Within the realm of a college course, plus many others in the field of graphic design, one very important pointer I cannot stress enough for future graduates including myself is being on top of your work; it is essential practice to do this as a student and more so as a career designer. Upon embarking on a career, from the moment of receiving a client’s word to begin on a design job (whether it be in print, for web, etc.) to focusing on it before finishing to meet deliverable expectations, attending to this duty must be held with utmost importance.
Not procrastinating is one thing but adequately working on and carefully timing each step of a design project with clear communication (i.e. for feedback) is crucial for success: namely, this is securing a reliable reputation in designing professionally, that of which builds appeal in attracting future clients. More so with print production (as an example), staying on top this process (between monitoring various stages in planning, job entry, prepress, pressroom and finishing duties) on top of operating efficiently with respect to time should be professionally enforced to ensure quality and quantity deliverable projects.
Other than what I have mentioned, I suggest building an extensive portfolio to showcase a number of quality materials produced from courses taken throughout a degree program (including work beyond major courses as in electives to demonstrate potential areas of interest and skills in associating with a career profile, post graduation). I never throw away my academic work because it could one day be useful to apply to my career. Even more essential is retaining our college books as they provide useful knowledge about a career including information that one can revisit long after finishing a course.