College is one of the most exciting times of your life. During these four years, you'll meet new friends and make memories that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, if you don't take your college time seriously, it could end up just being one big waste of time and money.
In order to help you avoid squandering some of the most important and formative years of your life, I've put together this little list of seven guaranteed ways to help you waste your college experience.
Consider it a "to-don't" list.
7) Party too much. – Look. I get it. I went to college, and I understand that – NEWSFLASH! – college kids like to party. There’s nothing wrong with letting loose every once in a while, just keep it under control and, remember, one bad choice at a party can lead to a lifetime of embarrassment on social media. Just sayin’.
6) Don’t get involved. – No matter where you go to college, you’re sure to be exposed to so many opportunities to get active and involved. Unfortunately, a lot of students choose to spend their down time watching TV or napping in the Quad. Don’t miss out—get active! Join a club. Play an intramural sport. Volunteer. Employers look for active, involved people. It demonstrates the type of go-getter personality they’re looking for in an employee.
5) Hang out with the same people all the time. – Once you get to college you’ll start to develop a close-knit group of friends, some of whom will be with you for the rest of your life. And that’s a great thing. But don’t limit yourself to just a handful of people. One of the best things about college is the diversity of the people you encounter. Spread yourself around and get to know as many of your fellow students as you can. It will help you learn about other cultures and see things from new perspectives. It will help you grow as a person.
4) Don’t get to know your professors. – You may think that your English prof is just some boring old dude who’s out of touch. (And, honestly, you may be right.) Some professors, however, can teach you a lot more than what’s in their course curriculum. Get to know your professors; build relationships with them; mine them for the wisdom they’ve gathered through their studies, travels, and other life experiences. You might just find a mentor and a friend you can come back to again and again well beyond graduation.
3) Wait until your senior year to start preparing for your career. – You have at least four years of college. So why worry about preparing for your career when you’re a freshman, sophomore, or junior? Four years may seem like a long time, but trust me, it will be gone in the blink of an eye. Don’t wait until your final year to start thinking about your career. Look for internships early on. Connect with alumni in your field. Start working on your resume from day one, or else your first job after college might be whatever job you can find.
2) Spend all your free time playing video games. – There’s nothing wrong with kickin’ back with your buds and playing a little Madden or Mario Kart now and then. It becomes an issue when you’re up until 3 o’clock in the morning playing Call of Duty when you’ve got a Calc II mid-term in the morning. College is a huge investment. Remember what you’re here for. Use your time wisely and don’t let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity go to waste. Otherwise, you’ll have plenty of time to play video games when you’re unemployed and living in your parents’ basement.
1) Stay within your comfort zone. – It’s easy when you don’t test yourself; when you just keep doing the same things you’ve always been good at. But unless you challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone, you’ll never know what you’re capable of. When you try new things, you start to see the world differently; you grow as a person. Try out for a play. Take a class on Mandarin. Volunteer in an after-school program. Doing something that scares you a little can make you feel more alive. Push yourself—you might be surprised with how far you can go.