With most college application deadlines coming to a close, current seniors in high school are anxiously awaiting their decisions, and are all ready planning their first years away at college. It’s difficult to name just a few things to look forward to during your first year of college, but here are some of my top things to look forward to during your first year of college! In no particular order…
- New college classes! College offers such an eclectic variety of courses that engage students in a number of areas. I’ve found that both courses for general education requirements and major classes are interesting and engaging. In particular, general education classes are a helpful segue into major classes, as they prepare you for the rigorous course load. Generally, your first two years of college are geared towards general education classes, and then your final two are for major and minor classes. My best advice would be to utilize your first two years to find what major you might be interested in, and remember that there’s no rush to declare a major! Usually, students declare a major at the end of their sophomore years of college, so there is plenty of time to make a decision.
- A plethora of extracurricular activities to choose from! I’ve found that college is all about time management, and outside of class, homework, and studying, you may find that you have a bit of time on your hands. To maximize your time in college, one of the most beneficial things you can do is to participate in clubs and activities. At my college, there are over 400 Recognized Student Organizations that offer a wide selection of activities, such as: sports clubs, acapella groups, Greek life, the school newspaper, tutoring opportunities, film club, and several other organizations.
- Freedom! At college, you’re forced to find new ways to take care of yourself, since oftentimes you are far from your parents who may be out of the state or even out of the country! Though this may be scary at first, you’ll find that this newfound independence in college is freeing! You’ll learn new things, like cooking finding your own way around your college town, and along the way you may also find new restaurants, parks, bookstores, and several other resources that will enhance your college experience.
- College Traditions! If you weren’t a big fan of school spirit in high school, college is your chance to engage in enjoyable activities and traditions on campus, whether it be through attending football games, participating in a school wide scavenger hunt (my college has the world’s largest scavenger hunt!), joining your dorm’s intramural teams, and a number of other activities that improve your school spirit. A school can have several traditions, and so with ample options, it’s more than possible to find a tradition that you’d be excited to be part of.
- And finally… New opportunities! Take advantage of campus resources to meet new people and learn more about what fields of interest you might like to pursue. This is an excellent way to mix work with pleasure, as you’ll find that it is fun to talk to people who may have once been in your position of trying to find a career path! If you’re looking to make some money in college, there are several ways to do so, such as: tutoring, babysitting, being a teacher or research assistant, being a barista, and many other options. But probably most importantly, just take these 4 years to meet new people, learn new ideas, and be challenged by your peers around you to think outside the box to better the world around you.