Student Life

15 Steps to Ensuring a Great College Experience

Elizabeth Hoyt

August 30, 2017

15 Steps to Ensuring a Great College Experience
Ensure you make the most of your entire college experience!
There’s a lot to be said about the college experience. It encompasses so much and, in truth, is difficult to define because every student is different. While you are at college to learn, you want to ensure that you’re balancing your course load with other activities as well in order to round out the college experiences you have. We've narrowed it down to cover experiences that students share in college in order to make a list that students could follow ensuring the true "college experience."
This list covers the entire college experience, from classes and professors to clubs and game days, so you can ensure you make the most of your entire college experience.

1. Keep your dorm room open (only when you’re home, obviously)

While you’re living in the dorms, it’s helpful to keep your dorm room door open while you’re home. That way, as people walk through the halls, they are able to stop by and say hello. Usually, people only knock if they have a purpose but will stop in to say hi if a door is open and they see you, so it’s an easy way to make friends and welcome people to make conversation when they normally wouldn’t.

2. Join intramural sports and/or clubs, Greek life, etc.

Consider participating in different sports, clubs and, perhaps, Greek life on campus. It’s a great way to meet people and make new friends. Just trying different opportunities out is okay – it doesn’t mean you have to stick with each one. Try several on for size and stick with those you enjoy.

3. Plan out your schedule in advance & register for classes as soon as you’re able

Work to plan out each semester’s schedule in advance, knowing which classes you’d like to take. It’s helpful to know which professors you’d like as well so that, when it comes time to register for courses, you’re able to do it as early as possible. Registering for classes early is beneficial because you’ll be able to get the best options, which is why knowing which courses you want to take comes in handy.

4. Always go to your classes

You’re in college for a reason – to take classes. Go to class – you’re spending money on them and not going is like throwing it out the window. Plus, teachers provide valuable information in class that will be on your exams. Just go to class.

5. Get to know your professors through their office hours

Here’s another reason you should go to class. Your professors will definitely notice if they never see you and you want to build strong relationships with them. Then, go to their office hours as well. You can start by talking about the course material but the goal is to eventually get to know them on a personal level.

6. Make time for things other than studying

Yes, you should study while in college. But, you want to make time for other things as well – like participating in college activities, a social life and, perhaps, a part-time job. College isn’t just about academics, you want to get the full experience, which includes these other aspects as well.

7. Explore different subjects (and yourself) to find your true passion

College is all about exploration and discovery. Make time within your schedule to take classes you’re interested in and try to explore topics you want to know more about. You’ll never know where your passions lie if you don’t take the time to find out!

8. Stay on budget

Your life (now and throughout the rest of it) will be much easier if you learn how to develop and stay on a budget. Sure, you’re going to get off track sometimes, but as long as you work to keep to your goal, you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

9. Eat right, get enough rest and exercise

When you eat well and develop an exercise routine, you feel better. Handling your course load, your study routine and your active social life won’t be so difficult if your mind and body are happy and healthy. Take care of yourself (and your body) and you’ll be much better off handling everything life throws your way.

10. Meet with your academic advisor regularly

It’s important to regularly meet with your academic advisor in order to ensure that you’re taking the right credits, the right amount of credits and that you’re on track to graduate within a reasonable amount of time. You don’t want to think you’re on track for graduation, only to find out you’re a few credits short and have to stay an extra semester or, worse yet, an extra year or two. If you regularly meet with your advisor, you can easily prevent this from happening!

11. Go to at least one home game of every major sporting event at your school

There’s nothing like the student cheering section at a college sporting event and this is the only time in your life that you get to have the experience! Even if you’re not super into sports, go anyway. You never want to regret not doing so because you won’t be able to go back in time and change your mind. At the very least, just go to one game.

12. At least think about studying abroad

Studying abroad is a unique experience that is unlike any other and most students who don’t take the opportunity regret it. Look into the programs your school offers and, at the very least, consider the opportunities given. It’s a great way to see the world and get college credit at the same time.

13. Get involved

Get involved on campus through volunteer work, social awareness groups or something else you’re passionate about. Being young is all about changing the world and making your voice matter – now is the time to be heard.

14. Utilize campus facilities while you can

Most college campuses are full of amazing gyms, pools, museums, computer labs and all other kinds of neat buildings that students are able to access. Find out what your school has to offer and start exploring!

15. Know your college’s student benefits

Colleges offer students various benefits, such as a certain number of free medical visits, psychological visits, vaccines, etc. Some also have programs for books and more. Find out what your school offers to current students so you can take advantage of whatever benefits come with your tuition. You’re paying enough anyway so you might as well reap all the benefits!

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