Success is a strong word, and I don’t mean it in the literal sense by any means. There are so many paths an individual can take. I have had so many people give me advice on how to make my college career successful, but there is really no right answer. There are only options and steps we can take advantage of during our time at a university.
Being a sophomore, I feel like I have such a long way to go until graduation. Going into my freshman year I was so focused on getting good grades that I didn’t get as involved as I wanted to. I didn’t understand the opportunities I was missing out on. So, being almost a junior, I have now realized there are eight simple ways to make your experience worthwhile without only worrying about your grades.
1. Be active on your campus and with outside organizations.
There are so many things to do on campus and with local organizations. When you get involved with organizations that doesn’t mean you have gotten everything you can out of your university experience and vise versus. It should be a good balance that works best for you. That being said, I thought being involved would help my experience become more worthwhile on its own, but there’s so much more to college than just that. Just sitting outside and enjoying your campus can help you with stress and make you realize why you came to college all over again. Be involved. Be present.
2. Make connections with others.
You will meet so many amazing people during your journey through undergrad. The people you meet will definitely be big influencers on what career path you plan on taking. I always thought my GPA would be what would take me far, but you really need to know people and network as much as you can. This will not only benefit your future, but you will get to know so many interesting people, and that is really worthwhile. While I was writing for newspapers at my old university and at my new one, I have met so many great people that I never would have met without those experiences from my university.
3. Go out when you can. You won’t regret it.
If I never took the time to go out and gave fun, I would honestly go crazy. Not only do you need to go enjoy yourself while you’re on campus, but staying in and studying all the time doesn’t necessarily ensure you’ll ace a test. I definitely learned that the hard way. Over compensating can send you into a knowledge overdrive. Taking breaks and going out will help you not only unwind, but also help your mind take a break.
4. Immerse yourself in other cultures.
Universities are looming with so many different cultures through the students, the food and the organizations offered. You’ll meet new people from all over. It’s so important to be able to understand everyone for who they are and where they come from. Being able to relate and learn about those around you can really be beneficial for you throughout your entire life.
5. Take chances.
It seems so simple, but sometimes it can become challenging as you start getting into a comfortable routine. It can be as easy as trying that new Thai place that opened up or going to a student hotspot in town. Whether you take a class out of your element, or join a new organization because it looks fun, taking chances can lead you into a path you never thought you would go down. Taking chances can be risky, but you may be surprised with what you can accomplish when you try something new. There are so many endless opportunities when going away to school. It may be a hard adjustment at first, I know I struggled my freshman year and I am sure a lot of other people do too. It’s easier said than done, and I really don’t think there is a right way to make your college career “successful.”
So go out and experience college to the fullest. Grab that late night pizza you have been craving all week and share it with friends. Work your hardest to get the grades you know you deserve after staying up studying until 2 a.m. at the library. Go to career fairs and start making connections while searching for your dream job. You can accomplish so much when you believe in yourself and know that you have gotten the fullest experience out of your time at college. That will be your true form of success, I can promise you that.
More About the Author
Sarah is a sophomore at Indiana University Bloomington (Go Hoosiers!) studying media advertising with a specialization in public relations. When she isn’t sitting at a Starbucks studying or binging “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on Netflix, she is writing for the Indiana Daily Student or searching the web for creative content. Sarah is a corgi enthusiast and loves all things caffeinated.