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5 Ways to Make the Most Out of College

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Harvard dorms near Old Harvard
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College is often known to be the best time in a person’s life. But as we all know, it is not because of the classes, tests, and papers. While schoolwork can oftentimes seem to take over your life, it’s important to enjoy these four years and truly turn them into a time you can look back on fondly. Here are a few tips I have found to be useful to help make the most out of the college experience.

1. Take classes that interest you.

notebooks-and-pencils
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The most important aspect of college is your education. Taking classes that interest you will help make going to class and spending hours studying easier and more enjoyable.

If you do not enjoy the classes you are currently in, consider switching majors. It can be a scary thought, especially if you’ve always had one specific plan for your future, but sometimes when we make those goals for ourselves, we have not yet realized our true passions. College is the time to explore those passions, and when you find one, it is important to pursue it wholeheartedly.

2. Meet new people.

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College is the ideal place to meet new people. Mostly everybody around you is your age and is pursuing his or her education. Even though everyone shares these things in common, the diversity among students is what really makes things interesting. Make your time in college enjoyable by meeting people from all backgrounds, who have different interests from your own, and who have different beliefs than you. You might meet a new best friend, or maybe not, but putting yourself out there to learn about others will make you a better person in the end.

Your peers are not the only important people to meet in college, however. Meeting your professors is an equally important networking skill. Not only can meeting your professors help you improve your grades, but more importantly, it can help you in the future. Letters of recommendation are a requirement for professional schools and many other programs post-undergrad. Meeting your professors and taking the time to get to know a few of them well can also benefit your future aspirations.

3. Take advantage of your school’s resources.

board with flyers and helpful tips about college life
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From gyms to career counselors, to therapists, study abroad programs, and much more, schools have lots of perks to offer their students. But unfortunately, not many students take advantage of these.

Not sure what you want to do with your life after college? Visit your college’s career center. At my school, they offer free tests, information and counseling for students – and what college student doesn’t love free stuff? Want to get in shape but can’t afford a fancy gym membership? Take advantage of the fitness classes or facilities offered at your school – you’ll save money AND get healthier.

Schools provide these services to help their students grow and thrive – whether physically, mentally, psychologically, or emotionally. So why not use them to your advantage?

4. Find people who are passionate about your passions.

Artist, easel, and painting
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With tons of people around who are the same age, you are bound to find people who have similar interests in college. From clubs and volunteer groups to sport teams and sororities, there is an activity for everyone. At my school, we have a photography club, fashion club, dance teams, student activity organizations, volunteer groups, and even a Quidditch team!

The point is, no matter what you are interested in, there is no better place than college to get involved. Aside from the endless amount of possibilities, college marks one of the last times in many people’s lives when they will have the ability to fully commit to an activity because joining the workforce. So while you still have the chance, find something that you are passionate about, find other people with the same passion, and pursue it. These activities add meaning to your college experience that education alone can never fulfill.

5. Step off campus.

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With classes, internships, work, and volunteering, college life can get very busy. But when we get busy, it is easy to forget to enjoy the places around us. Whether your school is near the beach, in a major metropolitan city, or in a quiet college town, it is important to embrace the places and activities the surrounding area offers while you’re there.

Go to a museum, take a hike, visit a popular restaurant, or just hop on public-transit and get lost in the city. Whatever interests you, it is important to embrace the opportunity to explore the city where you go to school because you may never have the chance to live there again. It’s all about seizing opportunities and experiencing your surroundings to the fullest.

What do you think?

Do you think this advice was helpful? Do you think you will use it? Do you have any of your own tips on how to make the most out of college? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Posted on on March 3, 2011 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , ,

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9 Responses to “5 Ways to Make the Most Out of College”

  1. 1
    March 3rd, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I completely agree with number one. I know most people students are focused on fulfilling all required classes as soon as possible, but you should definitely try to fit in a few classes that truly interest you. Makes going to class somewhat easier :)

    Also, I like that CF is doing more generally college related posts!

  2. 2
    March 3rd, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    thank you!

  3. 3
    March 3rd, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Maybe this is the first time I’ve agreed wholeheartedly with a CF post! Usually there are one or two minor details I disagree with. Good job!

  4. 4
    March 3rd, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Love this post and especially like number 3. Please do more post like this!!!

  5. 5
    March 3rd, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    I’m going to be a freshman in college this fall and I want all the advice I can get!

    So thanks for the awesome tips :)

  6. 6
    March 3rd, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Like Sara I’m going to be a freshmen in the fall! So articles like this help keep it up! Love the post.

  7. 7
    March 4th, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I loved this post. I’m really struggling between choosing a major I love and one that I hate. I’ve realized lately that there’s just no way I can continue taking classes in something that I hate anymore, thanks for this post, it was a good reminder.

  8. 8
    March 4th, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I’m going to be a freshman this fall too! So excited to finally get out if high school and this post is gonna help me make the most of my experience

  9. 9
    March 6th, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks for the feedback guys! I’m glad to know I can share some of the stuff I’ve learned so far with others.

    Jaime: I totally understand how difficult it is switch majors. I wish you the best of luck in your decision!

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