Four (More) Things You Can Do In College
You could be doing more.
That might come as a surprise to you. You’re doing so much already; balancing a social life, a work-study, challenging course-load, the gym, a significant other, and, when you can, four hours of sleep. Some others, without naming names (me) could probably be doing a lot more.
Well, you’re always told to take advantage of college. The problem is much of the advice is centered on the basic, repeating points of college. Be young! Drink! Study! Well, there are other, weirder ways to take advantage of your time at college, too. And you should embrace that. The other and weirder is what makes college so great.
1. Use The Internet
Most advice on college is going to tell you to run from the internet. Enjoy the real world, they say. Back in my day…
Well, to paraphrase my good personal friend Kanye, now it’s our day. And we have this space-magic from the future that lets us connect with anyone in the world for anything. Are you getting the most out of it? Think: if you have an iPhone you can basically travel anywhere, knowing you’ll have a phone, a map, and instant advice as you need it, all from your pocket. Explore blindly! You can do that now.
Craigslist is weird and creepy. Check it every week or so. See what people are hiring- maybe a new startup or website could use some blog posts on a subject you like. Don’t just check the “free stuff” tab when you need a couch. Check it always- you never know what you’ll find there. You didn’t know you wanted a Big-Mouth Billy-Bass until you saw a guy offering a free one. A Sega Dreamcast for $8? Why not.
Explore and celebrate the internet for what it can be: a swiss-army knife and a portal into new worlds. What’s more college then that?
2. Follow Your Application
Remember when you applied to college? No? Let me remind you: your application essay was the following.
“My name is A and I love College B because it can give me the chance to do C, D, and E.”
And then, instead of doing that, you got drunk a lot.
That’s all well and good. I’m doing that too. But still: you have the chance to make it up to yourself and follow those naive, highschool thoughts of what College would be. Join a group- start a group. Work for the paper. All those things you forgot about are worth pursuing. If you’re a Freshman, get on it now. You’ll forget later. if you’re a Sophomore, it isn’t too late either. Even Juniors should set themselves up to join a group: you get to meet new people and do things which is always cooler then killing time. As for my fellow Seniors, yeah, it is too late. Nothing left now but to talk about how few jobs we’re going to get (so few, guys.)
3. Meet New People
The start of Freshman year, you meet so many people. Everyone is your best friend. Sophomore year, the process slows, more or less, but you still find new pockets. You join a Fraternity, maybe, or you move and meet new friends in your hall (if you didn’t move with all your Freshmen) and start the process anew.
Then Junior year? Nothing. A dribble of new folk, but mostly, it’s waiting for pals to come home from overseas.
Stop this and meet new people. How? By a simple process: don’t let people you like drift away and then, keeping them, meet their friends. That’s it. Friends of friends. New friends. New girls. New parties. It’s the easiest thing to do but the hardest thing to remember. Expand your crew, before you’re two sick friends away from having no weekend plans.
4. Leave Your College
Yeah, it’s great. Yeah, your friends are there. But unless you leave that womb you’re not going to love it as much as you could. Spend the weekend in the city. Visit friends at other colleges- nonstop. Heck, even visit home sometime if you have to. Variety will let you fall back in love with college and do more in the world at large. It’s a win-win. Plus it’ll remind you of all the stuff you love but forgot about not-college. A real house! Not being hungover! Your dog!
There’s perks of college, sure. But there’s nothing like time off to fall back in love with it again.