Although earning the best grades you can possibly earn is an objective of college, the college experience offers way more opportunities than just academic stress. Here are 4 things every college student should work on while striving for that 4.0 GPA:
1. Developing Social Skills
As soon as one first arrives on campus, they are typically astonished by the number of new faces they begin to see on the daily basis. Growing accustomed to this new setting helps students settle into their college learning environment with ease. From becoming friends with their roommate(s) to learning how to communicate with their professor(s), the student's interpersonal skills start to develop.
In the social aspect, college is all about being able to adapt to this new environment and practice interactive and teamwork skills. Learning how to socialize with classmates, lab partners, club directors, and RAs allows students to create friendships, relationships, and genuine bonds with their peers.
In the educational aspect, developing a relationship with your professor is beneficial to your college success. Oftentimes, students feel like they're "bothering" or being a burden to professors when they approach them for help, when in fact professors encourage students to inquire with them. Office hours exist for a reason so don't be ambivalent on meeting with a teacher for tutoring or assistance.
2. Actually learning... Not just passing
Chances are, you probably don't remember the last math test you took in high school or even the conclusion to your final science lab. Why is this, you ask? Because students usually grow comfortable with temporarily learning material just to pass the quiz, to pass the test, to pass the class. However, that same approach would be a waste of your time, your parent's money, and an high-class education in college. College is a place that can either enlighten you or bankrupt you, so you might as well push your brain to its fullest potential. Lifetime wisdom is more valuable than a fifty-five-minute test.
3. Finding Out Who You Truly Are
Your first four years of college are going to be filled with months upon months of independence. For the first time in your life, you are away from your parents and guardians for an extended amount of time, embarking on the quest of existentialism. Take these four years to think about the type of person you are and becoming self-actualized. Setting personal goals for yourself to accomplish one -after-another is a good way to build your character. Take risks, try new things, and don't be afraid to touch up the masterpiece that is yourself.
4. Planning Out Long Term Life Goals
After the parties are over, the finals are taken, and the degree is earned, a student's final goal is success. Using these next four years to prepare for the next few decades of your life is an imperative step in "growing up". Manage your time, avoid procrastination, and always keep your next step in mind. Remember, when it's all said and done, the student with the 3.3 GPA and a plan for her/his future has the upper hand over the disillusioned 4.0 slave. Live in the "now", plan for the "then".