What I wish I knew: Make most of your college experience


Photo Courtesy of Pixaby

A light bulb hangs from a wire in a dimly lit environment.

By Shana Olivero, Video Editor

Entering college is a new experience in your life with a myriad of questions and expectations. Before you know it, the four years you have been anticipating for your entire life will be over and you’ll ask yourself, where has the time gone? Take this advice from a senior who is in disbelief that her four years as an Illini are nearing an end. You are entering one of the best adventures of your life. Here are some tips on college life that I wish I knew when I started my four-year journey.

  1. Step out of your comfort zone

The University schedules more than enough new student activities and events during Welcome Week for students to meet one another and get a grasp of campus life. Try your best to attend as many of these as you can! The first or second week of college includes the best opportunities to meet new people and find your group of friends. You will meet some of your best friends during these first few weeks that will last a life-time. I would take advantage of this time before everyone begins to feel overwhelmed with classes, and slowly become more anti-social.

  1. Take advantage of student discounts

Every time you order online, sign up for memberships or travel during breaks, ask about student discounts! You can save so much money by utilizing these student discounts and once you graduate, you’ll wish you still had them. Take advantage of saving some cash here and there, and you will thank yourself later.

  1. Have school spirit

Don’t continue to put off attending sporting events; try to get in the habit of school spirit from the start. There are less home games for each sport than you may realize, and sitting in the student section of games is a feeling you might miss once you graduate. You can go to bars any day of the week but you can only attend so many football or basketball games. Invest in some orange and blue as a Freshman and you will get your money’s worth wearing them by the end of your four years. Get in the habit of attending sports events when you first start college to show your school spirit, because before you know it, you’ll be getting ready to graduate and you will regret not taking advantage of these opportunities when you had the chance.

  1. Make the most of each semester

Each semester might start off slow, but soon enough midterms will pass, it will be finals season and you’ll wonder where the time went. Make a conscious effort to enjoy every single week of being in college. Don’t let yourself get too comfortable being in a routine. Allow yourself to visit different areas of campus, join a new club, talk to new people in class, go out during the week, find a different study spot, or wake up early to attend a morning football game. There are only eight semesters in your undergraduate career. Each semester is so unique and has the potential to include some of your all-time favorite memories in your life. Don’t procrastinate living the college experience. Live in the moment, enjoy being an Illini, and take advantage of every single day you are able to be a college student on this legendary campus.

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