Like a lot of people, my freshman year of college was spent discovering the friends I would spend the next four years of my life with. We explored the campus, ordered late night pizza, fought through heartbreak, and occasionally completed schoolwork together. That last part was important. My freshman year was entirely revolved around a social scene. Rarely ever was I paying attention to exams more than a day in advance, completing my homework, or putting any sort of effort into my studies in general. I was so focussed on replacing my friends from high school that it wasn’t until it was too late that I realized
there was no turning back.
I realized that along with my grades, my mental stability was declining too. I was pulling bi-weekly all-nighters, cramming textbooks of information into my tiny brain, while pulling even more all-nighters with my friends. My body and brain were both exhausted. And for what felt like nothing.
Two semesters spent rarely attending class, sleepless nights, and an unfortunate amount of Insomnia Cookies later, I revealed the scholar that I am today. Even though I’m still constantly stressed and overwhelmed, I’m happy about the situation. I (after more than ten years spent in classes) finally discovered how much I can enjoy school and the opportunities it presents. I’ve joined an absolutely amazing club on campus, began writing for the fabulous blog Unwritten, got an internship with an incredible organization, and significantly raised my GPA in one semester. Sure, some days it’s a lot of work, but I still have time to do the things I was the previous semesters. I make time to relax with friends and even binge-watch Netflix, WHILE exploring what my university has to offer.
So no, this is not one of those get-your-grades-up-now-so-you-don’t-regret-it-later posts, it’s more of a get-involved-sooner-because-it’s-amazing-and-will-make-you-happy blogs.
Alas, here are 6 reasons why you need to grab every single opportunity college throws at you:
- You will meet awesome people.
Okay, duh. Whether you study abroad, join a club, or attend university events, you’re destined to meet at least one new person. So, take some time out of your oh-so-chaotic life to go out there and shake hands with a stranger. You never know, maybe it’s your future best friend.
2. You will gain networking capabilities.
Meeting new people will help gain connections and connections are what get us by in this big bad world. Maybe that guy sitting next to you knows someone who works at your dream job. Maybe you’ll get opportunities to meet future employees at university events. The next time you see a poster advertising a club you might be interested in, check out the meeting dates and maybe you’ll find a job.
3. You will be exposed to new things.
Following a daily routine can get kind of boring. Following a life-routine can make a person go mad. Adding something new to your schedule could regain your drive to stay focussed and help you stay excited. Keep your life interesting, ask questions, meet new people, be curious. You will learn so much about the world and yourself.
4. You will grow as an individual.
When you leave your dorm, or apartment, or house, sometimes the world can look pretty scary. Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath, step out the door, and be yourself. Taking every opportunity you will learn so much about the person you can be and the person you already are.
5. You will gain discipline.
Let me tell you from personal experience, filling up your schedule creates a lot of stress. But before you even realize it, you’ve figured out how to complete four assignments in two hours and retain all the information. It’s weird, but sometimes the craziness of a life can help create a more organized individual.
6. You will discover new passions.
This is definitely my favorite. As you grow more through these new experiences, you’ll realize that, what might have seemed like a resume-builder, is actually something you feel very strongly for now. It’s so easy to fall in love with something after exposing yourself to it for a long time. So, find pay attention to newsletters and posters hanging around your university, find something that interests you, and give it your all.
So get out there, grab some flyers, send some emails, and meet new people. Maybe you’ll study abroad in Spain and have a newfound appreciation for Tapas. Or perhaps you’ll join an organization that fights for social injustice and you begin a revolution. The possibilities are endless. Who knows what could happen?
Featured Image via Sarah Mikac.