Maximize your college experience

By By Dani Kauerz

By Dani Kauerz

As we begin the new school year, I would like to remind my fellow students that college is not just about the time you spend in front of a professor. College should be not only an experience, but a lifestyle.

I am reminded of a quote by Tom Petty: “You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink till sunrise. The work never ends, but college does.”

While I am not advocating that everyone go out and drink away their lives or get into massive amounts of credit card debt, I think it is important to remember to maintain your academic responsibilities while remembering that this is one of your last moments in life where it is socially acceptable to do whatever you want.

I believe that my friends and I have found the perfect balance of school, fun and campus involvement and I would like to share that formula with you.

Most people would be concerned for the academic performance of six sorority girls (past and present) living together. However, we manage to have fabulous times, but also keep up our grades and hold on to our sanity.

For most of us, the balance lies right at three nights a week for play (Thursday through Saturday), three to focus on school (Monday through Wednesday) and one day to recover from both (Sunday). There are, of course, exceptions to the plan; they would include three day weekends, sporting events, fall break, etc. Deviations may also be made for some who will need more time to study. It is critical to know when you need to take some time off for an extra night of reading and flash cards.

College life also includes spending time on campus, being involved with organizations and attending sporting events. We all are aware that we are at a commuter campus and students are usually just around for classes and maybe a quick cup of coffee with a study group. This is exactly why a concerted effort must be made to experience college.

Plan extra time in your days to just be on campus, at the library or studying in the Union. Park far away from your classes (which is not terribly hard these days) and take time to meander around the campus, run into friends you haven’t seen for ages and take time to have a conversation with them. Meet new people and build relationships with them.

Organizations on campus are also a wonderful way to be more involved and get more of an experience in your four (or more) years on campus.

In my slightly biased position I think “going greek” is one of the best ways that students can be more connected to campus. Not only does it provide you with an immediate support system, but also ample opportunities for volunteering, exciting happenings and a much broader social network.

Being on Greek Row is great, but not the only way. Find a committee to serve on, get involved with an honor society or find another group of students who have similar interests and join in!

Of course, there is always my favorite way to combine all of these things: U athletics. Even though the season might be off to a rough start, football games are one of the best ways to mix and mingle with fellow students and round out your college lifestyle. Tailgate before the games and get together with other friends to watch away games. Supporting our team is one of the funnest things that we get to do as students and a lot of students do not seem to appreciate that.

Bottom line: Take time to enjoy yourself while you’re here, because it won’t last forever.

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