Big campus, small campus, and everything in between becoming a part of the college community is imperative. Many times students stop talking about their goals once they get into college; goal setting shouldn’t end once you have been accepted.
Yes, being accepted into college is a big deal, and spending most of your young adult life preparing for this big adventure we sometimes feel that it is okay to become lax. However, we want to remind you why you are going to college in the first place. Typical thoughts revolve around ultimately having your dream job, and that college will help you achieve that goal. The less obvious answers are you’re going there to have fun, meet friends, develop your likes and dislikes, and your opinions and philosophies about life.
College is the place to work hard, and yes, to enjoy the journey. For many, this will be the first time living alone, and organizing your schedules. You will meet people from many different places, and become fascinated with the different backgrounds people have. This very much mimics a workplace environment.
This time then becomes your exposure to the various walks of life you eventually co-work with. How do you demonstrate to a future, employer, what you have accomplished that is as just as valuable and important as the education you’ve received? You become part of your community.
Becoming part of your college community not only enriches your experience, but it can also help you land a job. Here are some ways you can add value not only to your college experience:
Go to class.
Kind of obvious, huh? Your professors are cluing you in on what they feel is important and what will be tested. Listen to them!
Stay after class.
Talk to professors further about a topic that was particularly interesting. Those conversations can set you apart later in a sea of students, even becoming valuable when you want to be a TA, (teacher assistant), or even a letter of recommendation – critical if you want a leg up on an employment application. Utilize your professor’s office hours, many don’t, and chances are you will receive individual attention from the expert himself.
Do more than just attend college.
When you graduate college, your potential employer will want to know what one or two things you did outside of college. Be prepared to have something to discuss. Tutor elementary students, be a mentor, intern, write for the newspaper, volunteer for a cause you believe in. Choose what you’re interested and excites you.
Talk to your peers.
Entering a new environment can sometimes bring on a feeling of being lonely. Reaching out and starting a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class will help lessen that feeling and making everything around you less intimidating and a lot less lonely. Great conversation starters:
“How are you?”
“How long did it take you to get the reading done for class?”
“Did you understand what this chapter was about?”
“Do you live on campus?”
Many times even the person who looks cool, calm and collected is be going through similar feelings.
Making the most of your college experience will be a very valuable tool in your toolbox later in life. Many of the connections, will serve you well throughout your life; whether, as friends, coworkers, mentors or just great memories to cherish.