College is about getting your education in a major of choice and earning a college degree, but college can offer you more, if you take advantage.
Here are some suggestions about how to use your time in college for the most benefit.
- Learn to write. – You will always have the need for good writing skills throughout life, if only for emails. You will also have need to write proposals, recommendations, letters of introduction, reports, or summaries. Learn to write clearly and logically. Good thinkers write well.
- Develop skills beyond those required from your major. – Take courses that fascinate you to open your mind and challenge your thinking. Also take courses in hard skills like statistics or computer programming. These skills are often helpful in work and life. You need to know how to handle the tools most often used today—technology, and you need to be able to evaluate studies and other research, even if only to buy the best car.
- Go to unfamiliar places. – This may be one of the few times in life when you can go without obligations holding you back. Study abroad. Go to cities if you are from a rural area; go to the country if you’re a city person. Learn about things beyond what you are used to. You never know what you might discover.
- Reevaluate the need to write a senior thesis. – Capstone projects can be valuable to students who are truly engaged with a question or who have a passion for a narrow focus. But, for many, the time for writing a thesis and the energy you put into it might be better spent exploring beyond your academic sphere.
- Explore careers – Make sure what you think you want to do makes you happy. Try apprenticeships, part-time jobs, summer work or internships, even job shadowing before graduating. Then it’s too late.
- Get to know some faculty members. – Take small classes or use your professor’s visiting hours to make a personal connection. You may need a recommendation or some connections when you pursue a certain line of work or graduate studies. You might even develop a life-long friendship.
College offers the opportunity for you to learn but also to explore life before living it.