Initially, when most people think of college hard work, parties and expenses come to mind. I looked at college as a trial run for “real life.” I made the most out of my college experience by thinking about my future. I wanted to create a career that I loved, so I molded my college experience around that thought.  Of course, I still had a social life, went to football games, pep rallies and participated in extracurricular activities. However, the end goal of graduating and getting to do what I loved every day was always on my mind.  Here are the guidelines I used to make the most out of college.

Find your passion 

College is the time to try different things. Don’t be afraid to take risks! Join that club you’re interested in. Volunteer your time for a cause you support. Don’t worry about who else will show up or what other people think. Your full potential is confined by the walls you build yourself.

Use electives to explore your interests

Sometimes we choose a major because we think it will make us a lot of money or because we’re influenced by someone else. Whether you find yourself undecided or want to change your major, use your electives to explore! Take that creative writing, intro to photoshop or acting class!

Collaborate with your peers

Making connections are always beneficial! I have made lifelong friends, mentors, potential business partners and more through networking. Someone may have a skill you can utilize or may know someone who can open a door for you. Collaborate with your peers! You never know what greatness you can create. Take Slim and Husky’s, a fast-growing pizza concept in Nashville, started by a group of college roommates with an idea and $1,000 investment.

Talk to your professors

Don’t just show up to class, sit in the back because you are required to be there. Professors are considered experts in their field and most of them have other jobs or businesses outside of teaching. They are the networking key to a lot of other professionals in the field you want to go into. Depending on how long the professor has been at the school, their former students are probably CEOs, directors and hiring managers at different companies all over the country.