College is a four-year incubation period full of amazing changes and experiences that are supposed to prepare you to live, work, and play in the “real” world.
Below are practical tips to consider so you can reap the most benefits from your college experience and leave those hallowed halls ready to forge your own path to success and happiness.
Get to Know With Your Professors
Creating good rapport with your professors will deepen and enhance your classroom learning. Professors are inspired by students who genuinely want to learn. There are many ways for you to build a healthy, adult relationship with your professors.
Start by always showing up for class on time. Participate in classroom discussions and ask intelligent questions. Approach them after class to continue a discussion that was cut short or to inquire about joining a research project in which your professor is involved. Getting as much as you can out of your college education means you have to take advantage of as many opportunities for learning and growth as you can. Your professor is a walking source of information, experience, and intelligent conversation. Get to know them.
Seek Internship Opportunities
Internships are great opportunities to get real world experience while you’re still in college. They give you the chance to discover what your future career will actually be like and see if it matches your expectations. If you can intern for a company abroad that would be doubly advantageous. You get to train in your chosen field and live in a foreign country at the same time. These are two absolutely mind-blowing experiences that are definitely worth exploring.
Manage Your Time Wisely
This is a skill that will serve you well throughout life. Master it now and you will be able to accomplish so much more both in your professional and personal life. Realize that part of managing your time well sometimes means saying no and making difficult choices.
Be Inquisitive About Life Inside and Outside the Classroom
Remember that learning is not confined to the classroom. Join a club or start one; act, sing, dance, play a sport or grab those pompoms and cheer your little college heart out. Learn a foreign language, study a semester abroad, collect used books to send to third world kids halfway across the world. College is supposed to change you. The only way that will happen is if you let it.
Of course, there is no way that you can do everything, but after you’ve made your choices, just dive right in and soak up as much as you can.
Murali Balagi, Director of Education and Curriculum Reform at the Hindu American Foundation, sums up this point very well: “One of the most important aspects of college life is what students do outside of the classroom, particularly as it relates to self-discovery and personal growth.” The learning that takes place inside the classroom is important, of course. But equally important is the learning that takes place outside its four walls and within you.
Balagi, M. (2013, August 20). Off to college? Let the self-discovery begin. The Huffington Post.
Driscoll, E. (2013, August 28). Balancing Act: Tips for college students to best manage their time. . Retrieved May 12, 2014, from foxbusiness.com
Kane, J. (2013, November 5). The only college advice you'll ever need. The Huffington Post.
Lucier, K. L. (n.d.). How to get to know your college professors. . Retrieved , from collegelife.about.com