College is a unique time in life. While the ostensible purpose of college is to prepare for a career, it is also a time to grow out of your teenage years and enter the realm of adulthood. It is often said that the friendships one makes in college are the most significant in life.
The experience of being in college encompasses not only attention to academics, but also stepping out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to be a fuller and more well-rounded person in your social life. Here are some ideas to help you make the most out of your social experience at college.
Get to Know Your Hallmates
Many colleges provide hall orientation sessions, in which your resident assistant will gather all the residents of your hall together to discuss and create ground rules. Use this time to your advantage; be friendly, introduce yourself, and make conversation with others in your hall. Perhaps even organize a movie night or outing so that your hall can develop a sense of unity and friendship outside of class. Remember that everyone is likely feeling the same way you are, and by reaching out you are not only developing relationships for the year, but setting everyone else at ease as well.
Explore the City or Town Around You
Familiarizing yourself with the surroundings outside your campus will set the scene for some of your most memorable college experiences. Find some good restaurants, cafés, libraries, and music venues where you may want to study or relax. Sometimes you may get a bit restless staying solely on campus, so finding good places to unwind is necessary to keep your sanity and reduce any negative emotions that could get in the way of your schoolwork.
Joining clubs at college will allow you to enrich your college experience. It is a great way to meet like-minded individuals with whom you may form some of your most lasting friendships. College clubs can encompass anything from animé to chess to languages to sports. Chances are if you are interested in something, there is a club for it. If not, you can form your own with the help of a faculty sponsor. Contact your college for more information about creating a club if you are interested in doing so.
Don’t Jeopardize Your Academics
College is also a time in which students may embark upon a rebellious streak. Without parental oversight, students might be tempted to do things they couldn’t do at home. While stepping out of your comfort zone is encouraged, there is never any reason for you to do anything illegal. If you are under 21, do not drink. You may be subject to police involvement, school disciplinary action, or even expulsion from school if you do things that are illegal.
Always follow your school’s code, and never, ever cheat. Listen to your resident assistant when he or she outlines the rules. They will be upheld, and the last thing you want is to be expelled from school and your academic career wasted. Use good judgment.
Above all, college is a time for transformation and exploration. If you take the time to get to know the people and sights around you, and take in everything there is to offer, you will thrive at college. Good luck!
This article was provided by Mike Gordon, recent business school graduate and outreach coordinator. Mike suggests accounting jobs for any students looking to line up a post-college career.