Making the Most of Your College Years

Being a student is so much more than just being enrolled in classes. It’s about meeting new people, trying new things, and discovering what you like and what you never want to try again. Academics are incredibly important, but there are more ways to show personal growth and success than through a GPA. Not sleeping through every morning class is a great habit to adopt, but you can really make the most of your college years beyond sitting in a lecture hall. 

As a college senior, I’ve put together some habits I wished I’d formed when I was a freshman.

 

  1. 1. Talk to Your Classmates

    The idea of talking to new people is scary to some, but the great thing about college is that everyone is in the same situation as you: they moved away from home and probably know few people. If you’ve ever sat in a class and wished someone would talk to you, there’s a chance that your classmates feel the same way. Someone has to start the conversation— why not make it you? The conversation will either go great and you’ll have a new friend, or it will be a one-time conversation. Either way, no harm is done. Even if you aren’t looking to make new friends, it’s really helpful to have a classmate to share notes and/or study with. 

    Talking with your classmates is helpful in other ways as well. Being able to speak to your classmates can boost your confidence and ability to participate in class discussions, especially if you’re shy. As an adult, you’ll have plenty of job interviews and situations where you have to talk to strangers. It’s best to get comfortable doing so.

  2. 2. Join ALL the Clubs

    Okay, it’s impossible to literally join every club, but being an active member of at least one is so rewarding. At the start of the year, look at the list of registered student organizations and write down every single one that sounds interesting to you. Actually attend the meetings instead of “wishing” you were a part of it. Don’t be afraid to go alone and remember that you ARE welcome there. After seeing what the clubs entail, decide whether or not you want to continue with the club. Clubs are a great way to remain social, pursue a hobby, or simply fill up space on a resume.

  3. 3. Attend Events in Your Residence Hall

    One of the greatest things about living on campus is the seemingly endless list of things to do. Residence halls and other campus buildings hold a plethora of events. These can range from craft nights to bowling to student poetry readings. This is a great way to take a break from studying and see what your campus has to offer. 

    P.S. You’ll probably leave with free stuff.

  4. 4. Get to Know Your Professors

    Professors are not scary people, and getting to know them will prove beneficial in the long run. It doesn’t matter that you’re only with them for one semester— maintaining connections with them can influence your future. Whether you go to them for advice or use them as reference, professors are only there to help. A few office hour meetings is all it takes to set yourself apart from other students.

  5. 5. Get Enough Sleep

    Between weekend parties and late nights at the library, it can be hard to get enough sleep. You don’t necessarily need a full eight hours each night, but adopting a consistent sleep schedule will increase productivity levels without having to change anything else. Make going to sleep early a priority as much as homework. When you tell yourself you have to be in bed by a certain time, your routine will start to flow with your new sleep schedule. You’ll thank yourself next time you have an 8 a.m. lecture.

Getting to know your peers and being actively engaged on your college campus is how you make your experience memorable. Everything you do during this time will shape your adult life, so do the most. 

Or at the very least, get your money’s worth.