Mari Katherine Raftopoulos: Building your resume

Does it sound better to say you're able to communicate in Spanish or speak Spanish?

What about being proficient in Microsoft word or experienced with Microsoft Word?

Questions such as these are the meticulous changes that are required when composing a resume.

Some think building your resume is just as important as your college education as you limit all of your accomplishments from those four years to one sheet of paper.

One sheet for more than 1,200 days.

One sheet can help you get the interview or be viewed as just another applicant. Knowing this, I spent my past few weekends compiling all of my skills and past knowledge to compose my resume for the summer internships I am applying for.

But I am getting ahead of myself. I'm only two years in, but it's important to know this: In order to build a resume, you have to build your life around you.

My life right now is college, but what does that say for my resume?

When I went to college, I was given advice from everyone from my priest to my neighbor, and the most common piece of advice was to get involved. At the time I thought it was such an obvious idea because I was so active in high school and automatically assumed that it would continue through college.

But, high school and college are two opposite lifestyles.

In high school, each hour of my day was planned out: Class from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., practice from 3 to 5 p.m., followed by dinner, homework and then bedtime. That was my schedule every single school day. It was an easy life. And getting involved was a part of my everyday life.

But, with the independence of college, getting involved comes much more slowly.

My past two years in college have seemed like a constant state of stress, celebration and deadlines with little accomplishments.

From tests to living on your own, life is fast paced and different. And your priorities can be, too.

After staying up until 3 a.m., it is easy to ignore the bright yellow flier for the communication club or the mission trip to and orphanage in Mexico.

And in your mind you say, "I'll do it tomorrow."

That is the most common excuse with college students, because there is no pressure. No pressure from your coach, parents or teachers. And you do not have to justify your excuses to anyone. I'll do it tomorrow.

You choose in college. Your choices are your destiny in college. And this freedom will either make you a beach bum or president of a club. But is "beach bum" a qualification on your resume?

When I think back to high school, I remember all those awards ceremonies and banquets.

As I watched people receive the most prestigious awards, I commented to those who sat beside me, they are going to be successful someday. As if getting that award has given them the golden ticket to success. But then I look back on those same people and wonder how they used that golden ticket.

The fast-paced lifestyle of college takes some people out of the spotlight.

This is the reason people do not finish college. They get trapped in the darkness of confused priorities and just give up. When all they have to do is take 30 minutes out of their lives to go to the club meeting or discover a new opportunity just by reading the campus bulletin. Getting involved can save your college career.

After deciding on "able to communicate in Spanish" and "proficient in Microsoft Word" to go under the qualifications and skills heading of my resume, my resume was finally complete.

And so far I am satisfied with all of my accomplishments. But satisfaction is mediocre.

So, I am getting more involved.

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