The time in college has been termed as one of the best parts of a person’s life. The new-found freedom, refreshing activities and wide circle of friends make it seem like a new universe altogether.
As per a study by National Center for Educational Statistics, 18.2 million students took admission in American colleges for undergraduate programs in the year 2007. Around 39% of youngsters within the age group of 18 to 24 years got enrolled into colleges that year.
College is an integral part of our education system, and yet, many students can’t seem to stay associated with it. As per a survey, around 30% students drop out of their college after their first year. It’s a bothersome figure. Many of the students fail to understand the core concept of college. Through the lure of dropout millionaires, media has hammered it into our minds that college is just a waste of time.
But is it?
The biggest role of college is to make you aware of your real self, but most of college life is spent in cramming up the books or partying like crazy. Just like a coin, it seems like college life also has just two sides to it.It is up to you to decide which side you want to stick with. It is only by building self-awareness through the resources available in your college that you can truly make the best use of those three or four years before you are thrown into the ‘real world’ to face the big bad wolves that exist all around.
Here are the six things that you should definitely do in college to find yourself.
1. Stay Busy Throughout; Don't Waste Time
College is a critical time to build the foundation of how productive you can be. One of the biggest roles is played by college clubs. Not only do they provide you a time to be highly productive, but they challenge you to widen your mind and let sheer creativity flow.As clubs force you to work hard in order to make your activities stand out, you get to know how well you can work under pressure. Different volunteering activities are a good way to reflect your morals and ethics.
As per a NASPA report of 2009, an average student gets involved in two activities in their college life.
Do you know that there is a squirrel club in The University of Michigan where students feed peanuts to the squirrels?
Staying busy in different activities and clubs of the college also helps you to build an enticing resume. The more involved you are in different organizations of your college, the more probability you have for getting hired.
As per Chronicle of Higher education, volunteer experience and extracurricular activities are highly taken into consideration when employers hire graduates.
College is a great chance to try new and attractive activities. If you’re into photography, why not try joining a writing club as well? If you are a good dancer, why not try out science club, too?
Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.
By stretching your creative muscles, you can get to know yourself better. You’d learn about your strengths and weaknesses, and can develop new interests. Moreover, these clubs add more skills to your resume.
2. Socialize and Unlock Your Potential
People who socialize live more, have better mental and physical health, and face lesser chances of dementia. It cannot be stressed enough how important socialization is.
The biggest social network, Facebook, has 1.71 billion active monthly users.
College students must socialize with students who exist beyond their classrooms and clubs. It can help them to gain more knowledge regarding topics which fall outside their niche. Moreover, socializing with people can help you in dealing with shyness and getting comfortable in social situations.
In fact, the socialization gives us the tools to fill our evolutionary roles. They are our building blocks.
You should step out of your campus in order to make long-term networks. LinkedIn can help you to form the necessary connections by showcasing your strengths. It can help you to gain internships and jobs as well.
Different cliques are present in college. You can choose the one which is similar to your personality or create a new clique altogether! As you socialize more, you gain tolerance towards different cultures, lifestyles and learn to deal with diversity.
3. Explore The Path Not Taken
You are young. You are brave. And college life is the perfect time to explore the path not taken. Be it setting up a band, writing a novel or starting a business, you can try exploring whatever interests you. You don’t have to be scared of failure because it’s the time when you can make as many mistakes as you can and try again.
Do you know that Veronica Roth started Divergent when she was in college?
As per a survey by Young Entrepreneur Council, 36% college students start their business simultaneously while in college. Young students are undeniably attracted towards Mark Zuckerberg and other similar entrepreneurs who put their creativity into a startup that had immense capability to revolutionize the world.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Utilize all the resources that are available in your college. Participate in the activities that can help you to kick-start your exploration. Try out the fields which are not only enthralling but give you the chance to enhance your skillset. Dare to think different and explore those corners of your brain that hold immense potential and imagination.This will help you to connect with your core. You will learn to confront your fears and how to execute your skills and strengths into real life. Moreover, it’s a great chance to introspect and build a stronger personality.
