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Things to know about college

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I may be a bit untraditional in my responses, but I’d like to think after 4 years of college, 4 years in a doctoral graduate program, and 6 years post-graduate training, I have some experience. 


1. Realize college is about learning inside and outside of the classroom. This is particularly true for people heading to college straight from high school. For the “traditional” college student, this is where you learn to be an adult. Learn to balance work and life. Learn to be social, but not too much.  Learn to explore. Learn to be politically correct when you need to, and to relax when you’re amongst friends. The degree and classes are important, but just like work after college, they are only part of life. 


2. Study what you like. This seems clear, but too often people get caught up on how “useful” a degree is after college. The reality is most jobs that want a college degree are looking for the experience and commitment it took to get the degree. I ultimately ended up with a medical degree and practice orthopaedics, but the pedantics of a “premed” curriculum drove me crazy. I enjoy building things (imagine that on this forum), so I studied mechanical engineering, went to medical school where I used none of that academic knowledge and now work somewhere in the middle as a hip and knee reconstructive surgeon. 

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