Written By: Priyanka Surio


Only one more week of classes and two weeks unitll graduation and I have been trying to figure out how to make time stand still because it keeps flying by too quickly.  Yeah, Priyanka, but everyone says that. Because it is true, maybe as a sophomore feeling the beginnings of senioritis you don’t see it but the time will slyly creep up on you and before you know it, your throwing your cap in the air yelling Class of 2012. Now that I am finally a soon to be alumna and graduate everyone keeps asking me for the tell all advice and wisdom to how to make it through college. While it seems pretty self explanatory, I have put together some of the highlights of my college career and how to survive these four years!


Let me start off by saying college is full of obstacles. They are bound to happen at some point but as long as you can learn from them, move on and carry a positive outlook regardless you should be fine. I am the type of person who doesn’t take no for an answer, and I think college should be like that for everyone. This is the time to make your mistakes and learn from them, to test the waters, to challenge yourself and learn about who you are.
Don’t attempt to go to class in a less than conscious state, but if you must fall asleep, at least make sure it is not in one of those 2 people classrooms and sit in the back with the lecture on record to listen to later.
Professors hate texting, caking, fbooking, any and all forms of social media at least during their class time, so allow yourself to be alone for that hour or hour and a half, the world is not going to end just because you don’t status update.
Actually visit places on campus instead of witnessing the same surroundings of dining hall, dorm, and the RAT. These places include the Toppel Career Center, the Writing Center, the Library, yes people actually study there, not just frolic in dance parties. Take advantage of all these places teeming with valuable information and resources that will only expand your future opportunities.
Take everything with a grain of salt and a mind as open as the sea, because you will find that college and your peers will challenge you. In some way shape or form conflict will find you; whether its an argument with someone in your student organization, to missing important deadlines, to sleeping through an exam, to running out of Uprint dollars when your 25 page paper is due, some crisis is bound to happen, its synonymous with being a college student and without that force field called parents. You have to learn to come to terms with each thing and look at it as a learning experience that will teach you better for next time.
What about real life?
Yes it is important to extend beyond the bubble that is the University of Miami. While college life seems like the real thing because you actually have to wash your own laundry and occasionally heat up some mac n cheese, it is nothing compared to how the real world will be once you enter it post graduation. Thus, it is important to gain some insight into this real world and what better way to do that then by doing something you might be interested in. I am talking about internships and jobs that will not only give you that real life taste but also help you later on with your potential real life career.
Truth hurts but it is better to be honest with yourself and others than live a beautiful lie that won’t last, and trust me it won’t last. You can take this as literally as not lying in interviews and on your resume to admitting when you have weaknesses and need help.  Lying on your resume is not only dishonest but also think of when you actually do an interview for a job and put that your fluent in Spanish when you know you only took Beginners Español. All of a sudden your interviewer bursts out in full on Spanish conversation expecting responses. Point is, you will be highly embarrassed if you say you’ve done one thing or are skillful at another and it isn’t true because guaranteed, your interviewer will be able to tell when you don’t know what you are talking about.  The only way we continue to learn is by asking questions, so it is never a wrong move to ask others for help. Knowing when you need help is just as commendable of a characteristic as achieving something on your own. It is better than trying to do everything and more on your own and then falling into the black hole of overwhelmed.
Superman is still a story. The one thing that us UMiami students think we can do is be invincible, you will see us pull all nighters, partying and being unproductive, and then go to class the next day to give a presentation that is worth thirty percent of our grade, to ace it.  While this occasionally happens, because of course we boast being the number one school in Florida, so it is only given that we are smart enough to adapt to last minute changes, there will be that one time that everything just crashes or blows up in your face. I am talking about when you procrastinate so much that all of a sudden your room is full of empty Monster cans and your mind is on meltdown overload because you have three papers and two exams in the next two days. It is all about preparation. Yes you may not have homework every night and all this free time with no Friday classes, but it is important to do some school every day, after all most of our official occupations are full-time student, so treat it like a job and spend some effort and time to advance yourself.  The same advice tips apply for jobs and extra-curricular activities. It is important to manage your time, know your limits, and be sure that you are asking for days off when you need it, because even Clark Kent didn’t fight evil forces 24/7.
I say this on all my President’s 100 tours and I will say it to you Toppel Peers blog followers, the Toppel Career Center is probably one of the most important buildings you will ever use throughout your four years here, besides your advisors office, voicemail and email address. I am not just saying this from a biased point of view since I work here as a peer advisor, I am telling you from past experience that Toppel fulfills what your goal should be from attending college; to hopefully figure out and obtain a career post graduation. We all come to college to potentially learn about what we want to do with the rest of our lives and pray to our respective entities or cross our fingers that once we have graduated that career goal will begin to materialize into a concrete reality.
Why is Toppel so awesome? Not just because as a freshmen I was able to pinpoint exactly what I was interested in and declare my major to Biology, not just because that same summer freshmen year I got an internship on Capitol Hill and accepted to a program at Georgetown University, not just because I got to partake in two more research opportunities and one more internship, not just because it made my cover letter, resume, and interviewing skills exemplary, not just because I received a US Department of State scholarship for study abroad in India, not even just because I have options post graduation, but because overall, my college experience and career journey would be in an incomplete sorry state without Toppel here to hone my professional development. It was through the dedication of the career advisors to help me improve my marketability and application, through their relentless search for opportunities and contacts once I made the effort to build that relationship with them, through their amazing programs and career fairs that brought potential experiences to my door knocking, and through their patience to critique my interview skills and resume that I am able to stand before you with the multitude of experiences I have accumulated in just four years. The advisors, career tests, guides, programs, networking opportunities, and career fairs provide you with more than a fair share of access to achieve everything I have and more.