What Makes a Great College Experience?
You’ve graduated high school, tossed your cap, turned in your gown, and packed up your bedroom. And now, for the first time in your life, you’re headed off to live on your own at college. This is one of the most exciting and scariest times in your life, and you want to make the next four years the best they can be.
Having a great college experience is about experiencing everything your campus has to offer. From clubs to events to new friends to incredible opportunities for academic exploration, a college campus can provide a wealth of new experiences. Read on to learn how to have the best college experience possible.
Talk to People
The first and most important thing you can do to make your college experience great is to talk to people around you. College is a great time to meet people who are totally different from you – people from not only different states, but also different countries who have different views, different religions, and different interests. Everyone is new and a little nervous, so take that leap and be the first to speak up.
If you’re not sure how to get started talking to people, try leaving your dorm room door open when you’re home and putting a bowl of candy outside your door to encourage people to stop by and say hi. Organize a pizza night on your floor and watch movies. If you see someone sitting alone on the quad or in the dining hall, ask if you can sit with them and strike up a conversation.
Another great way to meet people and get the most out of your college experience is to get involved. College campuses will support just about any organization a student wants to set up. This means there’s a club on your campus that’s based around your interests and is filled with people who enjoy the same things you do.
Look into writing, gardening, fashion, cooking, or knitting clubs on campus. If you’re more the athletic sort, look into walking or running clubs, fitness classes, or intramural sports. And then there are often Greek organizations, charity groups, campus religious groups, and academic fraternities.
Ask for Help
Adjusting to being in college can be challenging, both academically and emotionally. You should never be afraid to ask for help with this transition when you need it.
If you’re struggling in a class, get in touch with the professor and go to their office hours. They are there to help you, and most professors will be delighted to see you in their office and help you out.
If you find yourself struggling with depression or anxiety, go to your school’s counseling center. They can provide you free help in a non-judgmental environment geared specifically toward helping you.
We know your parents and teachers have been drilling this into you since the sixth grade. But staying organized in college really is key to both good grades and a less stressful experience. In college, you’ll have a lot more homework to keep up with than you have before, and staying organized is the only way to make sure it all gets done.
Work out a system to keep your desk organized with all your books and notebooks. If you’re a planner person, get one and use it; if not, try setting up a schedule on your phone. Set yourself reminders for important due dates, including meetings for the groups you’re involved in and when you need to get advisement and register for classes.
Go to Class
We know this sounds obvious, but one of the best things you can do to have a solid college experience is to go to class. Many professors may not have an attendance policy, but skipping classes will still have consequences. It just happens that in this case, failing tests is the consequence instead of detention.
If you need to take one or two days off a semester, you’ll be okay. But the rest of the time, go to class, sit in the front of the room, and take notes. You’ll be surprised how much doing this one simple thing will improve your grades.
Take Care of Your Body
When you’re in college, it’s the first time in your life that you can eat whatever you want and stay up as late as you like. A lot of people start going crazy on cookies and burgers, staying up till the wee hours, and letting their workouts lapse. But if you want to have a great college experience, you need to take care of your body.
When you’re eating right, sleeping enough, and working out on a regular basis, you have more energy and feel better. This makes it easier to get to classes, get your homework done, and stay involved with your on-campus organizations. Make your health a priority in your schedule, and not just to avoid the freshman fifteen.
Go to Events on Campus
College campuses offer a unique range of event opportunities that you may never get to experience again. There will be concerts, lectures, art exhibits, athletic events, fun runs, and all sorts of other exciting activities. Take advantage of these opportunities while you have the chance to.
Read your college newsletter and keep up with what’s going on on campus. Make a note of lectures, exhibits, or performances that interest you, make it a point to go, and take a friend with you. And whether you’re into sports or not, go to at least one major athletic event during your time in college.
Learn More About How to Have a Great College Experience
College is one of the most exciting and transformative times of your life. You’ll make lifelong friends, discover what your passion in life is, and have an opportunity to experience a culture that exists only on a college campus. Dive in, talk to people, get involved, and make the most of those four years that you can.
If you’d like to have an amazing college experience, come see us at William Peace University. We are a nationally ranked award-winning college in one of the best cities in America. Take a virtual tour and discover the place where your story really begins.