College students are notoriously strapped for cash, and everyone on campus knows this. Maybe administrators only do it because they feel guilty for sucking thousands of dollars out of our bank accounts, but the truth is, they actually provide plenty of awesome things for students to utilize – but we never seem to take these opportunities. Why is it that the turnout for dollar beer night is always SO much greater than the number of students who show up for on-campus lectures?
There are so many chances that college students simply fail to take advantage of. Here’s a little bucket list, College Candy style. Make sure you take advantage of each of these things at least once before graduation. Trust us – these opportunities are painfully rare once you get out into the real world.
Newspapers – Recently, we heard about a school that decided to terminate its free subscription to the Wall Street Journal because students just weren’t picking up copies. Most institutions offer free copies of top papers, only to find discarded piles week after week. Even if you only take it for the crossword, grabbing a free copy is totally worth it.
Special Guests – We’re not just talking about the lectures that pertain to your courses (although we totally advocate going to those too!). A lot of schools invest time and funds to bring really interesting people to campus, but students just don’t seem to appreciate it. Take the time my school had Project Runway runner-up Althea Harper come in and talk about her experiences as a designer – it doesn’t get much cooler or more current than that, but only a handful of students dragged themselves away from happy hour to attend the event. Piece of advice: the next time you see a sign promoting a guest speaker, check it out. It may be your chance to get some great advice, listen to amusing anecdotes, or even meet a celeb – and you can usually do all this for free (or at least cheap).
Clubs – Even super-involved high school students seem to have difficulty joining clubs in college. Maybe they are time-consuming, but the truth is that clubs give you a much-needed break from the monotony of classes and homework. Everything is offered, from musical groups to the school paper to intramural sports. The second best thing about clubs is that they give you a chance to try something new, even if you don’t have a ton of experience or talent; clubs lack the competition and pressure of more official activities. The best part? Free food is served at most of the meetings.
Dining Hall Buffets – The ABSOLUTE best way to really get bang for your buck. Go on a totally empty stomach and let yourself go for four helpings of pure deliciousness. It’s a great way to try a lot of new dishes, too. My personal recommendation? Go during finals week, eat lunch, sit around and study while grazing on snacks, and then eat a full-on dinner a few hours later. Just make sure you have a pair of oversized sweatpants on hand for the next day
Interesting Courses – So many people take classes for one reason and reason only: to satisfy graduation requirements. But take it from a recent grad; college has so much more to offer. The absolute best choice I ever made in my four years was signing up for a diversity workshop. So if you’ve always secretly wanted to try pottery, sign up for a course. Make it your mission to take at least one random elective every year – who knows what you might learn?