Between the long research papers, sleepless nights, and stress over the future, it can be hard to believe your parents when they refer to college as “the prime of their life,” or “the good ole’ days.” It’s easy to assume they must have been full-time college partiers—and maybe they were—but there are ways to get the most out of both your college education and your social life at the same time.

Take it Easy

It seems that these days it’s become a race for students to finish college. With how much stress and pressure is being placed on the shoulders of college students, it’s not surprising that many are inclined to finish as soon as possible. On top of that, there are those who are eager to get into the real world and start their careers.

College isn’t just a four-year roadblock necessary to conquer before starting your real life. It’s a time to discover your passions, fine-tune your skills, have fun, and meet some of your closest life-long friends (and maybe even your spouse). So rather than rushing through it, enjoy this fulfilling time of life while it lasts..

Research Housing

Where you decide to live is going to have a big effect on your overall college experience. Some people do best by rotating around from semester to semester, while others find a place they’re comfortable at and stick around for a while. Study student housing complexes thoroughly before signing a contract or lease. Look at the amenities offered, opportunities for social activities, proximity to campus, price, and reviews online.

Join Clubs

Maybe you didn’t have much interest in joining clubs in high school, but it’s not too late to give it a go in college! This is a great opportunity to meet people with similar interests as you, and possibly make friends within your same field of study. It’s always nice to have a friend to study with or relate to your major.

Discover Your Passions

There’s no better time to discover new interests or passions than in college. Attend as many career fairs and events as possible to learn about the different options you may not have considered before. Try taking electives outside of your major to explore new interests and broaden your skills.

Study Abroad

If you love to travel, then there’s no need to stay in the same spot for four years while you study. There are always opportunities to study abroad for a semester, or even volunteer in a foreign country between semesters. If you’re worried about the expenses, then talk to the advisors in charge of each travel program about fundraising opportunities.

Go on Dates

Whether you’re married or single, going on dates is a fun way to take a break from the regular college stresses. If there’s nice weather, then plan a group date to go on a day hike. Or, keep it simple and cook a meal together at your apartment. There are countless articles online for great date ideas on a college budget.

As you can see, there are a number of ways to be social and get the most out of your time at college. Enjoy this exciting time of life with like-minded people so that one day you, too, can think back on these as the “good ole’ days.”

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