As a college student, busy studying for exams, writing research papers, keeping up with internships, extracurricular activities, applying for jobs, and at the same time trying to make time for a social life, makes it quite difficult to utilize all that your campus has to offer. Do you even know everything your campus provides? Are you overwhelmed and at your breaking point? Or do you just need advice for your future? No matter what the situation, your campus probably has many beneficial resources you can use, after all, you are paying copious amounts of money for them.
Of course, there are advisors that help you chose your course schedule but if you need advice on life in general, that’s when you should take advantage of any counseling services on campus. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign there are counselors that specialize in mental illness like anxiety and depression to help students cope with school and managing stress. They are even there to help you adjust to college life. If you identify as LGBTQ, there is someone to talk to. Relationship abuse, sexual harassment, drug addiction, alcoholism, self-image concerns, and diversity differences; universities provide support that many people don’t know about or use.
Use your health services! They are there for you when you are ill. You may be away from home where your family is not there to nurse you back to health. Have a cold? Get some cough drops and cold medicine. Have strep throat? Get your antibiotics right then and there. Twisted your ankle? Get an ankle brace and take advantage of what there is to offer. In addition, most schools administer flu shots before flu season comes around which is extremely convenient.
Another resource that should absolutely be used is the recreation center. There is full access to a gym with all that you need and more to workout, including swimming pools. If you rather play sports instead, there is usually a basketball court and volleyball nets so you can be active in various ways. The University of Illinois even has a racquetball room and dance/Zumba instructors. Sometimes the best way to release stress is by getting physical activity, which is conveniently handed to you at a big university.
Some unique resources at the University of Illinois include the Japan House, African American Cultural Center, Asian American Cultural Center, Diversity & Social Justice Education, La Casa Cultural Latina, LGBT Resource Center, Native American House, Women’s Resource Center, and International Education. These resources are truly phenomenal and I think more people should be aware of them. These organizations promote diversity and leadership. They are even available for a place to relax and call a safe place. For example, the Japan House is somewhere to unwind, enjoy the nature, and understand Japanese culture more. In addition, the African American Cultural Center promotes self-expression and holds workshops, seminars, and performing arts groups.
Lastly, most large universities have some type of career center. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign there is a very helpful Career Center that helps students prepare for jobs and internships in the real world. They are there to help edit your resume extensively. They answer any career-related questions and prep you for interviewing. This is a vital tool to ease the transition from college to the working world.
Not every college or university has the same exact resources, but it is more than likely that they have tools and resources that help you succeed. If you are paying lots of money for an education, then you should use the resources wisely.