The 4 years of undergraduate education are deemed to be most formative years for maturity, exploring self-identity, responsibility, as well as living out the capricious, carefree spirit that encapsulates the era of young adulthood.
1. College Diploma
Oh, the quintessential elements of the college experience: managing finances, juggling coursework and employment, the dreaded sleep deprivation, and even the gleaming moments where you find enjoyment in your studies!!! No matter how hard it may seem, the goal of college is to obtain the degree that you are seeking. Yes, life happens, and sometimes it may warrant taking a break from school (perhaps a semester, off?). When you're back is against the wall, and you feel like quitting, remember that you never know what you what you are capable of until you are challenged. Confucius stated that "The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step," Take it a day at a time. Graduation day will be here before you know it!
College is an immersion into all the aspects that you will face as an adult. You lived it as a child, so now it's time to thrive as an adult. With the advent of adulthood, you will be forced to interact with others (Mom and Dad can't do all the talking anymore haha.) All jokes aside, you'll meet individuals who share the same major, aspirations, extracurricular commitments, ethnicity, and affiliations. Meeting others who are like yourself can motivate you to explore interests you may not have initially considered, garner new perspectives on other lifestyles/cultures, as well as even humble conceptions you had towards certain classes/ career choices. Hopefully, you develop bonds that lead to life-long friendships. Unfortunately, nothing is permanent in life, and even friendships/relationships can disintegrate; it's not the end of the world. Use it as a learning experience. Accept that friends grow estranged because they gravitate towards different commitments in life.
It wouldn't be college without Saturday football and tailgating! (Go Wolves!!!) Homecoming week in one of the biggest, if not the most sought after week of each school year. It's your chance to show out your school spirit and get involved in campus festivities. Make memories that swell your heart with pride for your school! I think every college student should have the chance to attend at least one football game or tailgate to cheer on their team. College football is a unification of the student body, the community, and even the faculty! There will be so many student body activities to participate in, so make it last. College shouldn't be all work and study; build in recreational time for friends and fun.
4. Financial Literacy
By the end of college, you may not be as financially stable as you desire, but you should have an understanding of the principles of budgeting and managing finances. Through your 4 years of undergraduate, you will learn the value of a dollar. If you work a job, you'll most likely be working to pay for the goods that you need to maintain your lifestyle (i.e car, housing, clothing, and food). Bills and tuition must be paid on time. Money must be saved and allocated according to what is a priority in your life.
5. Getaway Trip
Yes! It's been the tried and true plot line of countless movies, but you should definitely seek to go on a trip sometime during college. It can be as long as studying a semester abroad or a spring break road trip with your besties. Newfound independence warrants a heightened sense of autonomy. After getting adjusted to living on your own, without your high school teachers constantly reminding you of your upcoming deadlines or coddling you through the curriculum, you have experienced what it means to have more freedom. Why not use some of that freedom to take a trip with loved ones or immerse yourself into a new country for a semester?
6. Developing a Strong Work Ethic
Through your college experience, it is imperative that you garner skills that will contribute to the development of a strong work ethic. Through your studies, you will tackle time management as well as staying diligent to a study regimen that is essential to success in your courses. Similarly, communication is key. You will soon be networking, seeking letters of recommendations from professors, and establishing your presence in the job field so you need to know how to communicate professionally, effectively, and coherently.