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Classes start again soon at Pickens Technical College and while you might not need to be reminded of that fact, the time to start preparing for your new quarter and a new year is now. New Year’s Day offers the opportunity for all of us to look back on the year that was and try to make improvements for Earth’s next trip around the sun. If you’re like me, these (small) improvements are difficult to make and stay consistent with for two weeks after New Year’s Day, let alone for a whole year, but let’s leave the weight goals and the cigarette quitting alone for now and focus on how to make your next quarter at PTC as productive as possible.

Everyone has a few skills that they need to work on to be a better professional. For me, it’s curbing the run-on sentences, falling in love with commas and parentheses and colons and—never mind. For others, it’s struggling to bake that perfect crust at altitude, or replacing car brakes in a fast-enough time. Don’t beat yourself up over your weaknesses and let them form clots of anxiety in your mind, work to make your weaknesses your strengths. This may mean some extracurricular practice and some trial and error, but almost any field that you’re planning on getting into after you graduate from PTC will involve some extra, off-hours work, at least at first. It’s a new year, which means you have an excuse to start making changes in your work and study habits that will benefit you in the coming quarter at PTC and beyond.

PTC also has immense resources for students to find the job they’re looking for after graduation. When you get back to school, take a moment to drop by the Career Services office if for no other reason than to show your face and get to know some of the great staffers there. They can help you find prospects for after you graduate and if you’re extra nice to them, you can use them as references when you’re running around town handing out resumes. The Career Services staff works directly with employers who love to bring in fresh PTC students because of their unique qualifications and experience. They are always looking for new opportunities for you. Make a New Year’s resolution to visit them early and often to get a start on finding the job of your dreams.

So, this New Year’s, make all the resolutions you need to improve your life, as always (or just fudge it as I do), but also make sure to take advantage of all the resources that PTC and its classrooms and instructors have to offer. You have a responsibility to make the most of your PTC experience. There are plenty of people around you who are there to help you at PTC, but if you don’t take the initiative and improve your work in the classroom as well as your prospects outside of it, you won’t get the most out of your time (and money) at PTC.