Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew in College : Under30CEO Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew in College : Under30CEO
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Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew in College

| September 16, 2010 | 18 Comments

So with the addition of Gmails Priority inbox I was filtering out some of my oldest starred mail in efforts to reorganize my inbox when I came across an incredibly powerful email from a friend that was sent to me just before my college graduation.  Take a look and see what you can learn…

To: Matt Wilson

From: Rob Ianelli

Date: Tue, April 29, 2008 1:12PM

Subject: Top Ten Things

Hey Dude,

So the other day I was ripping through my closet tossing all sorts of stuff I don’t need anymore in garbage bags. Sifting through a folder of papers from AU (American University) I found a list that I remember my Aunt from Chubb (Insurance) sending me. It was a Top 10 wishes list from the President of some company, or maybe even a College.

I think you’ll dig this. Especially where we’re about to go in life. I read this over 2 years ago and forgot about much of it, but realized I’ve been living almost all of it and I’m guessing you have too.

So here it is: Top Ten Things I wish I Had Known in College

1. Your room for improvement is always your biggest room — so spend some time filling it up.

2. How do you combat inexperience? Over preparation.

3. There is never a substitute for enthusiasm: not skill, not talent, not expertise– the person with enthusiasm always wins.

4. In ever adversity, there lies a seed of equal or greater benefit.

5. Five years from now, your future will be most determined by the books you read and the people you associated with.

6. Many of the rewards in life come when you are out there on the extra mile.

7. You have to have some principles that you can believe in and that you won’t waver from.

8. Never forget where you came from…and you helped you get there.

9. There is no luck in success. Success is where opportunity and preparation meet.


10. Observe what the masses of people do, and then do the opposite.

Rob Ianelli

Please pass this on to your favorite college student and let us know what are some things you wish you knew in college in the comments below!!

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  • Giftasmile

    Learning never stops even after college.. Every day is a new experience and gives you some thing to learn.. Start early(Business) it wont matter even if you fail as you got all the time and energy to try again n again.. I started a touch late(right after Graduation) but I am always happy I am living my dream no matter where I end up..Keep Smiling Always :)

  • Zack Shapiro

    As a college entrepreneur, I absolutely agree with these points.

    1. It’s never too early to start self-improvement. I’m working right now on improving my reactions and behavior in times of stress. Stepping out of the moment is an incredibly hard thing to do – but it works.

    2. I’d argue that strategic preparation works well too, rather than over preparation.. Know the essentials, go a bit beyond them and know a few facts out of right field. Don’t kill yourself though. Prepare smarter rather than harder.

    3. Bingo

    4. One door closes, another door opens. You just have to be able to see it.

    5. My bookshelf is huge and ever-growing. Don’t limit yourself to non-fiction or business-y books. Read fiction, read poetry and classics. Who knows where inspiration and knowledge will come from?

    6. Put yourself out there in college for no monetary gain. Make connections. And make some more.

    7. Most college kids don’t have strong morals. Be different.

    8. Never forget.

    9. I’d add a smile and a “thank you” to this point. Courtesy is never unappreciated.

    10. The majority is often the majority because what they’re doing is easy. Put some effort in and be different.

    Check out my blog, I think your readers would really love it.

  • Jared O’Toole

    Thanks for the awesome comment Zack! Nice blog also…will be sure to check it out more.

  • Jared O’Toole

    Start early is key…so important because it will give you more time to figure things out and make the right moves down the road.

  • Brett

    Don’t have time to post a full reply to Zack, but, damn, your tips are good – and are probably better than the original post.

    I’ll definitely be checking out your site very, very soon.

  • Grammar

    …and proof read what you write, because if you don’t, you lose credibility.

  • Grammar

    …and proof read what you write, because if you don’t, you lose credibility.

  • an arab

    very nice, very helpful.

  • Morgan Barnhart

    Number three is my favorite!! Great list!

  • Just some guy

    Get a degree in a career field. Don’t major in Psychology or History just to have a major unless you plan on going into those fields.

  • Usama

    Love no.6. There is no denial in that an extra mile is like a cherry on top. Effort is never gone wasted.
    Thanks for the tips.

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  • Zack Shapiro

    Thanks Brett!

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  • Words By Jane

    Thanks for sharing these rules. I am currently in college and I will say this:
    I will add an odd number that I couldn’t resist adding.
    11. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is a head-start. Failure is a blue-print!