This is part two of Conor’s series on making the most of college life. In part one Conor talks about studying and accommodation.
As I said in part one, I’ve been thinking recently about what I would do differently in college and what I think people should know to being able to say “that was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t change a thing”
This is by far one of the best ways to engage with college life. Colleges are these amazing places where there are opportunities left, right and centre for you with clubs and societies and programs you can do just because of the fact that you are a student attending a college.
My first piece of advice is to see what opportunities are available in your college to get involved by talking to your Students Union. Go and join some clubs or societies that interest you. You can join at any time during the year.. This is where I hear many people telling me they had their best times in college. There are numerous perks of joining many clubs and societies, like cheap trips away, free stuff and discounts as well as an opportunity to make lots of friends.
One other note on getting involved. Although clubs and societies are the first place you should look there are many programs you can avail of throughout your time in college that are amazing opportunities and are searching for students only. I won’t go into too much detail here but two I availed of were studying abroad with Erasmus and going on a J1 to America as a camp counsellor, or just to work for the summer. You could get an internship in the field you want to work in. There are so many options if you just take the time to look.
Now for the part of college that every parent will say you are doing too much of and not studying enough, partying. As someone who was very quiet before college and had the extrovert brought out of him from college, I recommend attempting to be outgoing and find your group that will have parties you want to attend.
Parties aren’t just about the drinking in college, although they can be as well. They are about your common interests. There are opportunities for parties everywhere you just have to look. I have three pieces of advice here that are essential to have the best time you can but to be safe at the same time, which is the most important part.
- Plan your way home before you go out. Know where you are staying and how to get there
- Bring your own drink. Be aware of what you are drinking and what others are giving you if you take drinks from them
- Give yourself time between drinks to allow them to hit until you learn your limits. P.s. drinking a pint of water before you go to sleep will always be a good idea.
Yes, you can let loose in college but letting loose doesn’t mean not having a plan. Let loose and go wild as much as you want but have a plan in place so if you tested your limit and have gone over you know you will be okay.
I think in short, it’s important to realise that this time you have now is when you will have the most opportunities you will ever have for socialising and being adventurous. As someone who is just out of college, after attending for 5 years and is facing the real world I wish I had these tips and utilised all the free time I had more when I was there. Take advantage of every opportunity, be adventurous and take chances, but keep in touch with your parents or guardian. They care and want to know you are doing well. Remember to do what you need to do, if you want to do nothing and need a break take it. But make that break well deserved.
Be couragous and push your comfort zone. In the words of Neil Strauss “Ask yourself throughout the day, “what do I need to do in this moment to take care of myself? If you can be aware of what legitimate needs and wants you’re not attending to, and then take actions to meet them on your own – or ask your partner (or close friend, parent or guardian) for help if you can’t” This is the road to happiness.
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