College admission season is in full swing, and soon, it will be time for students to decide what they want to do. Millions of students around the country are faced with the reality of choosing a degree and sticking with it for the next few years. While the stress of college is nothing compared to the stress of the real working world, we understand that this time can be daunting for new high school graduates.
Don’t worry; this article is here to help you navigate the college experience and get the most out of it. From admission to general college life, we will give you a few tips and things to consider before you start the semester. This article will also be very useful for international students looking to find their place in the US as working professionals.
So, here are five tips to consider to get the most out of your college experience in 2024. Good luck, batch of 2027; start strong!
1. Try And Work Alongside Your Degree
Your university degree can cost you a fortune, and some people spend decades paying off their student loans. With accommodation, food, and general expenses added to your college tuition, you may want to consider working alongside your degree. Now, if you are an international student, this may seem a lot more difficult, but here is how you can consider it.
Students on F1 status can consider CPT programs from the first day they start university. There are a lot of CPT universities in the country that offer the facility to students looking to add to their work experience. For example, University of the Cumberlands Day 1 CPT programs offer on-ground work experience that helps you secure a job after graduation.
Having a side hustle during your studies and after graduation can be a game-changer for students who want to build their careers right away.
2. Live Off-Campus And Find Roommates
On-campus living can cost a fortune, but off-campus living can also cost a fortune in the current housing market. However, if you can find a few people to split the cost with, it will allow you to live comfortably and make some lifelong friends along the way. Sharing a house or apartment with 2-3 other people can cut your costs by up to 75%, depending on your financial arrangement.
It would be useful if one of you could cook for the entire house as well. That further reduces living expenses and makes the arrangement more balanced and manageable. With a general trend of inflation rising worldwide, it would be wise not to eat out too much and switch to home-cooked meals as often as possible.
If you are looking for simple and easy-to-cook meals for college students, here are a few options.
3. Spend Most Of Your Time On Campus
The more time you spend on campus, the less electricity and utilities you use at home. Utility bills are a lot in some parts of the country; therefore, try and stay on campus as long as you can. Most buildings are centrally air-conditioned; you can use the libraries to study whenever you need to and return home to sleep.
This also adds to the general college experience that most people seek. No one made any significant memories when they spent all their time at home. Walk around the campus, enjoy the scenery, and spend time with your friends.
Many students use the campus gyms, showers, and cafeterias to cut costs and get the most out of what the campus has to offer.
4. Proactively Take Part in Teaching and Research Assistantships
One way to develop extra credits and gain some extra cash is to work as a teacher’s assistant on campus. This generally keeps you in your professor’s good books and helps you develop a strong relationship with the wider student body. You will have to interact with hundreds of students throughout your assistantship, which is a great way to build your network.
Moreover, it’s also a way to add to your CV and enhance your work experience. Project-based research work can go a long way in helping you during your career, depending on what career path you choose. Make sure you play a proactive part and have your name published for the work you do. Graduating with a few published research under your name is a great way to start your career.
Doing so also helps you develop a strong relationship with your instructors and can help you get referrals if the need arises.
5. Engage in Extracurricular Activities
One of the major misconceptions about college is that it solely gives you a degree at the end of your program. This is not the case; several soft skills you develop throughout your college years come in handy when working in the real world after graduation.
Engaging in debates, public speaking, or taking electives unrelated to your course can help you diversify your skillset and explore new avenues. It also allows you to develop some hard skills that may be useful later in your life.
You can also consider pursuing some of your passions that you didn’t have time for in the past. During high school, many of us were too busy trying to graduate and move out of our little towns. Now, you can consider pursuing sports, music, and art as you always wanted to.
So, here are some tips we think can help you get the most out of your college experience. These include specific ones like enrolling in CPT programs or pretty general ones like pursuing extracurriculars and exploring more than just your degree. College can be challenging for many, but we hope this article helps break things down and prioritize the important.
Please keep an open mind when navigating the college years of your life. You will go through a diverse range of social changes and pressures. So stay focused and work hard. Good luck!
This post was last modified on November 20, 2023 7:08 PM