You are nearly done with senior year. Well, kind of almost done. No matter! You are already looking forward to college and daydreaming about what life will be like as a college kid. College can absolutely be one of the best periods of your life, but like many things, you get what you put into it. I hope I am not bursting your bubble when I say; you don’t just magically have awesome experiences just because you are enrolled as a college student. So here are three ways to make sure you get the most out of your college experience.
Meet new people. Every once in a while, a student I recruited will come to my office saying that they want to transfer, because they don’t feel like they fit. Nearly every time, it is because they haven’t made any attempt to connect with other students on campus! At ACU we have a whole program in place to help students get acclimated to their new surroundings and meet other students. The thing is we can’t force people to participate. Once you get to college, you are an adult and it is up to you to participate. I can’t guarantee that you will be best friends with everyone you meet. That being said, I can guarantee that if you don’t leave your room ever, you definitely won’t make new friends. Putting yourself out there can be scary or exhausting (especially for introverts like me) but it is vitally important to your college experience!
Join a student organization. If you have a specific interest; whether it is focused on social justice, animals, or skateboarding – chances are that other people share the same interest. Every university or college I have ever heard of has student organizations. These organizations are a great way to get involved and meet people who share similar interest with you. Many times, there will be booths set up at orientation to learn more about the different groups. Make sure to check with your Admissions Counselor for the best way to explore what your school of choice has to offer.
Have an international experience. Imagine that you are sipping coffee in downtown Paris, touring the ruins of ancient China, or learning the Tango in South America. Sounds good right? Getting an international experience is an amazing way to get involved. This may sound counter-intuitive because it involves leaving the country. However, many Christian colleges and universities actually send you with professors from your school as well as fellow students. Some of my closest friendships came out of my time studying abroad in Germany, making it a great way to get more involved. In addition to studying abroad, many colleges and universities will help connect you with other international experiences. These could include mission trips or research opportunities. Check with your school of choice to see what they offer.
After you’ve found the right school, it’s up to you to take advantage of all that it has to offer. So whether you end up hiking through Peru, working with your peers to rescue animals, engaging in on-campus activities or all of the above, I hope that you will make the most of your college experience. Until my next post, have a great month!