An interesting infographic from the Huffington Post which reveals that college graduates are facing a future of declining earning power (blue line), but higher student debt levels (yellow line) and higher tuition fees (green line). Looking at this really highlights the need for colleges and universities to tackle the student debt problem.
Okay, I’ve been a bit stumped for blog posts during the past week. So, I thought I’d throw out an old article I wrote for a pseudo-magazine a while back about dating in college. I figure a lot of what I wrote here will help alot of first year students who are looking for that elusive hot date when you start school in a few months time! Enjoy!
Dating Advice for First Year College Students
Being single in college is one of those double-edged swords in life. On the one hand you get unprecedented freedom to experience everything college life has to offer from pulling caffeine-filled all-nighters writing papers to getting throw-up drunk at college keggers during the weekends. Still, the rigours of college life does make it a surprisingly difficult place to meet people sometimes, leading to some long, lonely nights of having to ‘study’ it on your own during spring break.
In fact, I often hear guys complain that girls are unapproachable on campus and girls complain that guys are often too nice for them to date. So, what does one do to ensure that you’re not endlessly trolling Lavalife.com in the futile search for that elusive hot date? I have two pieces of advice for you.
First, get out there. Most college students love to join clubs, take rec classes, volunteer to save whales, join a knitting group, etc… The point is you need to get out there. So, join a student union group, take a pilates class, or start a ‘Free Willy’ club and you’re bound to meet people with similar interests, passions and nerd-like tendencies just like you! Sure, you can try hitting the night clubs and bars to meet people. But whether or not that’s for you also depends on what kind of ‘study’ partner you’re looking for.
Second, mix-it-up. Most college campuses are like multicultural cities… like Vancouver (where I live) so interracial dating can be like the water around our famous False Creek. It’s plentiful, beautiful and can be quite refreshing! In fact, a recent study shows that at least 25% of college students have dated someone outside of their own race. So, you might want to play the odds a bit and keep an open mind about that cute Asian boy in your knitting club!
If you’ve ever thought about becoming a geologist and live in Canada, I have some great news for you! According to this Montreal Gazzette article, it sounds like there’s currently a massive shortage of geologists out there. According to their article it appears that recession in 2000 caused a dip in enrollment for mining & geology programs at Canadian universities. As a result, there are fewer newer geologists in the field now. Add to this the fact that many mining programs and schools have since shut down and you know have a situation where this is fast becoming a hot industry to be in.
So, if you literally like studying rocks and dirt, there is a world of opportunity for you out there. According to PayScale.com, the salary range for mining engineering is roughly between 60K – 110K! Check out some of these engineering mining programs offered in Canada if you think you got what it takes!
- Get straight As in some unknown, but highly rewarding major
- Make my parents really proud of me by graduating top of my class
- Land some really great co-ops that would be related to my future career and help me graduate debt free
- Get some great job offers that would take me around the world after I graduated.
- Meet the woman of my dreams, which back then was a cross between a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and a rocket scientist (Hey, I was 18! Give me a break!).
Unfortunately, a really bad first term (and then second!) threw ‘PLAN A’ out the window. So, that left me with ‘plan b’,which consisted of… absoultely nothing! Why? Because there was no ‘plan b!’ Thinking about it now, I can honestly say that my ‘PLAN A’ wasn’t really that well defined. They weren’t really tangible goals that were well thought out in terms of how I was going to achieve them and when. If I could have a do-over I’d probably do two things differently. First, I’d set better defined goals via the ‘SMART‘ approach. Second, I’d leave my mindset open to the possibility that I’d have to make adjustments to those goals as things progressed.
Anyway, after PLAN A went to hell, I didn’t give up and started to explore a bit to see if I could get my plan b going. I began by searching for work and volunteer opportunities at school that I thought would be worthwhile and would help me develop certain skills. Then I started honing in possible majors, honors and started researching what it would take for me to get to grad school, which became my end goal starting in third year. In the end, I ended up finding some really great student work opportunities at school, which really helped me out in financing my studies. But I also switched majors twice, was enrolled in a double major program, which I then dropped to go into an Honours program and five years later (not four) I graduated.
To make a long, boring story, short, I think most advisors these days would probably recommend that you have a plan a & b for sure. But, if neither of those work, make sure you’re ready to consider a plan c, d, etc…
The truth is that most college career counsellors have come to realize that planning out careers in a very linear, formulaic way just doesn’t work. So, most are now using an approach called ‘Chaos Theory’ in how they provide career advice to students. In a nutshell, chaos theory espouses that there really is not necessarily a direct way to get you from major A to dream job B. The truth is that you’ll experience a lot of changes during the four or so years in higher education. You’ll experience a lot of highs and lows throughout that journey. A journey that will reveal many of the answers you’re looking for, but will also create many news ones as well.
For those looking for more help on career planning, check out:The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need. It’s a great book that talks more about this stuff in a super easy to read, manga/comic format!