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What I Would Change From My College Journey

I came into college fairly certain that I wanted to pursue finance. I joined a business fraternity, investment club, and even the business society; for the next 3 years, I would dedicate a large portion of my free time to either developing myself professionally or helping others reach the same growth and transformation that I had experienced.

Looking back I don't regret this. But what I do regret, is my narrow-mindedness. You're likely familiar with the cliches that college is a time to be "open-minded", "flexible", or "learn new things about yourself" – they're cliches because they're true. While finance is something that I genuinely enjoy, there are countless other topics that I find extremely interesting, yet I didn't take the time to fully pursue them. I was so focused on creating the best business/finance version of myself that I didn't explore several other extracurriculars.

I think it's fantastic to go into college and know what you want to accomplish – if you're set on recruiting for an industry, or pursuing a certain passion, by all means, you should be the best that you can. With that said, I highly recommend expanding your realm of expertise and testing out other waters. You never know what you're going to learn about yourself, and only by remaining open-minded can we truly improve ourselves holistically. Branching out and meeting different people, that's how we grow and discover what motivates us. You may even find through this process that what you thought was your career calling was completely wrong. One of my friends was dead-set on being a doctor – today, his dream is to go into investment banking.

If you're struggling to think of some ways to step out of your comfort zone, I recommend starting out with the following:

  1. Go out to club events for topics that are unrelated to your primary interests

  2. Meet friends from different majors, career paths, or even universities

  3. Enroll in a class completely unrelated to your major

  4. Take an internship in a role that you wouldn't traditionally consider

There are countless hobbies out there, and I highly recommend you utilize college to explore them. Again, I don't regret the path I took as it allowed me to meet incredible people and reach professional heights that I'm proud of. Instead, I simply wish that I had taken a step back at times, thought it over, and realized I don't always need to take myself so seriously – I could've spent fewer hours studying technicals, I could've worried a bit less about my interview to be the next president of our business society, and I definitely could've joined that improv comedy club I always wanted to check out.

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