Taking Advantage of the College Experience

students   Ahhhhh, college. That time in your life in which you work so hard for that degree to get out as soon as possible and change the world! You take your classes, make some lifetime friends, have some fun, don’t get enough sleep, eat some junk food, and stay up all night to write your final papers.  But college is not only a place to take courses; it’s a community that offers you many possibilities and opportunities to grow, gain skills, and learn many things.  Taking advantage of the college experience can be a wonderful contribution towards those four years in your life.  Below are some of the ways to make your college experience unforgettable.

Get Involved!

That’s right. Don’t just take classes. Put your knowledge to the test and gain skills on the way by volunteering your time to special causes, becoming a student mentor, or joining a club and organization. When I served as a mentor and joined the Yearbook Committee at my school, my educational experience was enhanced. My grades improved, I felt part of the community, and I was doing something significant in my spare time. It keeps you motivated, helps create a support network, you learn so much from other people, and it can even help you pay for school by awarding you grants if you hold leadership roles.

Be Brave: Join the Honors Program

If your school offers it, become a honors student. It is one of the best things that you can do as a college student.  You get to take interdisciplinary courses that other departments do not offer, and you get to be part of something different.  You get to know the advisors, the professors, and you go on special trips and cool events (i.e. theater shows, performances, museums, etc.).  It doesn’t matter what major you are: I did the Honors Program as a Business student.  Trust me, people still to this date get so impressed when I tell them I was a Honors Student in college. Check your school’s Honors Program for requirements and to find more information.  It is a lot of hard work, so it has to be something you would be committed to.

Do a Minor or Double Major

No matter what you are majoring in, you can double major or do a minor as well.  A double major has different requirements, but a minor is usually four courses. It will showcase in your resume that you have specialized knowledge in something and helps you stand out in the crowd.

Be adventurous: See the world

Whether you study abroad or do a travel course, take advantage of traveling while in college, even if it is within the country or the state next to your University.  I once did a travel seminar with the Honors Program during Spring Break to España! I never imagined in a million years that I would have done that. The coolest part of all is that I was translating for the whole group.  It was one of the best experiences in my life.  You learn about other places, the culture, and the traditions.  Many schools offer scholarships for study abroad, so find out how you can take advantage of those. Ask your advisor and even your professors if they can help. Outdoor Classes

Take Random Courses…

…And gain some skills while doing so. Learn basic Photoshop, Illustrator and other creative software. I would also advise to learn basic HTML, which will look great in your resume once you graduate.  Also, take classes outside your major. Like dancing? Take a course. Love theater? Take a class.  Curious about graphic design? There’s a class for that too.  Down the road, you never know what your source(s) of income could be and how valuable those skills could be.

Intern, Intern, Intern!

Intern as much as you can while you are a college student.  It helps you build your network, gain valuable professional skills, and enables you to apply your degree in the workplace. Remember, your major does not dictate your career.  Use your career services office on campus (I know that many of you said that they do nothing for you) to write your resume and help you with the cover letter.

Passionate about something? Tell the world.

If you are care about a certain topic, start a blog or a vlog, or use any other platforms that are interesting to you.  There are so many choices nowadays that it is important that you pick the right platform for you.  Do not worry about getting followers right away; always be authentic and create something that is consistent with what you care about.

The Student I.D.!

That student I.D. is not just to give you accessibility to every building on campus or borrow books from the library.  You can use it to get a discount on art supplies, fitness facilities, and most of all, you can probably use it to gain free access to local institutions (museums, botanical gardens, etc.) outside of campus.  Of course, ask your advisor for more information. Remember, have fun and explore as much as possible, whether you live on campus or commute from home.  Someone told me once, “college is what you make of it.” And it is! You are paying a lot of money for that degree, so take advantage of the resources your school offers.  You don’t need to know exactly what you want to do with your life; that’s what the college journey and the rest of your life is for.  Don’t rush. Right now, it may seem like an eternity and you just want to finish, but those four years (for others longer) go by so quickly that you won’t believe you are graduating on the day of graduation. What have you done to take advantage of your college experience? Let us know and leave a comment!

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