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7 Simple Tips to Make the Most of Your College Experience
For some, college is exciting, a new adventure to embrace. For others, it can be nerve-wracking and uncertain. Either way, beginning college is a way to push closer towards your goals or begin fresh so that you can find your path. It can be a place to become the you, you have always wanted to become, a place to forge important relationships, and a place to create the best memories.
There will be some trials and tribulations along the way no matter who you are but more notably there will be so many experiences you will not want to trade for the world.
1. Open Yourself Up
You will meet people from all walks of life in college. Shed the fear of vulnerability and let people in. It will make college life more meaningful and enjoyable. It will give you the opportunity to make connections with others who are like-minded, meet life-long friends, network for future endeavors, and maybe even find your one true love.
2. Take Part in Real-World Experiences
If you had any doubts about your career choice, now is the time to solidify it. Colleges offer internships, work studies, and other programs that can really give you a feel of how it would be to work in the profession you are studying towards. Another perk? The experience looks great on a resume when you finish school and some companies may even hire you during, or right out of college.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Direction
Nothing is written in stone. That goes for you personally as well. We are always changing and evolving because of experiences. Thus, your views, interests, wants, and needs may change over time. Do not be afraid to pursue a degree that is not what you first signed up for. If your heart changes, speak with a counselor about bending your career path to match it.
4. Take Some Time for Yourself
Studies are important. After all, it is the main reason you are in college anyway and it’s what you are paying for. You will find yourself with your nose in a book, writing papers, working on projects, and cramming for tests often; it’s to be expected. Do not forget to take some “me” time. There is no shame in it and it will help you keep from getting burned out and maybe even quitting. Join friends for dinner at a new restaurant, read a book in the local coffee house, or just kick back in some sweats and watch some old movies.
5. Join a Club or Play a Sport
Another great way to establish camaraderie, meet new people, and network is to take part in some extracurricular activities. There are clubs that can enhance your career path and resume. For example, if you are working towards a political science degree, maybe a debate team would suit you or take a run at a student political position. It doesn’t have to be for educational reasons, you can join to have fun or stay healthy. Sports are a great way to accomplish both.
6. Find Ways to Ease Debt
If you score a paid internship, you are one of a lucky few. There is no denying it, college is expensive. A job, even part-time can help you invest in your future and take some of the debt burdens off after graduation. Another way is to stay informed of scholarships or competitions you can take part in. Often these are offered periodically and can help take a chunk of school-incurred debt out of the equation.
7. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Find ways to stay encouraged. Build a vision board that you can reflect on when you are feeling overwhelmed, call your mother, or take a yoga class to center. Whatever works for you, there will be ups and downs and it is key to stay focused on your goals to help stave off discouragement. Find your support through family, friends, and activities and the success that is at your fingertips will become reality in no time.
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