You’re in college, woohoo! Celebrate this amazing opportunity. You are now immersed in a world of unlimited possibilities and opportunities. This is the time to try new things, meet new people, and indulge in your (academic) fantasies! Not everyone uses their time in college wisely and I want to make sure that does not happen to you. Therefore, we’ve come up with a few tips and ideas to have the ultimate college experience.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE
1. Join clubs
To tell you the truth, when students are advised to join clubs in college it’s easy to scoff at the idea. Clubs?? Who joins clubs any more? This isn’t high school, I’m in the big leagues now! What can I honestly gain from clubs? We’re here to tell you: A LOT. Clubs are a great way to meet new people who share similar interests. They are a safe haven where you can thrive and flourish. You forge bonds with your fellow club members and become a family. If you still aren’t sold on the idea, clubs are a great space to develop professional and life skills, especially if you pick a an organization that matches your interests. You can learn the power of adaptability, timeliness, organization, helping others etc. If you want to enhance your college experience, join a club!
2. Take classes outside of your major that interest you
To maximize your college experience, try taking a wide variety of classes. College is the perfect time to experiment with different ideas and interests. Want to take a film class, but you’re an accounting major? Go ahead! Taking classes that are not necessarily required, but you’re interested in, makes your time in college way more enjoyable. You will not only enjoy the class, but you will be motivated to exceed as well! If you are still undecided, taking a variety of classes can open you to a world of majors that you didn’t even know existed. You are paying for classes, you might as well enjoy them!
Internships, internships, internships! Sure professors, friends, and parents probably cram this word down your throat, but they do have a point. They are a great way to put all that you’ve learned in class into a real-world setting. You get the needed hands-on experience to further develop skills that are required for your major. We know internships can seem intimidating, but they don’t have to be. You may think that you have to excel at everything during your internship, but no one expects you to be perfect at your job. That is the point of an internship. Think of it more as a learning experience. Internships are also a great way to find mentors! Having a mentor as a support system can be a big help during your time in college. They are probably well established in their field and can give you some valuable advice. So get ready to buckle down and apply for some internships!
4. Study abroad
Have you thought about studying abroad? Studying in a new country is a great way to make the most of the college experience. Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom and embrace the world around you. You can use this time to travel, learn a new language, and immerse yourself into a new culture! Studying abroad also expands your network — you will have contacts in another part of the world! Where would you like to study?
5. Take part in school events
Campus led events are a fun (and cheap!) way to maximize the college experience! You can attend fairs, listen to guest speakers, and attend a concert all in your backyard. Taking part in school-led events is the perfect arena to make new friends and feel more a part of your campus community. You do not have to be limited to the people in your major or class year. This is a great opportunity to meet new people with a wide range of interest and hobbies that may differ from your own. It is also an excellent way to become more integrated in your school’s culture and truly make it your home. That is the beauty of campus led events. Don’t knock them until you try them!
HEAR FROM GAP YEAR STUDENTS AND PARENTS
Fellow / Senegal
— Elise Leise
In a world filled with complex global challenges, I hope to be part of a generation that refuses to give up so easily.…
Fellow / Senegal
New Continent, New Family
— Erik Oline
I turned around to the open arms of my host family (yes, all 23 of them)! The family farm is a little slice of heaven……
Parent / Brazil
Maturity & Perspective
— Shih-Hung Shieh
The Fellows mature into intelligent, compassionate, cosmopolitan citizens of the world, able to converse about global issues……
Fellow / Ecuador
Why I Came to Ecuador
— Henry Yeary
I wanted the world to slap me silly, sweep me up like a tornado and crash me down. I needed to live.…
Fellow / India
This is How I Will Save the World
— Indi Nunez
The world does not need us to save it; it needs us to understand it. Perhaps to help is not to give after all, but rather to empower……
Parent / Senegal
Real World Skills
— Pam Ricker (Jordan Ricker)
I am so glad my son has had this experience. It has given him more than the acquisition of two new languages……