How to Figure Out Life in College

The best four years of our life, they say. But for most, it’s more like the first 2-3 years are the best and Senior year hits and you realize this is the last time you can get crazy drunk at a frat party and wake up hungover every other day. Or better yet, you realize you have to just get your fucking shit together and find an “adult” job before graduation hits. So this post is for all of us college kiddos, figuring out life, but actually just ignoring the responsibilities of being an adult until mid-Senior year hits. 

So it might be kind of silly that I’m writing this while I’m barely halfway through my first semester as a college Senior. But, I’m kind of saying this from a perspective of someone who’s been through a lot of adversity early on in college and kind of had no choice but to “get her shit together” before Junior year even came around.

I get a lot of comments and questions about how I’ve been doing all of this: keeping up my business, my blog, full-time school, playing tennis for my school, a part-time internship, and two part-time jobs, blah blah. And I gotta say, it’s simply this: I got my shit together early on in college. Like I wanna say really early on (tbh end of Sophomore year). But trust me, I’m still having fun and all, it’s just my time management is pretty on point. As well as my priorities and my main focuses. So I’d say you have to start there first. What do you want your main focus to be?

In my opinion, a big mistake a lot of college students make before they face the “adult world” is that they don’t test their passions throughout college. Everyone complains about getting stuck in the “typical 9-5 office/desk job” because they are “still figuring out what they want to do in life”, but my question is…why not figure it out now? While you’re still in school? And practically have all the time in the world???? And my biggest pet peeve is when people give vague answers about what they want to do after college…”marketing”, “advertising”, “finance”, like please don’t just name your major or your emphasis. When people ask me that question (literally keeps increasing as I get closer to graduating) I usually say something like this: I am a very passionate individual with skills and talents in many different fields. As a previous elite-level figure skater, I’d like to continue to coach figure skating part-time, as well as maintain my figure skating dress business full-time. On the other hand, I am naturally drawn to anything in the health/wellness, active lifestyle, and life coaching space and I’d like to be able to work for at least a few years in something very related to those fields, while utilizing my skills and knowledge I learned in college, which will likely be in the branding/strategy/marketing space. Also, I plan to relocate to San Diego upon graduation. Essentially in my answer, I am noting my strong passions that I know I will naturally enjoy and basically almost creating my own job description. Like I’ve said before, if you want something in life, you gotta be specific.

Often times too, it is easier to nail down a vision you want for yourself five to ten years from now and work backwards from there. If five years from now, you hope to be relatively settled down, have a high-paying job in “x” field, and living in “x” city, then that will also be much easier to help nail down what you can do now to prepare for that kind of future. And sometimes, I think that kind of answer is more realistic and insightful than just saying what “field” you want to work in after college. Explaining a vision helps give a clear and direct path because you simply work backwards to move closer to that goal.

Another big tip I’d recommend is to keep your LinkedIn profile updated and active. I usually go on LinkedIn about once a day, because I receive quite a few notifications on the app and I am active with engaging with posts on my feed that I find myself aligned to and want to share with my platform. LinkedIn is also very helpful with finding jobs, internships, and other individuals in your field/area that you can connect with. A very useful tool that should be highly utilized in college.

My main takeaway is this: be specific about your passions, your vision of how you want your life to be 5 years from now, and test it all out while in school, because you will definitely get ahead of the game.


Emily Duong

Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, but currently residing in Orange County, California. Emily Elizabeth is an entrepreneur, athlete, and lifestyle blogger sharing her everyday lifestyle and healthy mindset.



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