You can easily make the most of college life – starting with the life experiences on this checklist. All of the list items will provide you with experiences that are unique to college life.
Make sure you consider taking on these opportunities before you’re cast out into the “real” world because you may never have the same options again.
Living with “shoulda, coulda, woulda” is no way to live at all. You don’t want to regret what you didn’t do, so take on student life while you can.
The good news is that, as long as you’re still in college, it’s not too late for you to capitalize on your situation and gain some seriously awesome college experiences.
Here are some suggestions of what you definitely must go out of your way to do during your years as a college student:
Live in the dorms
Living in the dorms is the equivalent of the ultimate college campus experience. Seriously, you’ll get to know so many new students. You’ll bond over basic things – like how you hate doing laundry and how much homework you have.
You may assume that you can gain similar life experiences once you move into an apartment building – not so. Neighbors rarely open up to each other the way students in the dorms do.
If you’re an upperclassman, you can easily get this experience and free housing by becoming an RA.
Join a club, volunteer or get involved on campus
You’re never going to have as much free time as you do in college to do the things you love. And, you’ll also never have the opportunity to meet so many of your peers through activities on campus. Sure, you’ll be able to participate in activities as an adult but, right now, it’s concentrated into one area of students.
Check out your school’s club, organizations and Greek life. Put yourself out there – college is the perfect time to take a chance trying new things!
Even if you decide you don’t love whatever activity you decide to take on, you’re not required to stick with it. Either way, you’ll make new friends in the process.
“I regret studying abroad” isn’t a phrase you hear often and there’s a reason why.
Students gain a multitude of awesome experiences from becoming immersed within a new culture, exploring a different country and bonding with other students on their study abroad trip.
It’s never too late to seek out your school’s study abroad opportunities because they are definitely worth pursuing.
Attend a school sports event
Even if you’re not a sports fan, it’s fun to get together with other students and cheer on your school.
Get the experience once or twice, at the very least, because it’s always different cheering on your school as a student versus cheering on the team as an alumni of the school.
Partake in an old campus tradition
Student and campus traditions are usually silly, but fun. Most schools have them, too.
Find out what traditions exist on your campus and join in on the fun with friends. One day, you’ll be happy you did it because it’s a story you can look back on and laugh together.
Take a class (or two), just because it’s interesting
If a class sounds interesting or exciting – take it! You may stumble upon a passion you didn’t know that you had and end up finding out what you’re really meant to pursue for a career.
Or, it could just be an interesting class. Either way, it is worth your time and effort.
Consider switching to the major you’re secretly jealous other students have
Do you ever hear someone’s major and think that it sounds exciting? Are you ever secretly jealous that they get to study that?
Guess what! You can do it, too. Forget about what you think you should be studying, study what you love instead.
If you’re nervous or unsure you’re ready to take the plunge, make sure you try out a few courses in the subject to see how you like it before making the switch.
Get to know your professors
Believe it or not, professors are pretty cool people. They’re smart, often experts in their fields and are willing to share all of that information with you. Additionally, a lot of professors have interesting things they are working on that pertains to their study.
Take them time to get to know your professors through office hours and class discussions. You may be surprised by how much you learn and how much you enjoy getting to know them as individuals.
Participate in class discussion
If you have something to say in class, don’t be afraid to speak up. You will rarely have the opportunity in life to participate in an environment where you can have open discussions about interesting topics with that many of your peers. Take advantage of the class setting.
Bonus: professors love when students are active in class discussion.
Make friends with someone who is seemingly your complete opposite
College is great for getting to know all different types of people. When you become friends with other types of students, you actually learn a lot more about yourself in the process.
Additionally, you may have a lot more in common than you think. Branch out from the norm so that you can start discovering more about the world around you – and yourself.
Go on a date with someone who isn’t your “type”
It all comes back to self-discovery. How can you know yourself or what you want from a relationship if you’ve only tried one type of person?
You’ll actually learn something whether it’s a good or bad date. On bad dates, you learn what you’re not looking for in a relationship. (Keep in mind, it may not even turn out to be a bad date!)
Visit friends at other colleges
Your high school friends are likely spread across the country at different colleges. Now is the time to schedule visits!
