As good as this college looks, be sure to learn how to go to university the smart way first ... photo by CC user Ericci8996 on wikimedia

In the past generation, many students have gone to college as if they were on autopilot, naively assuming that they could redeem their diploma at the end for a well-paying career that would also serve as a never-ending fountain of self-fulfillment.

These days, present grads are struggling to find their place in the working world due to their myopic approach, but you can learn from their misfortune by decided to learn how to go to university the smart way. Here are several ways that you can go into post-secondary education as intelligently as possible…

 

photo by CC user frontierofficial on flickr

Take a year off after high school

Most students rush straight from their suburban bubble straight out of high school without having a sense of the wider world around them. How are you supposed to know what you like without having gotten out into the wider world for a year?

Whether you choose to circumnavigate the world in pursuit of different cultures, volunteering to help right various social injustices, or simply choosing to enter the workforce to save extra money and to see what the 9-5 lifestyle is like, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to get out your life after your gap year has concluded.

photo by CC user SEVENHEADS on pixabay

Evaluate your interests – what are you passionate about?

Going after a degree solely for the money is a huge mistake that ends in disaster for many students. If you enjoy sports, don’t feel like you have to take an IT degree because you feel its the only path to riches.

Any graduate with any degree will succeed based on their motivation to pursue a specific career. If you detest what you are studying, your chances for financial prosperity after graduation will be lower than those that eat and breathe what they are learning.

photo by CC user David L Roush on wikimedia

Apply for every scholarship and bursary for which you qualify

Now that you have selected your target faculty and school, you’ll need every bit of financial assistance you can get your hands on. These days, all but the wealthiest kids are having a hard time with the exploding cost of education. An hour per day of filling out applications now = much less debt in the future that can tie your hands with regards to your options after college.

photo by CC user David Maiolo on wikimedia

Consider community college for cheaper tuition for your first two years of post secondary

Forget about the negative connotations that community colleges have had in the past, as the expensive nature of top-line education has made it pragmatic to entertain the possibility of taking entry level courses there for your first couple of years of post secondary.

If these offerings are honored by your preferred four year college, go ahead and save a few bucks by living at home and commuting to a community in your backyard … your future finances will thank you for it!

photo by CC user Brakelightson on wikimedia

Before deciding on a major, job shadow a professional in fields in which you are interested

The last crucial decision you’ll have to make in college relates to what you’ll major in (i.e. your specialty within your degree, such as biology is you are studying science). At this point, it is more useful to actually follow around a professional in your target careers before making a decision, as stat sheets relaying average salaries mean nothing without the context of knowing what the line of work is actually like from day-to-day.