No better way to learn about the “real world” than to visit it once in a while. Whether it’s making copies or coffee or even spending your school break teaching English in Korea, you will find that the classroom is only the beginning of a true education. Don’t think that the time, energy, blood and sweat (sometimes tears too!) you poured into your internship is for naught. Successful internship might set you up for a future in the field you want! Be sure to apply and receive an insider look at what exactly a real job in your field entails.
2. Studying abroad (if you can swing the cost)
Remember when you were younger, and you used to fantasize about traveling the world? Studying abroad is the perfect way to make that dream a reality. True, it is expensive. But take advantage of one of your school’s study abroad programs. Not only will you get to eat delicious food, meet awesome new people, and learn a new language, but you'll also get to experience exciting places and cultures in a way that will totally open your mind and help you grow. (If that's not enough for you? AMAZING INSTAGRAM PHOTOS.)
3. Getting ready for class
You snooze, you lose. Let's face it, mornings are a struggle—especially when you stayed up until 4 a.m. finishing the assignment you forgot about (oops!). In university, jumping out of bed like a ninja, throwing on the nearest clothes and dashing out the door is totally acceptable. But once in awhile, skip the snooze button and take a shower, do your hair, and put on a nice outfit. Looking put-together shows your teachers that you're serious about learning, so at least during those first few weeks, take the extra 20 minutes in the morning to make a good impression. Plus, that dude sitting next to you might one day become your boss, so road-testing some non-bedhead could be a bonus.
4. Visiting your secondary school friends
BFFs. Besties. “Bestiez.” Brothers from other mothers. Sisters at heart.
Even though you'll be really caught up in everything going on at your own university, separating from your secondary school BFFs can still be difficult. Save up some cash and take advantage of a free weekend to take a plane to visit your friends at their schools. Getting to put faces with the names of all the people and places they're always talking about will help you stay connected even when it feels like you're living completely different lives. You can even bring some of your new college friends along for the ride.
5. Taking a class just because you're interested
You have four years to complete your bachelor’s degree. Take a class or two just because it sounds interesting, not just because it's required. These are the classes that you'll excel in and value the most because you genuinely want to be there. And who knows, maybe it could help your find your passion, or lead you down the path to your dream career.
6. Joining a club
Whether it's a social organization like LEO Club, or an academic group like the Life Sciences Club, joining a club has tons of perks. Not only is it a great way to meet some cuties, but it also looks great to your future boss! Getting involved in extracurricular activities shows that you can balance multiple projects, can be a team player, and are willing to go above and beyond what is expected of you, not to mention, it's a great way to pick up some skills that might prove handy on a resume. So go to your orientation week and sign up for at least one club!
7. Not dropping that class that ended up ruining your GPA
Back in secondary school, your teachers would babysit you if there was a problem with your homework, and there was usually an opportunity to try to turn things around before the end of the semester. Unfortunately, university is not like that. It's on you to deal with your own grades, stay on top of how you're doing in your classes, and scream for help when you need it. Even though your first year is going to be hectic, pop in unexpectedly at your lecturer’s office and talk to them about anything from an upcoming paper or something in class you didn't understand why you didn't get the grade you wanted on your midterm.
8. Switching to the major you really want
It's hard to believe that at the ripe age of 17 we're supposed to know exactly what we want to do with our lives. It's totally fine if you don't (or if you change your mind!). Four years of university are meant for discovering your passions, and changing your major is kind of like deciding what to wear in the morning—sometimes you have to try on a few different outfits before you find the right one. So if it turns out engineering or journalism or finance just isn't for you, don't just stick with your major just because you don't want to start over or you'd been set on becoming a lawyer ever since you saw House of Cards. Focusing on what interests you is generally the best recipe for finding success, and you'll be much happier studying that all those hours at the library.
9. Dating someone who's not your "type."
University is for trying new things—and that includes relationships. Normally into athletes? Chat up an artist! I get it. You see a girl or a guy in the cafeteria and you pass by them because , “Eh, he’s not my type.” Looks do matter, it’s true. But personality and chemistry can change someone from “not my type” to the love of your love. After all, what have you got to lose?