College is a time of exploration and finding yourself. Your twenties are an optimal time to harness your potential and develop your mind. College gives you that opportunity as long as you are looking for it. I never understood why people seemed to either waste their college experience or feel the need to speed through it. What better time to try new things and explore new paths? I would rather fall on my face now than later in my life when my responsibilities are much greater. My life lessons came from so many experiences while in College. From the parties I’ve hosted, the random traveling adventures I got to be a part of, the opportunities I took advantage of in internships, and the network I built all are a big part of my life today. I feel like I lived it up. Here are some rules I lived by and also learned:
1) Be open-minded to anything that comes your way. Don’t go into college think you know exactly what you want to do in your life because you really don’t till you try it. Sourcing information about opportunities and having choices are important.
2) Try to live in a dorm your first year in college. It is important to meet people outside your current friend group. Meeting new people with outside experiences will teach you a ton about yourself.
3) Befriend a professor in the department of your major. They can help you when you are stuck. I learned a lot about the university system just by building a relationship with a professor and having a casual conversation with them.
4) Get a calendar. This isn’t high school anymore. You must keep on top of your schoolwork and most importantly your general life.
5) Befriend someone who makes you question your assumptions about everything. Can get annoying but it does challenge you.
6) Do multiple off-campus internship or stick with one worth your time. On-campus internships don’t provide as much real world value. Keep in mind, an internship is only worth true value if you are learning and building skills. Internship with limited responsibilities such as clerical work limits you. Unless that’s what you went to school for…
7) Stop thinking you have a job waiting for you when you graduate. Live in the world where you can choose your career vs. settle for a job. Find opportunities that are different and make you stand out.
8) Road trip around other states or take a backpacking trip out of the country like Southeast Asia or South America during a break. Backing in Southeast Asia or South America is extremely cheap. You don’t need a lot of money to travel. Become an expert in vagabonding and travel hacking. Traveling when you’re young gives you perspective.
9) If you get a chance to host a massive college party in your house take it! It’s a thrilling experience other than the noise complaint ticket. Do it for the “nod” of acknowledgement you will get on campus later.
10) Never do things for just money. College is a time to launch your life not to make a ton of money. Now you might become rich in the process but personal learning and development should come first. In the long run you’ll be wealthier by investing in yourself.
11) Attend a student protest. This will be uncomfortable but it will give you a chance to experience how to practice your freedom of speech.
12) Date someone drastically different from you in every possibly way. There is not a better time to meet such different types of people. You’ll learn a lot about yourself just from the relationships you take part in.
13) Go all out for a school-sporting event. Get your face paint out and become a fanatic fan for once.
Good luck with your college experience hope you enjoyed my list!
VP New York/New Jersey
“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi