7 Things College Students Should Do Before They Graduate
May 1, 2015
by: Jayna Duckenfield
As a young adult living in the 21st century, it is hard not to be bombarded with “the next big thing.” We’ve all seen it: a juice craze, the latest line of summer apparel, hot new films, or that 20-second viral video of an animal doing something ridiculous. Regardless of whatever the most popular topic of conversation happens to be, there’s always something for us to watch, to do, to taste, to wear. Sometimes trying to keep up with the latest trends can be really exciting; sometimes it might not be worth our attention. However, as a college student, there are definitely a few things that I think everyone should try.
So, here it is folks! My list of 7 things everyone should do before they graduate:
- Write something for yourself.
I know that thinking about writing even more than we have to for class is a pain, but I promise it’s worth a try, even if you only try once. Writing can be, and often is, therapeutic. It’s also nice to write without restrictions, guidelines, or rules. Write whatever you want whenever you want, put it away, and then read it again later. You might be surprised at what you learn.
- Get to know your neighbors.
Whether it be in your residence hall, apartment complex, or on your street, it’s worth it to know the people that live around you. Building relationships is really important in and out of school, and college offers a really cool opportunity to be surrounded by thousands of people our age for 4 years in a row. Take advantage of that! You’ll never know when you need to borrow some sugar. Yeah, it really does happen. It’s not just in the movies.
- Cook for yourself.
Yes, an entire meal. My palette has expanded significantly since I’ve come to college, and living in an apartment has forced me to experiment in the kitchen. Sometimes I’ve failed; other times I’ve been extremely successful, but I’ve always felt accomplished because I gave it a shot. And, let’s be honest, as wonderful as Cookout is, there is no way I could eat a spicy chicken sandwich tray everyday.
- Have a “regular spot” that you frequent on campus.
Knowing your campus geography is key. It helps to avoid being late to classes and events, and it also helps with personal morale. I love overhearing someone ask where a certain room is and then knowing the best way to help them get there. But what I love even more is having my spot on campus and knowing that I’ll see someone I know whenever I go there. Having a familiar spot to go to before, in between, and after classes helps to make your campus feel more like home.
- Go to an event you probably wouldn’t have gone to in high school.
They (whoever they are) say that college is the time to reinvent yourself and figure out more of who you are; they’re right! Part of the growing-up process is trying things you normally wouldn’t, or would regularly be afraid to, try. We can’t go anywhere if we don’t leave our comfort zone. It’s worth it, though—break the status quo! It turned out really well for the cast of High School Musical, did it not?
- Spend time alone.
This is a lot harder than it sounds. Whether you’re extremely extroverted, like me, or super introverted, it is really easy to find yourself surrounded by people in college. It’s the nature of the territory. Being around people is great; but not if it means sacrificing your own well being. It is 100% okay to take a step back, go to your room, light a candle, play some music, and just breathe. We all need time to recharge every once in a while—even if that means taking a two-hour nap. As a co-worker once told me: “sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.”
- Keep going!
Senioritis is a real thing, friends. As I finish up the last week of my college career, I am so tempted to just drop everything. The work is hard, and the assignments seem endless, but the end is also near. College has been the wildest ride, full of more laughter and tears than I ever would have imagined, but it’s been an experience I’m thankful for and one that I’m glad I’ve taken advantage of. So, my charge to you is this: Don’t quit. Give yourself breaks when you need them, but finish what you started!