When you’re a student, school might seem like it goes on forever, but it doesn’t. Just before you know it, it’ll be time to graduate. In between the note-taking, procrastinating, and pulling all-nighters, you may wonder often what the point of it all is. Unfortunately, student life can sometimes feel like an empty void. We know how stressful it can be to be unmotivated, scared, and confused. But even when we feel defeated, there is still something valuable we can always take from the hard times. Psych2Go shares with you 6 ways to make the most out of your school experience:
1. Step in with an open mind.
Take a good look around you. This is one place you’ll be spending time trying to figure out who you are. You’re going to learn a lot from your mistakes, failures, and struggles. Everyone around you will be just as lost, confused, and anxious about what comes next. But school is ultimately a safety net, so try to take as many risks as possible.
Be experimental and do all the things you’ve always wanted to do. Stay curious and never become complacent about what you accomplish. There’s always room to grow. It’s okay to be reluctant of change, but don’t let that hold you back from trying new things.
2. Know where to to receive academic, counseling, and financial help.
School is going to be stressful and you’ll have a lot of questions. But what’s important is recognizing that you don’t have to go through the confusion alone. There are services on campus that can provide advice and resources that can make your school experience more approachable and fulfilling. If you are having trouble understanding some of the content, you can ask academic advisors for tutors related to your studies. Academic advisors are also great to talk to when you need help mapping out your schedules each semester. Along with school-related stress comes the financial burdens of tuition costs as well. It can be intimidating, but you can go to your financial services on campus and receive information on how to apply for financial aid and figure out which monthly payment plan works best for you.
Due to all these heavy responsibilities, school can easily become a dark and unwelcoming institution. To combat the high rates of depression and anxiety students often face, it’s important to find an outlet. Make use of your mental health services on campus and talk to a professional about the problems you’re struggling with. There’s no shame in going. You’d be surprised how much of a difference it makes when you stop bottling everything up.
3. Find a good study space that works for you.
If you live on campus, the dorm room may not always be ideal, especially if you have one or two other roommates. But, your learning should never have to suffer all because of one small space. There are options outside those walls you can explore for a better studying experience. Make use of your school library or go to a coffee shop near campus. If you are someone who needs variety and feels restless being only in one place, switch it up by working on a bench outside when it’s warm where you can watch the leaves fall. It may take a few tries until you find a good study space, but it’s worth the effort once you land on something that works just right.
4. Learn how to network and get experience on what interests you.
It’s not easy putting yourself out there, but networking can help you land your ideal career. You can make use of career fairs or talk to your academic advisor about online search engines that can help you apply for internships where you can get experience related to your studies and interests. It’s not about looking good on paper so much as it is about the connections you make.
Networking isn’t something you’ll get right from the start, but the more you expose yourself to others, the easier it’ll be to deliver what you want people to know about you. Talking about your passions is essential. It’s a common language for others who can relate to you. Strive for authenticity. Ultimately, people look for honest, direct answers.
5. Stay in touch with your friends and family during your breaks.
It’s easy to lose touch with the people you care about when life gets busy and you’re miles away from home. Utilize your breaks to make trips and see your friends and family. People aren’t mind readers. That’s why it’s important to show them that you want to hang out with them by being proactive and planning a time to see them.
In college, many friendships and relationships fade either because people change and no longer grow together anymore or because people don’t prioritize them enough. It’s never worth it to put anyone on the backburner if they still mean something to you, so put in the time and effort to hang out when you can.
6. See your major as a starting point, not something that determines your whole future.
If you’re almost near the finish line, but realized from your studies and internship that you’re not really passionate about your major, don’t worry about it. I didn’t even finish my internship before I quit. Give yourself credit for trying. What matters most is being honest with yourself and having the willpower to keep going. If you’re worried about letting people down or afraid that they’ll judge you for pursuing something different in the future, realize that others’ opinions should never tie you down to fulfilling your own happiness. What you learn in school is only a starting point. Don’t let it be a summary of who you are—the world is a lot bigger than one place.
What do you think?
How do you want to make the most out of your school experience? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!
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If you enjoyed this article, then you may also like 10 Smart Signs School May Not Be for You or 10 Ways to Deal with Anxiety in School and What Teachers Need to Know .
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Hannestad, K. (2018). 8 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your College Experience. HomeRoom. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
Matthews, K. (2014, October 21). 13 Versatile Ways to Get the Most Out of Your College Years. HuffPost. Retrieved April 4, 2018.