wikiHow to Enjoy College

Four Methods:Getting Involved in ActivitiesMaking New FriendsManaging Time and FinancesBeing Safe in College

College is a time to learn new things, both academically and socially. College campuses often boast a wide range of activities and classes. You can meet others like you, or find a new group of friends who are radically different. It is also important to learn to take care of yourself in order to fully enjoy your college experience. The possibilities are endless to enjoy your time at college, so get out there and find something to enjoy.

Method 1
Getting Involved in Activities

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    Enroll in elective classes. Many colleges require students to take electives as a part of their curriculum. Colleges often offer unique and fun classes including wine tasting, bowling, scuba diving, and self-defense classes.[1][2] To take a break from demanding classes, try taking something that you will enjoy or learn a new skill.
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    Join, or start, a club. College campuses are notorious for having a club to fit just about any interest. If you have a hobby or interest, try and find a club to join. Or, if you can’t find one, create one!
    • Look around campus for flyers that advertise these clubs. Check high-traffic areas such as dorms, cafeterias, and/or classroom buildings.
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    Join a sport. Sports can be a fun way to keep in shape and to meet new people. While you may or may not be able to get on the college football team, colleges often have amateur and co-ed sports clubs like hockey, soccer, or frisbee.
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    Attend games, lectures, and special events. Colleges may host special guest lecturers, celebrities, and/or bands. Watch your college special events page for more information on these events. Often, you can attend for free or a discount price.
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    Study abroad. A number of colleges offer study abroad programs. Take advantage of this and visit a country you have always wanted to visit.[3]
    • Check with your advisor about what programs are available.
    • These trips can be expensive; make sure you can afford the means to go.
    • Some study abroad trips can fulfill credits for a specific major. Talk to your academic advisor about this option.
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    Take advantage of opportunities. Colleges offer many opportunities for professional and personal development. Keep an eye out for opportunities like:
    • Internships
    • Work placement/student work positions
    • Teaching assistant or research assistant positions
    • Research participants

Method 2
Making New Friends

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    Join a fraternity or sorority. Going Greek is a great way to meet new people and be part of a community of like-minded individuals. These organizations often hold philanthropic events and host parties. [4]
    • Colleges often hold recruitment parties to help you get started in the processes of joining a group. Keep an eye out on flyers on campus or your college website for more information.
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    Talk to classmates.[5] This has many benefits including helping you make up homework/notes if you miss a day in class. To start a conversation with someone new, consider the following:
    • Sit next to a person you want to talk to.
    • Consider body language. If a person is open and willing to talk, s/he generally will make eye contact with you and smile. If a person does not want to talk, s/he may seem closed off and avoid eye contact.
    • Greet them an appropriate time, such as before or after class. Consider saying something like: “Hi, I’m Emily. It’s nice to meet you!”
    • Start a conversation about something you have in common. For example, in class, you might say: “Man, last week’s test was hard, wasn’t it?” or “Did you understand last night’s reading? I found it difficult.”
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    Take the initiative. Do not wait around and wait for invitations to fall into your lap. Take the initiative and invite people out to do something.
    • One way to do this is invite people from your class to join a study group. Once you get to know them, suggest doing something social. [6]
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    Get to know your roommates. If you are staying on campus in dorms, you may be forced to room with someone you do not know. Use this to your advantage and get to know him/her. They might be feeling as lonely, nervous, or awkward as you might be feeling. [7]
    • Start by introducing yourself. Say something like: "Hi, I'm Chad! I'm majoring in Sports Psychology."
    • Set clear expectations on your habits as to not annoy your roommate. Say things like: "I get up at 6:00am to go to the gym. I will try not to wake you up." or "I shower in the evenings, is that okay or do you want to set a schedule?"
    • Share your hobby or interests and be open to learn about their interests/hobbies. For example, "Oh, you play ice hockey? That's cool. I've never been. Do you think you could show me sometime?"
    • Having a good relationship with your roommate goes beyond just enjoying college. It makes living together much easier!

Method 3
Managing Time and Finances

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    Study. Not studying for college classes can cause your grades to plummet and you to be stressed out.[8] To fully enjoy college, employ study habits to stay on track and not overwhelmed. Some good study habits include:
    • Keep a study schedule. Studying a little bit each day is more beneficial than cramming for a test the night before.
    • Take good and concise notes. You can use the Cornell notetaking method which includes dividing your notes into three sections for easier studying.
    • Study in a group. Not only will this help you make friends but also help you retain information by sharing notes and ideas.
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    Keep a planner. Write down important dates including due dates for tests and papers. This will help you stay organized and on track without being overwhelmed and stressed.[9]
    • Get in the habit of writing down your social engagements in the planner as well. This will help you visually focus and prioritize your time. For example, if you go to write “Party on Friday Night!!!” and you see you have a test on Monday, you might rethink your social strategy.
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    Get to know your professors. This is beneficial to managing stress and helping out in a number of situations.[10]Your professor can help you with material you are struggling to understand or help you if an emergency comes up. To get to know your professor:
    • Go to her office hours. They should be listed on a faculty website or the syllabus.
    • Read the syllabus. It will contain all important information including course material, test dates, and grade expectations. It will also help to answer any frequently asked questions for the course.
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    Keep a budget. If you want to enjoy a social life, it is important to have the money to do so. College is very expensive and learning to manage one’s money can be difficult. Setting a budget is essential to having fun and keeping money in the bank.[11]
    • To keep a budget, start a list of your income sources. Then, subtract your expenses. Start with known expenses such as rent, food, and utilities. Then, consider how much money you want to save or spend on social expenses.

Method 4
Being Safe in College

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    Avoid alcohol and substance abuse. The percentage of alcohol and substance abuse is at its highest during college years. While a legal drink or two might be okay, know when you need to stop.[12]
    • Never take any substance and drive.
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    Stay alert. No matter what situation you are in -- be it a party or walking around campus -- be alert to your surroundings.[13] Watch for suspicious individuals or actions.
    • When walking around campus, always take well-walked routes and avoid walking around alone at night.
    • Check out your campus safety’s website. Often, campuses have emergency phones (they are often blue) scattered around campus for use.
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    Take care of your mental health. Almost half of college students reported feelings of depression or anxiety while in college.[14] Check out your college campus resources for mental health.
    • Often, campuses offer free or cheap mental health care.
    • Talk to a trusted person (advisor, professor, resident advisor) if you are feeling down. They can help point you to helpful resources.

Article Info

Categories: Campus Life