It’s acceptable as a student to crash on someone’s couch. You’re both in school and neither of you have to take time off work (maybe just your part-time job), check with your spouse or find a babysitter.
In short, nothing is holding you back from going to see friends – you can even find friends to take road trips with you or super cheap flight fares if you plan ahead.
Take advantage of visiting other areas of the country (with a free spot to stay) while you’re able to do so!
Get a part-time job on (or near) campus
A college job not only helps you pay the bills, but also helps you balance time, get to know others and prepares you for your career ahead.
It’s always good to get experience juggling several responsibilities (like classes and a job) because you’ll be better prepared for what’s to come.
A lot of college jobs are fun, too – you can get to know other students and locals that you wouldn’t otherwise.
All of the above suggestions boil down to one concept: taking on new experiences and implementing on a “no regrets” policy to ensure you gain the most from your college experience.
These years don’t last forever and they do fly by. Make them count by filling them with memories and experiences you can cherish for a lifetime.
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Life at college: The most glorious phase of one’s life
One of the most interesting stages in life that gives you an opportunity to explore is the ‘college phase.’ Life at college is the time when the teenage years end and we all dive deep into the ocean of new beginnings and possibilities. This golden period better equips you for all the challenges you’ll face in life and creates a strong foundation of knowledge.
My experience at IIT Roorkee has taught me one fundamental thing – life is unpredictable. It might be good, it might be bad, it might be weird, and it might not interest you, but expect anything to happen. For example, you might have a wonderful job this moment, and be fired the very next moment. College life prepares you for all of this. It is a perfect blend of joy and hardships. You meet different people, you interact with them, you learn about their cultures and grow as a person. You will understand how to talk to different people, how to judge their behavior, thus helping you with important life skills.
You learn to sit through a boring lecture; you try to cope up with the surprisingly strenuous syllabus, and you have the opportunity to learn from some great research minds. Academia, as they say, never lets you go free. People might try to motivate you by telling that you need to study only through your school years and chill during the college life, but that isn’t true.
Another life lesson you will remember – the learning never ends. You find campus groups or student groups where you can explore your co-curricular skills along with many other students like you. You share common interests, and thus you share common ideas. There might have been a time where you would have had to give up drawing for your JEE Advanced preparation. Trust me, once you get into a good college, you will get an opportunity to be the artist you always wanted to be through probably a fine arts campus group. You could be that director, you could be that vocalist, you could be the dancer of your dreams – college is the Santa Claus that keeps on giving all these wonderful opportunities while you’re in it. There are also campus festivals, which draw a lot of fun crowd from other colleges and let you show off your skills. You could also enjoy with the celebrities who are invited to perform, or even show off your technical prowess in a tech festival.
The life at college is a time when you can decide your career. It’s a time of dreams and innumerable paths. You can still be as good as a programmer as the JEE Advanced topper who gets Computer Science studying a completely different Biotechnology course for your major. You can work for a non-profit organization and even gain the satisfaction of being a humanitarian. The point is that you are free to try out these new things and no one is going to forcefully control the decisions you make. Every nook and corner of the college you’d find a peaceful spot full of natural surroundings, who’s value you will only realize once you graduate from your campus. You will always remember the early morning fog, your hostel’s adorable “puppy” or even your grumpy stationery shopkeeper.
So, remember that there will be moments that carry a lot of sentimental value and you can’t help but miss those years later. The friendships you make in college life is the most important aspect. These people will give you strength and be your knights in shining armor all your life. The time you spend with your friends, playing Mafia, Poker, or arguing about any random topic, your regular lecture “bunking” to watch a new release of your favorite star, will always stay in your heart. Planning road trips, occasional adventure surges, and impulsive journeys—all these things make you more emotional when you bid adieu to the institution.
So, one fine day when you see pictures from the college of you and your friends having a good time, you’ll definitely land up smiling silently. That’s the beauty of college life. It stays with you long after you’ve climbed those ladders of success and forgotten the name of that cute crush you used to drool over.
Life at college is a wild mish-mash of experiences, what with all sort of hilarious stuff going down in the hostels! Read about such stuff here.
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About the author
An adventurer who has threaded his life through unexpected twists and the longest paths. An avid fiction reader, I construct my imagination through writing. I always love to sit for a cup of tea and talk about anything all day!View Profile