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5 Tips For an Unforgettable (and Successful) College Experience

College life is all about the experiences in and out of the classroom. Your college experience will not only prepare you with the knowledge to take the next step towards your career path, but also provide skills and valuable lessons to leverage for years to come. Below are five ways in which you can continue to grow as a leader throughout your college experience.

University of St. Thomas students hanging out in the Guinan Residence Hall Lobby in Houston Texas

1. Get Involved – It’s Half the Fun!

The demanding college curriculum may make it challenging to get involved on campus. However, joining or creating a college club or organization, finding a job on campus or taking part in campus events and activities can offer new skills and help you learn about yourself.

These opportunities boost creativity, leadership and social skills, and can serve as an impactful substitute for work experience when first shopping your résumé for professional opportunities. Social skills gained in college will benefit you in life after college. For example, when searching for the job you want, it is important not only that you be qualified for the position, but that you fit into the work culture. By working on the development of these social skills now, it’ll be easier to integrate into the work environment later.

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2. Build Relationships to Last a Lifetime

Once you have a list of your professors, make note of their contact information and office hours. When courses begin, participate in class and communicate with professors outside of class. Building a rapport with your professors and advisors paves a path for your success in college and beyond. After graduation, many students stay in touch with professors for mentorship or guidance.

Classes can be difficult, which makes it helpful to have a friend with whom you can work through assignments and projects. You’ll spend so much time with your roommate or peers in organizations that you’re almost certain to establish lifelong friendships. It’s common to meet some of your best friends or future colleagues in college!

3. Work Smarter (and Harder)

Effective time management for college students is critical, especially if you plan on taking part in organizations or maintaining a job while going to school. Create a weekly plan to help you focus on your goals.

For example, plan segments of your time for studying, research, working, meeting project deadlines, exercising, spending time with family and other tasks that need to be completed. Although excellent time management in college won’t make your assignments easier, it will allow you to have a clear set of priorities and minimize stress.

4. Seek Out Help, Even If You Think You Don’t Need It

Professors are a great resource when you’re struggling in classes, but tutoring services can assist you in becoming a better college student. Have a case of writer’s block, or just need to solve a tough problem? Finding a tutor can be the remedy.

On-campus resources such as university career services can help you with résumé building, job interview questions, job hunting and networking skills. These all play a vital role in preparing you for life after college. You shouldn’t seek these resources only when you think you need them – there’s always room for improvement. Student success centers are there to help you sharpen your skills and grow.

5. Don’t Forget to Take Care of Your Mind and Body

Mental and physical health can easily be neglected during your busy college years, but prioritizing your health will make your college experience much better. Good mental health starts with keeping up with your assignments for class. If you fall behind, it can be difficult to catch up and will cause undue stress.

If you’re keeping up with your schoolwork, but still feeling stressed, take some time for yourself. Meditate, exercise or spend time with friends or family. Practice ways in which you can take your mind away from school for a little while. If things get bad, seek out help from a college counselor.

Physical health is important as well and can also assist with stress management. Take advantage of your school’s gym or a college student organization that interests you. It’s a great way to stay healthy and build your social network at the same time.

If you’re concerned that you might not be enjoying your college experience to its full potential, visit us online to discover all of UST’s on-campus activities and opportunities for involvement!

re-written by Michelle Almaguer

About the Author — Michelle Miller

AvatarMy name is Michelle Miller and I am a Freshman Admissions Counselor at the University of St. Thomas. As a graduate of the University, I am grateful for the opportunities, resources, experiences and support that I received here at UST. I am proud to work for an institution dedicated to the pursuit of truth and academic excellence in the Catholic intellectual tradition. I look forward to supporting you and your family through the admissions process.

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