Making the Most of Your College Experience
Sometimes, college makes us feel as though it will magically last forever. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. As each semester rolls on, I find myself surprised that the time is flying by so rapidly. The majority of my peers are in the same boat. Wearing the graduation cap and gown, many have told me 2 or 4 years passed so fast in retrospect, although they felt it would last forever.
So, how can we get the most out from our college life? Interweaving my experiences and advice from those who have graduated, here are three tips.
Join at least one campus club or organization. Not only do extracurricular activities help you learn, but they also provide opportunities where you can foster professional and personal skills. When I was studying at a community college, I worked as a student blogger and learned social media management and marketing strategy. I also worked in the Student Government Association and learned about the school’s administration. You can also expand personal and professional connections. Two or four years pass very fast. Explore organizations that interest you and try a few. Avoid spreading yourself too thin by limiting yourself to 2 or 3 activities.
This tip comes from one of my regrets. I became a junior without any internship experiences. Colleges are changing rapidly, especially with job markets. Internships are now a vital way to make you competitive in the job market. Even if you are still unsure about your interests, explore opportunities! If I could go back to my freshman year, I would immediately apply to internship programs as much as possible to explore career passions while developing professionalism. Apply for internships before college magic expires!
Calculate the number of upcoming semesters and make a plan for your college career. What program do you want to do? What on-campus organizations or jobs are you interested in? It is also helpful to set up semester goals and yearly goals. For this semester, I planned to join four organizations. I joined the Student Association, the Writing Initiative, Student Life and Academics Committees, and a research program. I now plan to focus on just two of these and aspire to develop communication, project management, leadership and writing skills. For my senior year, I plan to reduce extracurricular duties further and focus on job hunting and graduate program applications. Plan ahead to avoid wasting two or four years being unsure what to do!
Everyone can get the feeling that college will magically last forever. However, your undergraduate career will pass very fast. To get the most out of your college experience, engage yourself in extracurricular activities and internships while managing plans for your college career!