They—whoever they are—always say that college will be the best years of your life. That it’s a great time to “find yourself” or even “reinvent yourself” if you choose to do so. Whatever your personal education goals may be, make sure you cross at least a few of these crazy things to do in college off your to-do list!
College is a great place to meet people! People in your classes, your residence hall, even in the cafeteria all have the potential to become your BFFs. Not only will make a lot of new friends, some of those people may become future job connections once you’re out in the real world. Want to get outside of your comfort zone? Introduce yourself to a stranger, whether it’s someone sitting beside you on the first day of class or a person you keep running into in the laundry room.
Some campuses are home to hundreds of different organizations that range from fraternities to French clubs and everything in between. If you see a sign advertising a group that piques your interest, do yourself a favor and show up at a meeting. You might wind up enjoying yourself and decide to stick around as a member.
Sure, there are plenty of required classes to take during college, but make a point to enroll in a class that interests you even if it’s not mandatory. If you have to pay tuition per credit hour rather than per semester, see if you can audit a class for free—which means you can sit in and participate without receiving an official grade.
Lunch with a teacher was probably considered a punishment during high school, but in college it can be a great learning experience. Meeting with an instructor outside of the classroom can help you realize that he or she is just a normal person like you are, and discussing a confusing topic over a meal may help you feel less embarrassed to ask questions.
Sports are a great way to get or stay in shape, but you don’t need to be a superstar college athlete to participate. Join an intramural sports team, which are organized for fun and fitness among students who aren’t NCAA level athletes. They are found on many college campuses and better yet, TeensHealth from Nemours points out that in addition to the health benefits of working out, the improved self-confidence you will notice just might make it easier for you to do well in both academic and social situations.
Data released in 2010 claims that today’s college students are more self-centered than those in years past and less likely to feel empathy toward others. Go against the grain and put others before yourself every now and then. Hold the door for someone who has their hands full. Offer to tutor a confused classmate. Lend a helping hand. You never know when someone will return the favor.
The College Board explains that volunteering is good for your community as well as you. Not only does it allow you to help others while gaining hands-on experience, it benefits people in need. In fact, a set number of volunteer hours are required to graduate from high school in many districts. Some college students are required to volunteer, too. Every now and then, help out at a local charity in your area when you don’t have to. You will meet people, help people, and wind up feeling pretty good about yourself when all is said and done.
Did you go away to college? Pick a weekend to head home unannounced. Just make sure you know your family will be there and able to spend time with you! Living with the parents to save costs? Surprise them in other ways, such as cooking dinner or cleaning the house when they least expect it.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) just over half of college students who begin a bachelor’s degree program actually earn that degree within six years. However, if you plan things out appropriately and meet with your academic advisor on a regular basis to discuss your progress, it’s actually possible to finish that four-year degree within—gasp!—four years.
And even though it’s important that you learn to be responsible for your own actions and practice good decision making while you earn your degree, there’s nothing wrong with acting your age every once in a while. Go to parties. Cram for two hours before your exam rather than study all week long. Eat breakfast at 4 AM and sleep til noon. Before you know it, you won’t be able to have that much fun!
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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