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When I’m not slaving working away on school work, then I’m off either working on artwork or playing my beloved video games. I’ve been playing video games almost all my life and am known amongst my male friends as a “girl gamer.” I would prefer to just be called a gamer, but most men find it surprising that a female plays video games on her own, not because she is trying to impress a guy.

It’s true, I play video games because I love them! I would never do anything just to impress a guy, especially pretending to like video games. I play my Ps3, 360, and Wii because I love playing them, but also because I have a competitive edge. I enjoy the experience system that is incorporated in a lot of games. Most games have a system in which the better you do, the more XP points (experience points) you win along the journey.

The concept of gaining XP points is what makes video games so rewarding, but it also makes life pretty amazing as well. Sometimes I have an imaginary point system I use when getting to know someone, but it’s all just fun and games. It’s hilarious to just throw out points and tell people they have leveled up, their reaction is often priceless! Yet, using an XP reward system is more than just passing out points and telling folks they have leveled up; it’s a system that can be applied to college as well.

I’ve met a lot of students that just sit by and let college life pass by, without taking the time to earn XP points that can make a difference once you graduate. Some employers will hire students fresh out of college with little to no experience, but it helps if you can gain XP points prior to graduation. I could have easily just focused on college and working a part-time job that wasn’t related to my career, but I opted to focus on school and stay on my grind with my passion for writing. I wanted to make sure that I had a dream and ambition outside of college graduation. I didn’t want to let time pass by and graduate with little to no XP points.

So, I began writing. Since the age of 14 I knew I wanted to write, so I began sending out my stuff to magazine and online publications. Of course I got a lot of no’s, which was indicated by no reply at all, but I did have my first break at the age of 14. I got my article published in a national teen magazine and ever since that day, I never looked back. I used my high school and college years to gain as many XP points as possible. I didn’t want to graduate with a blank resume showcasing a few college clubs, so I made sure to have a competitive edge and gained those XP Points. Now that I have an impressive resume filled with tons of XP points (lots of paid and unpaid writing, social media, and graphic design projects,) I already have jobs awaiting me once I graduate in Summer 2012. But none of that would have been possible if I didn’t gain those precious XP points every college student needs.

Whatever your passion is or career direction, be sure that you are making it happen now and not waiting till graduation. It’s important to keep “leveling up” and getting as much experience points as you can. So don’t let college pass by without gaining experience. Always strive to level up.

Everyone has different things they must accomplish in order to gain experience, but here are 5 basic ways to earn XP points in during your high school and college years:

  1. Networking: Always be sure to keep networking with professionals in your field. Whether it’s through online social media, attending events, or internships, networking is a great way to find out about opportunities that will gain you more XP points.
  2. Never take “NO” for an answer: Simple, but very effective. Even when you get rejected, you have to keep pushing forward and looking for that big “YES.”
  3. Internships: These are a great way to gain experience! I personally didn’t do a lot of on-site internships, but instead did a lot of volunteer and contributing writer for various publications. But some fields require a certain amount of experience, so an internship, whether online or on-site, is a great way to foster XP points.
  4. Volunteering: Sort of like an internship essentially, but it’s still different. A great way to gain XP points is by contacting different companies and organizations you might want to work with. If they aren’t looking for interns, then suggest volunteering. I currently am a contributing writer for a national magazine, but they weren’t even looking for writers. I just picked up the magazine and contacted them, suggesting they take me on as a volunteer contributing writer.
  5. Spending time alone: This is a great way to earn XP points because you have that time alone to think, sort out your goals, and cultivate your skills. It’s important to have that alone time in order to practice and become a beast at whatever your talent is.

 

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