College can be a confusing experience. There’s so much to do and seemingly – so little time.
Do you want to succeed academically, socially, and personally? Well, we’ve figured out a few ways that can take you from survival to ‘thrival’ while in college.
Let’s jump right in.
Most colleges and universities provide timetables and schedules for each semester in advance. This piece of paper can actually be your most useful tool for balancing academics and extracurriculars.
Now your class timetable will obviously only include the mandatory classes you need to take to complete your course. But you can use that as the starting point to chalk out a schedule that includes optional classes you select, extracurriculars you opt for as well as personal and social activities that you want to be a part of.
This doesn’t just help you be more organized and punctual, but can also help you figure out which college activities you can or cannot take up.
No matter what you’re interested in, there’s bound to be a college club for that specific interest. Most colleges now have clubs for photography, music, theatre, art, reading, and many more. Even if there isn’t a club for your extremely specific interests, you can consider forming one of your own.
Joining a college club will help you find people with similar interests – which is otherwise pretty challenging on campus. Even online students can today be part of college clubs – thanks to Zoom, Google Meet, Discord, and several other video networking platforms.
You’re not the first person to feel lost or confused in college. This means, there likely are those who figured it out or made enough mistakes to learn from. That’s why talking to your seniors or professors is a good, logical idea.
Your seniors – particularly the ones enrolled in the same course as you – have been in your exact position. They probably faced the same problems as you in their earlier college years.
Most college professors have been with the college longer than the students and have seen things evolve. They’ve probably also seen what’s worked for students who did well – especially academically.
Networking with them can give you useful insights that may just help you find the right answers you’re looking for. It can also prepare you for life after graduation.
Every university and college today provides several student benefits. While these might differ based on your college and degree, these benefits usually include a library, gym, canteen, free on-campus therapy sessions/counseling, residential areas for out-state students, and sports, music & art facilities, to name a few.
You may not always be clearly informed about these facilities, and the college website might not always be up to date, so we recommend talking to the college student representatives or staff to know exactly what facilities are available for you.
Even online students are given benefits – this usually includes access to valuable resource material for your course. Knowing your student benefits will give you more clarity on how to maximize your potential in college.
It’s understandably tempting to want to do everything possible in college. Every activity could be a chance to make new friends and discover new interests. But you have quite a bit of time in college if you think about it.
Whether you’ve enrolled in an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree, you have at the very least – a whole year of college life. A LOT can happen in a year in college – especially if you plan well. Many students rush to do everything they can in their freshman years, but then realize that there’s nothing left to do as seniors. Some even get burned out.
Aim for happiness. Focus on the things you’re most passionate about – your hobbies. Make sure you give them plenty of time. We also recommend adding another hobby to your schedule – SLEEP! A nice refreshing nap can make all the difference.
Don’t be the “I’m not here to make friends” person. Instead, find people you vibe with – either through clubs, classes, or extracurriculars. Venture outside your comfort zone and interact with people who aren’t from your course or year.
Most campuses are big and can take a while to explore. Make friends with seniors and get a proper tour of the college and surrounding area. If you’re an out-state student, this can be a great opportunity to discover new places and see new things. If you’re attending college in your home state, help the out-staters settle in without making them feel out of place.
It’s always great to have a support system in college. Academically, this can help you do better by sharing notes, and through group study or brainstorming sessions. And beyond the classroom, friends can motivate you to do the things you want to but are scared of doing alone.
You CAN make the most of your college years before you graduate. Here are our tips to help make this easier:
- Plan your schedule
- Join Clubs
- Talk to professors and seniors
- Know your student benefits
- Make time for hobbies & rest
- Make friends and be more adventurous
We hope you find at least one of these tips useful. We’d love to hear what worked for you and what helped make your college experience just a little better.
Feel free to reach out to us or check out our other articles for answers to more of your college-related questions.
Best of luck!