College is a place for new experiences, exploration, and preparing for your future. It is the opportunity to explore everything you ever had an interest in. Here are ten things every college kid should do before they graduate.
*Note I included only items that would be available for every students budget. You will not find travel abroad on this list for that reason.
#1 Volunteer as much as you can.
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to try out new things you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to do. Go with your interests. If you are interested in gardening help out at the community garden. Interested in medicine volunteer at a hospital. Thinking about becoming a teacher be an after school volunteer at a local school. There’s plenty of after school programs.
#2 Get a job
If you can keep a job for at least 2 years (bonus points if you can manage to work full time while also going to school) you will have increased opportunities for finding a job after you graduate.
#3 Start your own Business
There are so many things you can do from home to make money, plus running your own small business while going to college looks awesome on your resume once college is over. The list of options is literally endless.
- Blogger/freelance writer
- IT help
- Go to thrift stores and re-sell things for a profit on craigslist/eBay.
- Go to thrift stores and up-cycle everyday products to sell on Etsy or eBay
#4 Do an internship
Some internships are paid others are not, whether its paid or not doing this will up your odds of graduating with a job. Plus it gives you the opportunity to network within the field.
#5 Apply for Scholarships
Just because you made it into college doesn’t mean you should stop applying for scholarship money. The end of High School does not also mean the end of scholarship applications. Keep applying make it a goal to apply to at least one a month.
#6 Participate in physical activities
Whether you are a natural athlete or not you should take the time to get your body moving. Its not only a great way to meet new people, it also can help prevent some of that freshmen 20 from becoming permanent. Some activities you might want to look into are Quidditch, Yoga, Tai-Chi, kick-boxing, or any of your schools long list of sports teams.
#7 Attend a conference
Present a paper or project you completed for one of your classes at a conference. It gives you the opportunity to practice public speaking, allows you to get to know your professors better, and can help you improve your research skills as you prep your paper for the sort of presentation expected of a scholar like yourself. Plus many conferences offer scholarship opportunities for undergraduate students who participate. Many times your university will also pay for your attendance.
#8 Experience a new Culture
Not everyone can afford to study abroad, however there are many ways you can still experience a culture outside your own. For example many times the foreign exchange department hosts meet and greets. You will be able to meet and talk with foreign exchange students attending your university. It is designed to help them improve their English, but its also a great opportunity to learn more about where they came from.
You can also study a foreign language. Many times the foreign language department will host events designed to educate students about the countries where the languages they teach are spoken. My University had a french week every year. They had a different french movie every night and a french poetry reading competition, as well as a french dinner where traditional french food was served. Did I mention I have a minor in french?
#9 Take a leadership training course.
Many universities will host events like this for free or close to free. Usually sign ups are first come first serve and free food is almost always present. Its just another skill for your resume, but you will also learn some valuable skills your university probably doesn’t offer in a 3 credit course.
#10 Experience Nature
Go hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, or camping. Do something that brings you close to nature. Check out your university gym, many times they will host events where you can pay a small fee to go with a bunch of your fellow students on a trip outdoors.
Well that is all ten. Did I miss something? Is there anything you would add that college students should do before they graduate from University? Share in the comments.