It’s that special time of year, between the old and the awaiting something momentous.  No I’m not speaking of an epic New Year celebration. Graduation is around the corner- the culmination of the academic year…. and an education that has lasted 15 years since kindergarten.

Tradtional Tossing of the Hat
traditional Tossing of the Hat

What are you leaving behind? What are you carrying into the next leg of the journey?  This is a precious moment to stop, process your experience, choose your path onwards.  This process can look a little something like a roller coaster of emotional responses to the question, “So what comes after graduation?”

Well, STOP.  There is a reason summer holidays exist between fifth and sixth class. So whichever class you are in, take that much-needed Rest & Recovery time and go enjoy yourself!

But if you do have a few moments in this period to consider your own future, I put together a little kit of college tricks, and tools.  If I were to describe college in two words, they are:

“Get connected.”

College brings you in contact with the frontiers of global issues, art and the expanse humanity knows …about everything (“Science”).  You’re in touch with academics, comedians, and the rest of your generation (not to mention a LOT of yourself).  This is especially true at Jacobs University sitting in the center of Europe among students from across the globe. So don’t sit on your bum – go out there and plug yourself in to the bits of the world you find most interesting!

Orientation Week

REVISION: These days you can in fact, stay sitting on your bum.  Jacobs is fully equipped with two wifi networks 24/7 giving you all the time in the world to go exploring the digital universe. Below are key sites I would have been glad to know about sooner, and have enjoyed tremendously since (all free).  Now you’d rather be chilling, but while lounging on the beach this summer, take a look on your mobile device- and maybe sometime in your first semester, you’ll say “Eureka- I know just the thing!”

Khan Academy: Mini-lessons on a range of topics- helped me survive Economics.  No this tool is not just for high school.

8tracks: This is to meet all you musical mood needs.  Just use the ‘explore’ function to discover the peace+study mix you need, or the electro+destress, the jazz+love mix to get groovy or just about anything!

Ted Talks: Get inspired. Scientific talks that bring home the real message on topics you’re curious about but will not realistically explore yourself.

Citation Machine: Most practical tool when learning the gist of accurate Citation styles to record the research you do while writing a paper.  Of course, with practice you’ll get the gist of doing without aid.

Google Scholar: Start here to find academic papers on a topic or a specific author.  This site also offers some ready-made citations, and links to other related articles.

LinkedIn: If you start treating this career networking site like Facebook, you can discover some pretty cool organization, discussion forums, and the FAQ of many careers your curious about.

But this is only the beginning! You get the biggest benefits of the internet when you ask for Exactly what you’re looking for.  This works for everything from homework to household how-to’s, entertainment to exploring your burning questions.  There are online tools to locate, calculate, educate, demonstrate, suggest, guide, and do just about anything.  At Jacobs, we become researchers and that begins with learning to dig for your own answers, no matter how random, small or strange the question.

Get connected, start exploring!


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