- Join a club
Joining a club not only allows you to meet people, but it also teaches you to work with others and to try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone and participating in something that you may not be good at, or have much knowledge about can be difficult, but it’s worth it. You’ll learn so much about yourself, and you may even make some close friends there. Even trying something new and then quitting is better than not trying at all – most of the time, you’ll learn to love what you got yourself into.
2. Go to a play or concert
Even if your school doesn’t have a good theatre/arts program, it’s still worth seeing your classmates perform. It takes a lot of practice and bravery to stand up in front of a crowd and perform, and those people deserve an attentive audience (that’s where you come in). If your school doesn’t have an arts program at all, find one in the city or town nearest you! If you’re as lucky as I am and have a thriving city like Boston nearby, take advantage of it. There are always tons of events going on in cities – find something you like, or want to try, and check it out!
Go to a theatre production
3. Attend an athletic event
Whether your school is successful or not at certain sports, it’s still nice to go support your fellow students, just as it is in artistic performances. Athletes train long and hard to perform at their best, and they play even better when they have a whole stadium full of supporters goading them on. Plus, it’s a fun way to meet other people – and you get to make up weird cheers!
Cheer on classmates at an athletic event
4. Party (at least once)… for most, that won’t be a problem at all
Most people go to a party and fall in love with the lifestyle. To them, it’s a great way to let off steam, unwind from a tough week, forget about classes, and make memories (if you actually remember anything from those Saturday nights….) with friends. However, some people don’t like that lifestyle at all – they’d rather do something at home, or go to dinner, or see a movie. No matter which type of night you prefer, try both. That way, you’ll appreciate being able to cuddle up and watch a movie in bed, but you’ll also get to experience the typical college experience of going out and drinking.
College Experience 101: Party
5. Take a class unrelated to your major/a subject you’re interested in
We spend so much time learning what we “have” to know, so it’s good to change it up and take a class that isn’t part of your major but that you’re curious about. You learn better/more when you are actually passionate about learning something, rather than dreading it. Plus, taking a class outside your major can be a refreshing break – when you’re sick of doing bio homework, you can turn to the art project you need to complete, or write a short story.
6. Live on campus
Though most people will live on campus for all four years of college, it’s still worth putting on this list. Being on campus allows you to experience the freedom you didn’t have at home. You get to control when you go to sleep, when/what you eat, what you do in free time.
7. Live off campus (if you can)
Living off campus is also a useful experience. You may not have a meal plan and you will have a longer commute to campus. You’ll not only have to learn how to cook for yourself (or spend all your money eating out, which I don’t recommend), and you’ll really learn to plan ahead so that you get places on time. Living off campus will definitely make you a more responsible and productive person.
Live in a “real” apartment
8. Study abroad
Studying abroad, or any sort of international travel is an incredibly valuable experience. Going to a different country opens your eyes to new cultures, languages, people, and ideas; traveling teaches you equally important lessons about life and interacting with others.
9. Find something you love doing
This goes back to the idea of taking a class that you’re interested in, but may not fall into your major. If you find a subject or discipline that you are drawn to and passionate about, don’t ignore that feeling. Even if you’ve wanted to be a doctor your entire life, or your parents push you to becoming a lawyer – follow your own head and heart (sorry, didn’t mean to be cheesy). College is the time to discover what you really love doing and what you’re good at. If you find something that doesn’t fit in to what you were doing before, don’t ignore it – take a long hard look at whatever it is, and ask yourself if this were something you’d like to pursue more seriously.
Internships are a great way to get experience in the field you’re looking to go into, and it also gives you a chance to see if it’s actually something you could do for life. The things we’re interested in can look nice and fine from the outside, but sometimes it’s a different story when you’re actually doing it. Internships also look great on the resume and allow you to build contacts when looking for future employers or opportunities.