College is a fun, coming-of-age experience for everyone who attends, but from day one, there’s so much stuff going on! All of a sudden, you actually have to study to get good grades. You also have freedom in your social activities and can go out every night if you please. With so much going on, college can go by in the blink of an eye. Of course you know you need to study hard, learn lots, get good grades, but what about all the other stuff that rounds out your college experience? Here are five things to make sure you do before graduating college.
So many students miss out on studying abroad and it’s a shame. You’ll have few other opportunities in your life to travel to another country with familiar people to study something you’re interested in. So do it! It might seem like a costly trip, but the upside is, you’re getting credits for it and you’ll probably get great practice at a foreign language. Not only does it make you more cultured, it also expands your horizons and gives you a new outlook on life.
Develop a Relationship With Professors
This is very, very important. While you’re in college, professors are just the people who stand in front of the room and talk at your for about an hour before you leave and do other things. But professors are so much more than that. Once you graduate, you may need letters of recommendation for grad school. Having a good relationship with your professor can work wonders on your chance of acceptance. You may want to find a job. Professors have friends and if they like you and want to help, this can be a great connection to get you in somewhere. They can even give you tips on what to do after grad school or provide you a job working in their lab if you can’t find a job after you graduate. Their helpfulness is endless, so develop some good relationships.
Work in a Lab if You’re a Science Major
This is so important and I wish someone had told me this. You may already have a job and be thinking, “I like my job, why would I want to switch jobs to work at the university?” Here’s why: Working in a lab gives you applicable experience to your major! When you graduate from college, you’ll have a bachelors degree, but guess what? So do thousands upon thousands of your peers. What makes you different is work experience. That’s what employers are looking for and many of them want 2-3 years of it. So start working in a lab asap. Not only will it give you experience, it’ll help you develop that teacher-student relationship.
Join a Student Organization
Being a part of a student organization is a great way to meet other students and get involved with campus life. It might seem nerve-racking to walk into a meeting of people you don’t know and try to make friends, but every new social situation is a little scary. You have to push past it, be friendly, and speak up! The people you meet in a student organization will open you up to a whole new group of friends separate from your work friends, roommates, and other students in your department.
Take an Awesome Spring Break Trip
Every college student should take at least one awesome spring break trip. Go to the beach or to a huge music festival and have a great time making memories with your friends. Trips like these will create memories with your friends and it will bond you together for life. You’ll look back at your college memories with fondness instead of wishing you had just splurged and gone out with everyone else! You’re so free in college, so take advantage of it. Act your age, take a break from your studies, and have some fun!