The opportunity to go away to college is an exciting one, and it is a privilege that not all people are fortunate enough to be able to experience. There is a famous old saying about life, about college and just about everything else: “it is what you make of it,” and nothing could be more accurately describe what a college experience might potentially be. Each student is different, and as such, their goals, interests, expectations, hopes and dreams will also be different.
Here are some generic tips and suggestions that will help any college student make the most of their experience.
*Seize every opportunity you can –
Being able to go to college is literally a once in a lifetime experience. Whenever you pass up an opportunity, you are losing out on a potential experience, and losing out on something that could increase the potential that you will get a job right out of college.
*Understand what your priorities are –
It will never be possible to do everything, take every class, go to every party, game or other campus event, especially if you are serious about your academic work and getting good grades.
*Take advantage of tours and tutorials –
When you go on tours of campus or campus facilities, you will learn about all sorts of opportunities that are available to you, how to take advantage of those opportunities, and how to use facilities or other things on campus. If you get a chance to take a tour of the library and the research facilities there, don’t pass that opportunity up. It may be the very thing that will make it much easier for you to do any type of term paper or major research project. It will also teach you how to go about doing research in general.
*Accept any offers of academic help -especially from professors –
When a professor offers to help you in any way, take advantage of that offer for help. This doesn’t happen often, and it is a chance to get extra help, get some knowledge about the professor’s area of expertise, and a chance to get to know your professor. You never know what sort of doors this type of opportunity may open for you in the future.
*Don’t blow off classes –
One of the most important things you can do is be serious about your classes. This means that you really shouldn’t skip your classes for no legitimate reason. It also means you shouldn’t not do the assignments, just because you didn’t feel like doing something. If you are getting any type of financial aid, your academic success or lack thereof can determine whether you will continue to get that scholarship. Don’t forget that this may determine whether you can continue towards getting your degree.
*Develop meaningful friendships –
If there is anything that college graduates remember about their college experience, the friendships that they developed will inevitably top that list. Many people who create friendships with other college students maintain those friendships for many years after graduation. Those friendships may sometime lead to marriages. This is the most precious gift you can take away from college, and it will serve as a constant reminder about everything you experienced together.
The desire to do everything that you can, to experience everything there is to experience, go to every fraternity or sorority party, be involved in a host of different activities are all things that college students will think about and hope they can do or have from time to time. Then reality sets in, and it becomes all too obvious that this kind of life isn’t really possible, at least not if you want to get good grades. Make sure that you always keep your mind focused on your goals, and that you don’t let external distractions try to derail your efforts. That old saying “college is what you make of it” really is true. It also means that you write the last chapter of the book that contains your memories of your college or university experience.