If you’re a college student trying to figure out what to do with your life, chances are you’ve had more than one conversation with an elder who told you not worry, you have plenty of time to figure it out.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re being lied to. To be sure, that Liberal Arts degree really is going to enrich your life, and so is the class you’re taking on the history of rock ’n’ roll. But before you know it, you’ll be 30 and working in a coffee shop for 10 bucks an hour, still trying to “figure it out.” It’s fun and all, but it’s not going to put a dent in those student loans.
Lucky for you, Providence offers lots of ways to figure it out while having fun and meeting folks who can steer you in the right direction. And this handy guide will help you mix the business of professional networking with the pleasure of feeling like you just went to a party — the kind where you go home feeling inspired, and maybe even with a lead on your next summer internship, your first real job, or greater insight into what it is you want to do with your life. Even if you think you know exactly which direction you’re headed, you’ll at least leave these events with a bit more wisdom. And if you’re not careful, you might end up with a hangover too.
PROVIDENCE GREEN DRINKS
Your roommates are probably tired of hearing you bitch about the dangers of fracking, so why not take it to the streets — or at least the bar? For more than a decade, Providence Green Drinks has been bringing together like-minded folks interested in discussing all things environmental. Started in 1999 by two professional environmentalists who relocated to Providence from Washington, DC, the group is an affiliate of Green Drinks International, a network of green meet-ups that take place all over the world. Events feature casual networking at a different venue each month, like Roots Cultural Center or Wild Colonial Tavern, which gives you an excuse to get to know the city you live in just a little bit better, too.
\ WHEN: Third Thursday of every month
WHERE: Varies each month
COST: Admission is free, drinks aren’t
PROVIDENCE GEEK DINNERS
You know that girl that lives down the hall from you? The one with the faux-nerd glasses who seems unapproachably cool but who’s always mentioning what a geek she is? She probably won’t be at this month’s Geek Dinner, a monthly meet-up that attracts authentic geeks, including “technologists, entrepreneurs, angel investors, designers, and students,” according to organizer Jack Templin. Now in its seventh year, Geek Dinners feature a different presenter each month — usually a Rhode Island-based tech startup — followed by a short Q&A. Recent presenters include Alan Tortolani, founder of the educational gaming site ABCya.com, and Jeff Robbins, CEO of Providence-based design and development consultancy Lullabot. All are welcome, and attendees can buy their own food and drinks at AS220’s excellent bar and restaurant. This event’s perfect for students interested in technology, design, art, and the intersection of the three.