sharing more content on the topic of my career along with a reflection piece now that I’m almost to the year mark. If you guys have any career topics you’d like me to touch on, leave me a note in the comments! 

As always, thanks for stopping by! I’ll see you guys next time. 

xx Alicia