7 Courses I Wish They Taught In College And Where To Actually Find The Resources

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trying not to get teary-eyed while writing about college is nearly impossible, to be honest. It's been over a year since graduation and thinking back to those four years of my life gives me all the feels.

Saying I am grateful to have gotten so lucky is the understatement of my life. I chose the perfect school for me, I made the most incredible friends, I had the best internship experiences, and developed some of the most incredible relationships with mentors.

It was truly more than I could have ever imagined. And looking back on my college experience there is nothing I would change. But I would have added one thing.

Surprisingly, my friends from high school who each went off to different schools all agreed on this.

While we all felt fully prepared for the job search and actually entering the workforce post-graduation, we all bonded over the fact that there were definitely several extremely necessary topics we weren't taught.

Together, we came up with a list of courses we wished we could have taken in college — some more tongue in cheek than others — to make transitioning into "the wild" a little less challenging.

Below are the classes we wished were offered and resources to help us now.

1. The (Ta)X Files: How to File Your Taxes

This one was a universal favorite among the group of my girlfriends. No matter what your major is in college or what future job you'll have, everyone has to file taxes (unfortunately), so learning how to do so is extremely important — not to mention the law.

It sounds like a total bore, I know, but having a course or even a single seminar on the topic would definitely have cut down the number of hours it took me to research and actually file them anyway.

Here's a helpful resource to learn about filing taxes: Filing Your Taxes with the IRS


2. The Science of the Excellent Credit Score

Yikes. The (sometimes) good ol' credit card.

Credit scores, especially for those who are paying off student loans, are really important! Learning how to keep an excellent CC score and what to do if it starts to slip toward not-so-great is vital. "Start building your credit score early" is what I kept hearing, but how do I do that if I've never learned? Research, yes, but that doesn't always help with all the questions.

Here are a few great resources to help you with your credit score(s): Credit Karma Tools and Resources & Credit.com's "What Is a Good Credit Score?"

3. Negotiating Salaries 1000


Everyone at some point in his or her career has to negotiate a salary and it is something for which we can absolutely prepare. Whether it's with a mentor, co-worker, close friend, or professor, we can all grow together.

Here's a useful resource to help you negotiate salary: Career Contessa's "WEBINAR Salary 101: How to Negotiate for More"


4. Asking for a Raise 2000


Following up on the hypothetical course above: Wouldn't a quick rundown on how and when to appropriately ask for a raise be helpful? I mean, according to PayScale, "only 37% of millennials have ever asked for a raise." Why is that?

Let's combine the "Negotiating Salaries" and "Asking for a Raise" topics and just get real about our financial future and earnings potential.

Here's a vital resource to read if you want to ask for a raise: Your Office Coach's "How to Ask for a Raise"


5. Do I Really Need Life Insurance? Truths of the 401(k) and Other Benefits

When I got my first job contract post-college graduation, I read literally every word thinking I was going to miss something important in the fine print. Looking back, it probably was not all that necessary, but what did I know about a 401(k) or whether or not I was supposed to opt in for life insurance? Short answer: nothing and the contract taught me just about as little as I knew.

Is there a right or wrong/smart or dumb way to do this or is it just preference? THESE are the questions.

Here's an invaluable resource for finding all of the answers about your 401(k): CNN Money's Ultimate Guide to Retirement


6. How to Make Friends When You're Not Constantly Surrounded by People Your Age


Obviously this one starts the section of the list that is a little extra tongue in cheek. Of course I don't actually think any university must teach this, but I'm also not saying I would hate it. Making friends while in school is far less complicated than trying to meet them once you're out, but it's also not impossible.

Speaking from personal experience, I have made new friends at conferences, jobs, and by bonding with those of close pals.

Here's a great list of ways to make friends in "the wild": "7 Easy Ways to Make Friends After You Graduate" by Brit + Co


7. Where to Find a Date 1001

The bottom line is simply that the dating scene is completely different once you've graduated from college. Whether you plan a date in the back of an UberPOOL (yes, a friend of mine did this recently) or you meet at an office Christmas party, it's just different now. So, where's the manual?

Here's a list of rules of dating in "the wild": Bustle's "21 Rules of Dating After College"