How To Get The Most Out Of Your Time At School
The main purpose of going to school is to get an education. That should always be your top priority. If, however, you want to get the absolute most out of your education and time at school, then you need to tap into the other opportunities it offers. Here are three ideas.
Learn (more) about work
Even if you’re lucky enough to get a high school scholarship, there’s a good chance you’ll still have to work to finance your course. Take this as an opportunity to learn (more) about the real world of work. It’s great if there’s an obvious connection between your job and your course. At the same time, however, it’s also OK if there isn’t.
A lot of the skills employers really value can be learned at any job. For example, if you’re flipping burgers while maintaining your grades in French, you clearly understand time management.
If you’re an adult returning to school while working, be open to learning new ways of working. Popular schools are often popular precisely because they keep their fingers to the pulse in the world of work. They’ll be training their students in what employers want now and going forward. This could be very different from what you’ve learned in the past.
Take advantage of student discounts
There are student discounts available on all sorts of products and services. In particular, many private education providers offer discounts to students as do many software companies. Access to these discounts can be an unmissable opportunity to expand and build upon your education at a very reasonable cost.
The key to success here is to be strategic. Think about what additional skills would enhance your chances of getting where you want to be. Then give yourself a reasonable chance to acquire them, keeping in mind that you’re probably already very busy.
If you’re not sure what skills would be most useful for your future job or business, just do your research on in-demand skills. Then think about the likelihood of those skills still being in demand after you’ve finished your course.
Remember to think about how you’re going to demonstrate that you have these skills. For example, consider getting some form of verifiable credential in them. If that’s not possible, see if you can build up a portfolio.
Network as much as you possibly can
Going to school provides all kinds of networking opportunities. Many of these are a natural consequence of going to classes and doing coursework. You can, however, and generally should, do your best to up your game by looking for networking opportunities that align with your interests/plans.
Look for student societies, internships, and volunteering opportunities. If you don’t see any then try asking. If there really aren’t any, then try being the one to start them. If you don’t fancy that, try seeing if your school has arrangements with other schools that do have the options you want.
See if your time as a student can improve your networking options in general. For example, you may be able to get a student membership to relevant industry associations. Even if you can’t attend real-world events, you can generally participate in online conversations.