Maximize Your College Education

You get out of it what you put into it – remember that about your college education! If you go there for four years but just do the bare minimum your quality of skills in the workforce isn’t going to be what it should. This can make it harder for you to obtain or to maintain the job you really want. It is important to take action in order to maximize your college education. Do what works for you to enjoy college and to really learn all you can. Here are some things for you to think about as you devise that personalized plan of action.

Balance your Time
We all have 24 hours in a given day to do what we need to. This includes essentials such as eating, showering, and sleeping. Be realistic when it comes to the courses you take. If they are extremely hard, don’t take on an extra class that semester so you can really focus. Don’t work extensively while going to college. A part time job can help you to make some money. However, your main job should be to focus on your class time and your studies.

It is fine to have fun in college and to enjoy free time. However, don’t be playing video games all night and then sleep through class. Don’t go to the library and spend hours on YouTube or Facebook when you should be conducting research for a paper. You don’t have to be going every single free minute either. It is fine to just relax and to read a book or watch a movie. You need to feel refreshed so you can get back to tackling school work. If you do too much all the time, you will get burned out physically and mentally.

Take Core Classes First
The number of students who change their major after they start college is very high. This doesn’t mean they didn’t know what they wanted to do when they entered the program. However, once they started taking classes, they realized their passion was in a new direction. By taking your core classes first, you can test the waters. If you find you are on track with what you want to do that is wonderful. If you decide you would like to go a new direction there is time to do that. Once your core classes are done, you can start to dive into program specific branches based on your interests.

Attend Classes
Your college instructors aren’t going to track you down if you don’t show up for class. You are either there and learning or you aren’t. If you can’t be there and you don’t contact them, they will assume you don’t care. It is very hard to get a quality education when you don’t show up for class regularly. If you have to miss class due to illness or other problem, make sure you get in touch with your instructors. Letting them know why you missed can make a huge difference. If you miss on a day there is a quiz or test you may not be able to make it up or turn in assignments.

If you can’t go to class but there is a paper due, ask a friend to drop it off for you. At the very least, you should email the instructor before class a copy of the paper. Let them know you are ill but you will turn in the physical copy the next class. This shows them you have the work done on time.

Join Clubs
Get involved to maximize your college education experience. Joining clubs helps you to meet people with similar interests and educational goals. It can offer you a chance to be part of activities, to go on trips, and to give back to the community.

Double Major
It is quite possible to complete a double major when you go to college. Typically, this will be done in the same discipline. For example, you may be in the business program and your first major will be finance. Your second major will be economics. You will need to take a few extra classes in order to obtain a double major. However, the overall value it offers you in terms of finding the job you want and getting paid well in that role is worth it.

Major and Minor
You can also declare both a major and a minor. For example, your major may be finance as in the example above. However, your minor is going to be in business administration. You typically don’t have to take more classes in order to have a major and a minor. However, the majority of your elective classes will need to be in the realm of that minor. This is necessary to complete the degree requirements. If you want to get a double major or a major and a minor take the time to talk to your counselor. They can help you with your class schedule each semester so those goals are obtainable.

Work Study
If you qualify for need based financial aid, you should look into work study. There are quite a few benefits of doing so that extend beyond making some money. Sure, that money to pay for a few things as you go through college is important. Yet work study is through the college so they always take your schedule into consideration.

When you work outside of the school, not all employers will work well with you. They may get upset if you leave to get to class. They may ask you to work late if someone else fails to show up for their shift. Work study always ensures you get hours that don’t conflict with your college classes.

Work study is also a great way to get some hands on experience in your desired area of learning. It doesn’t always happen but whenever possible, students are placed in a job that helps them with learning they are getting in the classroom. Sign up for work study early to get the best job placement match possible.

Work study also means you are in contact with students, parents, and faculty on a regular basis. There is no better way to feel like you belong at the college than to get to know friendly faces.

Tutoring
There is no reason to struggle through colleges classes. If you are experiencing a tough time in a given class, go get help. Tutoring is typically offered free of charge at most college campuses. It is a way to encourage students to do well and to help them get through classes.

You may be tutored by another student who is doing quite well in that class. You can schedule the tutoring to take place in a public place such as the library. There is no reason to just barely get by in any class when you have the opportunity to get some one on one help to really understand the materials.

Volunteer
Learning at a young age the satisfaction that stems from volunteering is important. This doesn’t have to be extensive, but give what you can when you can. For example, volunteer at the local homeless shelter by serving lunch on the weekends. You can also volunteer at the local animal shelter.

If you enjoy children and books, why not volunteer at the local library in town? While you don’t get paid for such work, the value it gives you personally is beyond measure. You can also use your volunteer work on your future college scholarship applications.

 Internship
An internship is an unpaid chance at job experience. You will work at a local business and you will be able to see what takes place there day in and day out. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to decide if that is really the type of job you want when you get out of college with your degree.

Many businesses also hire interns who have previously worked for them if they did an outstanding job. When you finish your education, that is one of the first places you should apply if you enjoyed the experience. This can be a way for you to get your foot in the door!

You can talk to your instructors and school counselors about possible internships that are offered. Some of them last all summer long and that can be a get way for you to spend your time between college semesters.

Have Fun
College can be stressful and it can be lots of work. There are plenty of changes that occur. However, this is also your time to get out there and explore the world and to learn about yourself. Have fun while you are in college too so you can create memories that last a lifetime.

Study Abroad
Most people would love to go to another country to study but they think they can’t afford it. Many colleges offer the chance to do so through clubs and through programs. They are far less expensive than you might think, and you could qualify for a scholarship to help with the cost. While studying abroad, you also earn college credit. Some of these study programs are a month in duration so you can go over the holiday break. Others are for a month or two during the summer.

Find your Niche
Try new things when you are in college. Go eat food you haven’t before when it is served in the cafeteria. Try to read a different type of book than you normally would. Go to a music performance or a play on campus. You never know where you will find your niche. By broadening your horizons, you can rule out what you don’t want to do again. You can also embrace those elements of college life that have captured your attention. Finding your niche makes college inviting, it peaks your curiosity, and it helps you to explore more than you ever knew you had at your fingertips.