Since staying in college for 7 years isn't an option for most, we thought we'd give you some tips on how to put yourself in the best position to graduate in two years and remind you to have a little fun while you're at it.
1. Keep your grades up.
I know it sounds lame, but the main goal of college is that light at the end of the tunnel- a job. And without decent grades, that light dims quite quickly. So while it may seem tempting to slack off, don’t. Both employers and graduate schools look at your GPA, and if you work hard enough, you may be able to graduate with an honors distinction– adding bonus points to your resume.
2. Keep broadening your horizons.
By now, you’ve hopefully found your niche on campus (if not, what are you waiting for?! Get out there! ). Now that you have a close group of friends and a place where you feel at home (for me it was my school’s daily newspaper, while some of my friends were more interested in sororities or Model UN), I challenge you to keep going. There’s no way you’ve experienced all your campus has to offer yet. Take in a play at the local theatre, check out a farmer’s market or go see a basketball game. Make it your goal to take in as much of campus as possible before the stress of senior year rolls around.
3. Don’t get distracted.
Most people turn 21 during their junior year of college. With that, the one thing I hope to emphasize the most is don’t get distracted with partying or alcohol. As much as I sound like your mother, it’s important that you keep focused this year—on your schoolwork, extracurricular activities and summer plans. Sure, alcohol is a substantial part of college. But let it become too much of you, and you’ll surely lose out on some major opportunities and possibly even get into trouble with the school. Be sure to keep up the responsibility that got you into college while you’re on campus.
4. Study abroad.
Many students choose to study abroad junior year. For many, it’s a convenient break in the hectic schedules that seem to dominate those of underclassman and perhaps even seniors. Check in with your local study abroad office to see what opportunities could be available to you this year—it is an amazing opportunity only available to you in college. Tip: Limited funds? Ask about financial aid opportunities when you stop by the financial aid office. Many times, grants, loans and scholarships are available under certain circumstances.
5. Refresh your resume.
Now that you’ve got some campus experience, it’s time to spruce up that resume. You’ll likely be applying for internships and jobs next summer, so by preparing now you’ll be ahead of the game. Plus, with all you’ve done the past two years, it will almost be difficult to fit all you’ve done on just one page. Still have a few empty spots? Well, get out there and experience all college life has to offer (see point number 2), and then come back to it. Repeat until resume is solid enough for even the most scrutinizing of critics.