- Get involved in a club/out of school activity
This one may seem like a given. But heed my warning when I say, you only go through college the first time (once). As weird as that sounds it is another way of saying have no regrets when going to College. It is meant to be a new experience and how will you learn anything if you do not challenge yourself to go out of your comfort zone. It is also a great way to connect and expand your friendships. This includes finding those who share your similar interests! Clubs are a great way to connect and really find things in common with others just like you. Or even people not like you. You will find that meeting and hanging with different people from different backgrounds will round you out a lot more. For example, the “spin until you can’t spin no more” club could be full of interesting bums you’d never think twice about meeting before. Go, go give it a try.
- Start a journal, read a book and take pictures
I’m going to be 100% honest when I say that either you or someone you know is going to do something dumb and everyone is going to want it on camera. And I mean, Everyone. Either that or you can just take as many as you can because these are going to be good times and you will want to remember them. I say start a journal or get into a book series because you are going to be amazed at the vast amount of time on your hands. For the first time in your life unless you are working full time outside of school (poor bastards) that you can wake up on, say a Tuesday and have nothing planned. This freedom is fun and can even be overwhelming, so it may be nice to have something to settle down on and get in a rhythm with such as journal writing or reading a book. It is also good for internal reflection, since you will be changing in this time more than at any other time in your life, it will greatly benefit you to chart your journey like Lewis and Clark. It can also be a good stress reliever, since you WILL be stressed out of your mind at times and need some escape.
- Create and maintain a LinkedIn account / Make friends with a professor
Want to add something to the world? Do you want to speak your mind or even show what you are all about? Keep in mind that the professional world is just around the corner and there is no better way to show you are hoping on that ‘digital train’ than by getting a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is the perfect start for a college student to start making connections with people in and out of the professional world. In addition, make sure you become friends with a few professors in your department (or even out of it) along the way. Your professors are the ones that usually know the most business professionals and that can save you a lot of time and stress. Trust me, you will be surprised at how famous your Profs truly are. (I’m talking between Morgan Freeman and Jamie Moyer status)
- Do something you have never done before
You must, must, MUST do this one. Even if you do just one thing take a chance dammit! Odds are you are going to be doing new things constantly since this may be your first time living alone and cooking alone. So get out there and break out of your old high school or community college routine. My strategy is never make days blend together, try to have at least one time during the day you can look back on and just think “well, I’ve never done that before”.
- Stop worrying about life after College (actually stop worrying period)
This one seems self-explanatory but it is true! College is the time to make mistakes and ride or even ‘drive the struggle bus’ at times. There will be times where you just have to laugh at how bad things have gotten and realize that it cannot get any worse than this. Life is short and why spend it sad and mopey(As much fun as being sad and mopey is)? The days go by and you can either make someone’s day or just be another leaf floating down a river. I like to think about when I am having a really bad day, and then getting into a real good conversation with a total stranger all because of a smile. It really changed my day and made me think, I want to do that to someone else to. It can be so overwhelming at times but just remember that even if you are the 10th or 1st person in your family to attend college it is quite an achievement just being there! Pat yourself on the back and smile about it. Happiness is contagious, even laughing. Think about that.
6. Put. The phone. Away. (SURPRISE!)
Take your phone in your right hand. Lift it high into the air. And then swiftly put it into your pocket. Now look around the world and see how beautiful it is. Do this from time to time. It will make you see more than you did before. Hell your future someone could be across the street and you can’t see them because you are on level 12 of ‘top hat cat jumpy game’. I can’t stress this enough. Put it away.
Austin Sweeney is a Marketing Major from Western Washington University. His focus has been in Marketing Communications and Strategies. Job offers feel free to contact at email@example.com