Making The Most Of Your College Experience

Entering a new school year can be nerve-wracking, whether you're going into college for the first time or even if you've already been there for 2+ years, no matter the situation, it's always a bit dreadful. But, going back to school doesn't have to be as horrible, scary, or even as stressful as it sounds. For some people, this may be the first time you're being introduced to this concept, but this is your life, your experience, and it is what you make of it, so you might as well start taking charge now and figuring out what exactly it is that you love to do, or simply what makes you- you.

From my personal college experience, I have tried to at least get involved with one thing each year and stayed committed to doing that in order to find out if it's something I genuinely enjoy, can benefit from, or can find growth through. I have been able to find out more about myself and really see how far I've come from my freshman year at the University of La Verne, to now as a junior- but, I'm not finished yet because I believe there could always be more space for growth and improvement, even if you feel as if you're at your peak, life has an odd, but sometimes great way of surprising you, especially during this time where changes are pretty constant. But, I believe I'm confident enough now to recommend certain ways in which other people can make the most of their college journey, just as I have and strive to do every day.

Get Involved!

This is a pretty cliche start to suggesting ways to get accustomed and even begin to love your college journey, but it's a big, important one that I completely stand by. From my journey, getting involved and putting myself out there (as frightening as it can be) has been a main focal point as to why I love and appreciate my school so much. It has helped me tremendously to get outside of my shell and make plenty of amazing friends, all of which wouldn't have happened if I had simply just gone to classes and gone home right after they finished. Joining clubs, attending social events on campus, and even participating in leadership positions for events on campus have all made my journey so much more memorable, fun, exciting, and beneficial than I ever could've imagined when I first came into college. Because of things like this, I have been able to discover a variety of things that I am passionate about and they have allowed me to connect with others, so that I could feel that sense of belonging on campus, which I now consider my second home.

Participate!

At the end of the day, college is still college and there for academic purposes, so take advantage of your resources. Whether you're a class clown or a quiet student, give your classes your all because you are in college to receive an education and it's going to be so much easier to learn and receive the essential tools you need from all your classes if you truly apply yourself and participate. Class discussions are there for you to put in your two cents, so do it! No matter what, if you ever feel the urgency to share anything in class or if you know the answer, speak up and contribute, it'll make class much more bearable and your professors will love your participation as well as make note of it. One of my favorite professors once advised me, during my freshman year, and said something I'll probably never forget. "It's not like you have anything to be ashamed of if you speak up in class and answer a question wrong for three reasons: 1: you were brave enough to answer when nobody else wanted to, 2: it's not like you have known the people in your classes all your life like in high school, and 3: you gave it your best shot and that's all that I ever ask because even if it's not right, you're here to learn anyway and you're going to learn the right answer and be aware of it eventually." So, I hope this quote from my former professor helps you out the next time you're in class and on the fence of contributing to the discussion, asking questions, or even answering questions.

Be You!

You are your own person. Therefore, you may not always like to do what everyone else does, or you may like to do something that nobody you know really cares for, but on the bright side, you are in college and you are able to express yourself however you would like because now's the time. So, wear the clothes you never thought you had the confidence to wear outside before, put your all into that certain skill that you never really wanted people to know about or see, seek out the clubs or people who are interested in the same activities as you, and speak up for what you deeply care about. The list could go on forever, but I just want to reiterate the point that no two people are exactly alike, so whatever it is that you define as making the most out of your college experience, go for it and do it with pride- not everyone's amazing college memories or stories are the same, therefore you should write yours however you'd like!

 

Your personal college experience is whatever you want to make of it; whether it's joining as many clubs/organizations on campus as possible, staying locked up in your room all day, frantically working on homework or studying, or even going out with friends everyday, it doesn't matter as long as you're happy and living your best life. As long as you love what you're doing and where you currently are in your life, go for it and give it your all if you're truly passionate!