Now that I’ve been a college graduate about three months, I’ve had time to reflect on (and miss) all the amazing experiences I’ve had as a student. If any of you were to ask me what I think are some things you should do in college, I would tell you these things:
Join An Organization
Getting involved in an organization was honestly the best thing I did as a college student. It opened up so many doors for me socially, personally, and professionally.
Greek life is pretty big at my university, UC Riverside, and I got curious about it so I joined a co-ed business fraternity called Delta Sigma Pi. One thing I didn’t know when I first started college is that there are many types of fraternities and sororities, like social, professional, cultural, and ones revolving around community service. If you don’t think the typical Greek organization is for you, there are many other alternatives.
That’s what I loved about being in DSP – there was a good balance between social activities and professional events. I gained valuable business skills like how to write an awesome resume, how to network with professionals, how to ace an interview, and more. I also made a group of amazing friends who I can seriously say will be my friends for life. And when we recruited new members every quarter, we added more and more people to our fraternity! I was constantly meeting new and exciting people.
I feel like the best way to really connect with your college campus is to get involved with it! So check out what clubs your school has to offer. There are so many to choose from and I’m sure you will find something that interests you. And when you find that club, be active in it! If you just show up to a weekly meeting and contribute nothing, you won’t get much out of it. You’ll have the most fun and benefit when you are actively involved.
I am probably going to be talking about my adventures in Europe for the rest of my life because the quarter I studied abroad was honestly the most fun time during my college years. I went with three friends from my fraternity and we had the best time traveling to 10 different countries together! Every weekend was an adventure.
It was also so cool that we got accepted into the same university (University of Warwick in Coventry, UK). I never felt lonely because I had buddies with me. But I also tried my best not to use them as a crutch and put myself out there socially. I made a bunch of new friends from all over the world like Canada, Austria, and of course, the UK.
Traveling with friends is definitely one thing you will want to experience.
Go On A Spontaneous Trip
College is probably the only time in your life where you will be free to spontaneously take off at any given moment. Once you join the workforce, it gets a lot more complicated. You have to ask for time off from your boss, you can’t realistically take too many days off, and you have to coordinate schedules with your friends. That’s why I say you should do it now! Do it while you still have the benefit of time and flexibility.
I remember in my senior year when I decided to go on a last-minute trip to Seattle with my friends. We had the time of our lives and there’s just a certain excitement in the spontaneity of things. We just booked the cheapest plane tickets from the cheapest airline we could find, and spent a weekend sightseeing and enjoying good food and good company. This mini getaway comes in a close second to my study abroad trip.
If you want some more travel inspiration, check out the Travel category of my blog!
Develop Skills That Can Help Your Career/Self Growth
It seemed like there was an event hosted on campus that would be useful for my career every week. I’ve attended many events in the past such as an Adobe Photoshop class, I’ve taken a 10 week coding bootcamp for women in tech while I was abroad, and I’ve been a part of numerous business networking functions. Each of these things don’t take a lot of time, only a couple hours of your day, and you gain so much from it.
If you find something that sparks your interest, go do it! All the little skills I gathered from events have helped me get to where I am now. If I didn’t have any experience in graphic design, coding, and marketing, there’s no way I would have been qualified to work at a marketing agency, which is what I’m doing now. Taking classes relevant to your career path is great, but you definitely need the skills to match. You probably won’t even get a second look if you have zero experience and few technical skills.
I hope my insight has helped any fellow collegiates out there! Feel free to ask me any questions and I’ll be happy to throw in my two cents. And if you’re already a graduate, what are some of your top things you should do in college?