When you’re less than a month away from graduation, you tend to reflect on some of the lessons that you’ve learned during your college experience.

The main takeaway I have from my college years is that you can earn a bachelor’s degree from a university without receiving a thorough education.

I have learned a few different skills from my classes here at JSU, and I have gained knowledge and experience through  working at The Chanticleer and interning at The Anniston Star.

That internship taught me more about journalism in three months than I had previously learned in my entire life.

However, I have heard other graduates, both here and at other Alabama universities, say they do not feel like they have learned very much from their overall college experience.

Some have even said they don’t feel ready for the professional world even though they’re about to graduate.

Perhaps one reason for this is that students do not get fully involved in the department of their major.

Another could be that students are choosing to take easier courses rather than those taught by instructors who have a reputation for being difficult.

As an undergraduate, if you really want to make the most out of the tremendous debt that you’re likely accumulating, it’s a good idea to take some hard courses; don’t just take easy electives, or classes with teachers that you know won’t challenge you intellectually.

Instead, take a variety of electives, such as sociology, psychology, computer science, political science, graphic design, etc.

Don’t be afraid of the teachers who make you work for an A in their class; those can be the classes where you really get what you pay for.

It pays off to gain the maximum amount of knowledge and skills that you can during college because you will naturally stand out to employers.

Some students manage to “get by” and earn a bachelor’s degree only to realize it does not guarantee them a job after graduation. Jobs can be hard to come by, and it usually takes more than just a degree to impress an employer.

Sure, employers want to see that you have a degree, but they’re looking for more than just that.

If you want to stand out, learn a variety of skills that make you indispensable to an employer; make sure that you complete an internship with a professional organization, even if an internship is not required to earn the degree that you’re seeking.

A bachelor’s degree is really just a nice-looking piece of paper unless you have skills and experience to accompany it, and the degree alone will not guarantee you a job at a professional organization.

Adam Higgins
Associate Editor

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