Colleges are like little communities. They have their own landmarks, their own rules, and their own citizens. Colleges also have a giant selection of resources that are only available to those citizens, and as a student it’s a great idea to take advantage of every opportunity while you can. Most of the time, we look back with regret at what we didn’t do with our lives, not at what we did do. Here’s your chance to do more on campus than go to class. Use the resources that are there for your benefit!
- The professors at your school have all worked hard to have the opportunity to teach you. They have earned advanced degrees in their field, and they have related experience outside of the academic world. You’re supposed to interact with them, so take advantage of the fact that you’re around these bright people. Ask questions and use them as mentors. You’ll learn a lot.
- If you’re falling behind in a class, visit the tutoring center or writing center for some peer-to-peer assistance. Someone who has “been there, done that” can explain things in a way that you understand, and your grades will improve because you were proactive about the situation.
- The school library literally places a wealth of information at your fingertips. You can borrow books and read recent periodicals regarding your major. The library also has people on staff that can assist you with the proper research materials. They won’t write your papers for you, but they’re usually extremely helpful with telling you where to find what you need.
- Computer centers give you the ability to print out your work and get away from your dorm for awhile. Tired of your noisy roommate? Type up your reports at the computer center. You might also get the opportunity to use equipment that is more advanced than your own.
- Study abroad programs that are available to college students may give you the only opportunity you’ll ever have to visit other countries and travel. If your grades are good enough and you get accepted, you might wind up having the time of your life.
- College counseling centers are a place where you can go if you’re having personal problems or feeling depressed. Many students can’t afford traditional counseling services, or they’re simply too embarrassed to tell their parents that they need help. If you visit the college counseling center, you can speak confidently with a licensed professional, get things off your chest, and see if you need further mental health assistance.
- Health centers on campus are equivalent to walk-in clinics for students. You probably don’t have a private practice physician if you’re attending college away from home, so if you’re feeling under the weather, visit the health center for a diagnosis or referral.
- Most health centers discuss birth control options, distribute condoms, and offer pregnancy and STD testing.
- Go to all of the planned mixers and social activities on campus. They’re a great way to take a break from studying. You’ll also get to see your friends, meet new people, and eat free food.
- Join as many different groups and organizations as your schedule allows. Professional organizations that are related to your major often have reduced-rate student memberships, and the connections you may make can help you down the line as you are searching for jobs after graduation.
- Fraternities and sororities are fun during college, and they can also help you once you’ve begun your professional career. The people you meet during college can wind up helping you gain employment later in your life, so meet as many people as you can during your college years.
- Did you play in the marching band during high school? If you had fun, find out if you can join the college band, too. You don’t have to be music major, and you might be eligible for some sort of scholarship if you play an instrument that the department needs in a performance group.
- If your school has a large athletic program, you’ll probably be able to attend some very exciting sporting events. Go to as many games as you can. You’ll have fond memories of all the fun you had when you see your alma mater playing on TV in a college bowl game!
- Special guest performers may put on concerts or shows on campus. You can get free or discounted admission to plays, concerts, comedians, art shows … just about anything you can think of. Check it out!
- Most college musical groups are also classes, which mean that they rehearse two or three times per week. These groups are made up of extremely talented individuals, and you can hear some great music for free if you attend campus concerts.
- View recent movies for free at campus movie nights.
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.