It’s no secret that moving from high school to college is difficult, even though some people don’t like to admit it.  You don’t know many people.  You aren’t familiar with the campus.  No one says it better than Princess Jasmine: It quite literally feels like a ‘whole new world.’

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While working through how to navigate the campus, balance your homework and classes, and make new friends, there might be a question that pops into your brain from time to time — or all the time.

‘What am I going to do with my life?’

There is no doubt you will ponder over this existential question more often than not, and even if you’re going into college with a plan, this question can definitely cause you some stress.  Don’t worry!  You’re not the only one!  You’d be surprised how many people are in the same boat as you, and even people that go in with a plan almost always change their minds at some point.

So, to help you out with this daunting, yet incredible phase of your life, here are five tips to make the most out of college and help you start answering that question:

1) Try something new

Even if you end up hating it, trying something new can really expand your horizons.  It can be something simple, like trying a new food or going to a college football game for the first time.  You don’t have to stick with it, but always give something one try.  Who knows?  You might end up loving it!

2) Keep an open mind

This isn’t high school any more.  In college, you’ll be surrounded by new people, new ideas, and new ways of thinking.  Keeping an open mind helps you grow and develop intellectually, and it could open doors to opportunities you never would’ve thought of on your own.

3) Make connections

You’ll be meeting a ton of new people, and even if you still have your friends from high school, there’s nothing wrong with making new friends!  New friends can give you ideas and evoke new passions without you even realizing it.  If you want to think ahead, knowing more people will most definitely help you with getting a job post-grad!

4) Get involved

I know college can be overwhelming, but you will have some free time, and constantly burrowing up in your room is not going to get you anywhere (trust me).  Use your free time to join a club, a sorority, or a volunteer group.  You might find something you love to do, and as a bonus, you’ll meet lots of new people!

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Keeping an open mind helps you grow and develop intellectually, and it could open doors to opportunities you never would’ve thought of on your own.

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5) Have fun

Don’t spend all your time stressing over school.  Take time to enjoy the little things.  Experience your college atmosphere.  Take advantage of ‘student only’ perks (i.e. freefood events).  You will figure things out.  The activities you enjoy may end up being the ones you want to do for the rest of your life, so don’t put them aside! You’ll never get these years back, so enjoy them while you can!

No one has the cookie-cutter answer to what you’re going to do with your life.  That answer must come from you, but remember, it takes time to figure it out.  Don’t go into college thinking your future is the only thing you’re allowed to focus on.  Follow these tips and make the most out of college, and I promise you, everything will fall into place.  

 

Cyndi is a student and the University of Michigan where she is majoring in Communications. In her free time, Cyndi enjoys writing, reading, and traveling.

 

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