I graduated from college this past December and I can’t help but feel extremely gratified by the four and a half years I spent earning my degree. I made sure that I spent that time doing things I enjoyed while earning an education that would take me far in life.
It wasn’t an easy road (college never is) but there were things I did that made it a really amazing one. Here are 5 things I did, that you can do as well, to make the most out of your college experience.
Map out goals for each semester
Besides trying to get good grades, make an effort to set goals for yourself for each semester until your graduation. These can be things like joining a club, running for a board position on campus, or making time each week to take an on-campus exercise class. Taking it one semester at a time will make these goals seem less daunting.
Check out my Get Your Goals! Worksheet for more tips on setting and achieving goals.
Meet with your advisor on a regular basis
It is really great to have a professional assess how well you are doing, so take advantage of it! Don’t just meet with your advisor to find out what classes you have to take; bring in assignments for them to critique, ask for their opinions on any goals you may have, and most importantly, be nice to them! Often times these are the people that can hook you up with an internship, a position on campus, and maybe even a job! Make sure you stay on their good side.
Don’t be that kid
You know, the kid who gets on the professor’s bad side! They show up late if they even show up at all, they half-ass assignments, and spend more time partying than they do studying. Sure, college attendance policies aren’t as strict as high school, but that shouldn’t be a pass for you to never show up to class. Just think about the money you’re spending! Don’t make repaying those loans more of a pain than it should be – make sure you are getting what you are paying for.
Do internships while you can
Many internship programs out there (especially with larger companies) are only available to college students. Don’t miss out on those opportunities! If you can fit one into your schedule and earn credit or get paid, go for it. There is nothing like being able to replace that high school waitressing job on your resume with something that is actually relevant to your career field. Many students are intimidated by the idea of an internship because it can be like having a “real” job but I think they are the perfect way to gain experience and get a head-start on your career.
Need some internship advice? Read my 5 internship tips that you won’t get anywhere else!
Make sure you are having fun
This is the key to feeling fulfilled about your college experience. I didn’t dread going to class because I actually enjoyed what I was studying. If you don’t find any interest in what you are learning than you can expect to have a job you hate once you graduate. So, take the time to figure it out now to avoid being miserable later. Change majors, drop a minor, do whatever you have to do to make sure you are getting the most self-fulfillment that you can.
Because I set goals for myself and went after things that interested me, I now have this blog and I am building a career that I will love. I urge you students to take advantage of all that college has to offer! Campuses often have so many hidden opportunities that you won’t find unless you seek them out. You want to be able to look back on your college experience and think about all the fun you had both inside the classroom and out!
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How is your college experience going so far? If you’re a graduate, how has it been post-grad? Let me know in the comments!