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Make the Most Out of College with These Tips

 Have you ever heard someone reminisce about their college days? They often talk about the freedom they had, the friends they made, and all the memories that are still fresh to this day. Although college is far from being the only great period to look forward to, there are opportunities that make it one of the most meaningful in your life. Here are several tips on how to make the most of it.


Embrace Uncertainty and Explore It

When we're in high school, we're often told by teachers and parents that we need to have a plan for our lives by the time we graduate. But who really knows what they want to do for the next 50 to 60 years by the time they're 18? Many students don't realize that you don't even need to declare a major to start school. In fact, you can make it through an entire year of school without having a major. Lean into all the questions that pop up right now in your life. Instead of feeling like you need to have all the answers, have fun discovering them.


Start Building a Financial Track Record

Once you graduate college, you'll have to think about things like student loan repayment, renting an apartment, and establishing yourself as a young adult. It's a lot of pressure, but there's good news. You can start preparing for adulthood way before you have all the accountability on your shoulders. Work part-time, and if you can, put money on your student debt while you're in school. Start a savings account instead of spending all your cash like it’s an allowance. You'll be grateful to have the money later.


Now is also a good time to apply for your first credit card. If you're ready to start managing your own budget, getting the right card is an important decision to make. It will help you start building a positive credit history, which can help you do things like get approved for a lease and even get a good job (yes, some employers do check your credit before hiring). Budgeting in college is great because you have the safety net of financial aid and any support from your parents; your expenses are lower, you likely have secure housing, and there is more room for you to make mistakes than you'll have after graduation. The money smarts you develop now will serve you well as you move into your career.


Use Your Weekends Wisely

Sleeping in is great, and while you may love nothing more than snoozing till noon, there's also a whole world out there to explore. The truth is that you'll never have more time to explore than you do now, so make the most of your free time. Skip some parties; take a hike instead. Visit a new city. Go on a road trip. Have fun spending time with your friends as well as just being by yourself. You'll benefit from these experiences now and later in life. During your undergraduate program, your interests are going to change a lot, and that's wonderful. Have fun indulging all your passions as they come, and let others go so you can keep pursuing new interests. You never know where they may lead you. Just make sure to find a side hustle that will offer flexible work hours so it won't get in the way of your studies.

Learn Beyond the Books

Take opportunities to try new things throughout college. Join clubs, then quit the ones you don't connect with. Stay active in the ones you love. Try new hobbies and challenge yourself to do at least one new thing every week if you can. This exercise will help you become more open-minded and find out who you are and what you want out of life.


Exercise Regularly

You'll feel more energized, get out of your dorm more often, and lay the groundwork for a healthy transition into adulthood. Consider joining some college sports or athletic activities as well. You may even just organize some weekend bike rides or skate nights with friends. Remember, taking care of your body now is vital to living well years down the line.


See a Therapist

You don't have to wait until you have mental health issues to reach out to a counselor. In fact, therapy for college students is one of the many things you can do to uplift your mood and it can be a great way to tackle any challenges you're facing and overcome any struggles in a safe, constructive environment. And if you're holding onto any insecurities, anxieties, or struggling with anything, counseling can help you work through it, so it doesn't have to get in the way of you living your best life.


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