How To: Make the Most Out of College
My older cousins attended college and graduated college before I even began to think about college. But when I did start thinking about college, they collectively told me the same thing separately: college is the best four years of your life.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t believe them, but I would also be lying if I didn’t doubt them a bit.
I was thinking, how could such a cliché saying happen to me?
While I imaged the best four years of my life would naturally happen to me, I also realized that most of it would come from my actions.
So here are my tips to not only have the best four years of college, but also making the most out of college.
Put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone.
Another cliché, I know, but it’s true. I am an introvert but one of the first things I told myself for an entire week prior to going to college is that I am going to put myself out there, and talk to as much people as I can. And I did that. And that is how I made all my close friends right now, for three years in a row.
Do the things you like.
This one is specifically referring to clubs, sports, and extracurricular activities in general. For me, while I enjoyed most of the things I did in high school, I will admit that there were certain things I did just to look good. But in college, I threw caution to the wind and just went for opportunities that I had never done before, or things I had wanted to do but was too scared to in high school.
Find the people you will want to spend time with while you’re in college, but also after you graduate.
This mostly refers to friendships, but if you want to include relationships, then go ahead. I believe in the statement about how the friends you make in college will be your friends for life. But I will supplement that phrase with the friends you make in college that stick with you all four years. Because we all have regular friends in college, but how many of those friends can you hang out with on a regular basis, and actually care about what they did in the summer?
Take the classes you truly want to learn about.
I think for undergraduates, it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of worrying about finding a job post-graduation. So we will typically take classes that are more useful for our future, than because we actually want to learn about the material. And while I encourage that kind of forward thinking, I also encourage exploring classes outside of usefulness. Like if you want to eventually get into investment banking, but you enjoy learning about history, take a history class.
Planning ahead is fair, but don’t forget to enjoy the present as well.
I will be the first to admit that I do not do this, and it definitely isn’t because I don’t want to. Trust me, as much as I love planning, I like living in the moment more. But like I said above, it’s very easy to get sucked in, especially if everyone around you is planning like crazy. But do not forget that things are never as bad as they seem in the moment. Things will work out. If you worked hard enough, you will get places. So enjoy the little moments. Take a walk around campus. Sit at your campus café and just people watch. Live in the moment. You won’t regret it.
And now that I have outlined the ways you can make the most out of college, you should know that the opposite of that advice is also the best way to make college the most lukewarm/worst years of your life.
College is a wonderful time and is worth spending time to make it memorable.