Q. You advise students to become involved in outside activities. That sounded good before I started my freshman year in college two months ago, but I’m now finding it impossible. I’m carrying a full load of classes, plus seeking a part-time job, so I’m having trouble keeping up with the basics. In fact, I’m beginning to feel a little buried. Does this doom my future job chances? -SM
A. As you know from observing your friends, you are not alone in feeling freshman-year pressure. You’ve got almost four years to build a strong resume, although you’ll still want to do things now to enhance your chances of landing relevant summer jobs.
Start small. Many campus and community organizations are eager for volunteers, and you can set your own schedule. I don’t know what your part-time job entails, but keep an eye out for a job that helps build your resume. While in college, I was paid for working on the campus newspaper, plus I got a 10-hour-a-week job with the local community paper. These experiences added two relevant bullet points to my resume and helped land a daily newspaper internship the next summer.
As for the many other pressures facing you and other students, you might want to scan the Campus Grotto’s helpful list of 100 Tips for college survival. The list carries useful suggestions ranging from study tips to student finance and social life.