To say I love my alma mater is the understatement of the century.

I often tell friends that choosing the University of South Carolina was the best decision I ever made. I truly cannot imagine how my life would have turned out if I had gone anywhere else!

And while I had this amazing collegiate experience, I know there are thousands on thousands of students who never get to experience the feeling I get in my heart whenever I think of my school.

While I am realistic and realize that most of us didn’t get into our dream school (or maybe not even our top three choices), that doesn’t mean your collegiate experience should be valued any less — or that you should go into school with a sour attitude just because you didn’t originally want to be there.

At the end of your four years, is it really going to matter that you didn’t go to the school with the No. 2 business school in the country or are you going to look back on all of the memories you have? When I think of college, I think of my time at our college newspaper, The Daily Gamecock, the three times I braved dancing for 24 hours at Dance Marathon and countless sorority functions. I am not thinking about, “Why didn’t I choose the journalism school that was better ranked?”

Even if you’re about to start your senior year of college, it’s never too late to get involved and make an impact on your campus — or to even just do simple things to help you really enjoy your life as a college student.

Here’s my list of recommended actions:

  1. Try out one student organization. It could be as crazy as the skydiving club or as simple as joining an academic group for your major. Even if you don’t end up liking it, at least you tried it!
  2. Go to as many sporting events as possible. College games are the best way to get a feel for your school spirit. Learn the chants and participate. You may end up finding a sport you’re really passionate about following!
  3. Drop by a campus-sponsored event. Although sometimes campus events can seem a little cheesy, most of them are free. It’s also a great way to meet some other students in a casual environment.
  4. Absorb the environment around you. Take some time when you aren’t stressing about the latest exam or paper and go to a part of campus that really speaks to you. Just sit and take it all in. You won’t have this chance in a year or two.
  5. Do the cheesy “freshman” activities on campus. Remember all of those random facts you learned about on your campus tour or during your orientation? For example, there’s a place a USC where you can stand and clap and it echoes. Although it sounds silly, I can’t imagine never trying it out! Take a friend with you and document your journey around campus.

Anything else you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments!

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