4. The Right Mentor Can Awaken You
A good mentor is the one who can play the role of a teacher as well as a friend. Every student must have a mentor in their college. They could be anyone—your professor, your friend or any other respectable person.A mentor provides you the much needed emotional support while guiding you through the wide paths that can unleash your creativity. They never let you go astray, and are always there to pull you back to your feet.
The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
As per a survey by Gallup, 8 out of 10 college students have no mentor in college. These students yearn for a mentor who can encourage their emotional and mental growth while supporting them in their endeavours.College students need right mentorship during the turbulent times.
Around one-third of U.S. college students go through depression which makes it difficult for them to function. A study has revealed that 1,100 college students in U.S. commit suicide every year. Various factors like competitiveness, economy, tuition, validation and crimes are the prominent reasons that force the students to take the decision.
studentmentor.org is an initiative to facilitate mentorship to college students.
It’s only through the right kind of guidance and support that such high figures can be brought down to nil. Mentorship helps you to manage your feelings and deal with your inconstant energies.
5. Choose Your Company Wisely
It is said by Jim Rohn that we are the average of five people we spend most of our time with. A survey has revealed that college freshers in 2014 had rated themselves at the lowest level of emotional health in the last 49 years. It is clear that college students require peers to connect with. It not only raises their level of happiness, but also teaches valuable lessons regarding relationships. People with a large number of friends live more.
We form 396 relationships throughout our life, but only 33 of those personal connections can last a lifetime.
It is advisable to choose your friends wisely, as they can make or break your future. Many college students get into the grasp of destruction due to peer pressure.
As per research, 80% college students in U.S. have abused alcohol. In fact, marijuana consumption has been consistently increasing amongst college students, as is revealed by a study backed by the University of Michigan.
But everything is not as black as it appears. As per a study published in Psychological Science in 2013, people with less self-control pursue disciplined people so as to enhance their willpower.In fact, a study published by Journal of Consumer Research states that friends connect with each other by providing moral support to each other that can help them in repelling various temptations.
We know that we are often judged by the company we keep. We know how influential classmates, friends, and other peer groups can be. If any of our companions are prone to be unrighteous in their living, we are better off seeking new associations immediately.
It is important to focus on the kind of people you associate with. They reflect your personality, too. Moreover, it’s ineluctable to merge some parts of their personality and behaviour into your own. Be it good or bad, you learn from your environment. It’s advisable to learn the right thing from the right kind of people.
6. Way to Paradise - The College Library
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
College library will always remain an integral part of your college life. Be it completing the assignments before the deadlines or spending some time alone, college library will always be proved useful.
Cengage Learning published a survey for the Spring of 2015 to gather the reasons for which students use college libraries. Around 3,000 students participated in it. It has revealed the following statistics:
A study by TAB has revealed that an average UK student goes to College Library 57 times in a year.
A College Library is a gateway to immense knowledge. Countless books are available there that can be issued without any charge. You don’t need to indulge in academic books only, but you must take the full advantage of your college library by inculcating the habit of reading.
The Trinity College old library is the largest library in Ireland.
Reading fiction can make you more empathetic.Reading makes you wiser, smarter and better person. It gives you the much needed solitude as well. As you spend more time with your thoughts and wise books, you will start looking at the world with a different perspective.
We encounter various sides of life when we enter into college. It prepares us for the real world which is much more gigantic as compared to the confined life of the campus. But college life is the period to not only enjoy, but to use the given time for understanding yourself. It helps to deepen the connection of a person with one’s real identity.
As you are young, you can shape yourself in any way.As different resources are available in the college, you can try out everything and find out the things which captivate your mind. You will not get such a golden opportunity under one roof ever again.
So, are you using your college life to fully understand yourself?