Consistency! Staying consistent while you're in college is the best trait to have! That goes along with making sure to complete your work on time and not fall behind, potentially stressing yourself out unnecessarily! Also, consistency with staying in school. Taking "breaks" that are a year or two so you can have some time off, often turn into a lot longer, and can lead to not going back until much later in life.
It's like many things in life, the more you put into it, the more you get out. Immerse yourself in all that you can do. Not only does it help you socially, it provides you connections and referrals for many years to come. Getting myself in a fraternity gave me a large support system in college as well as after. This also led me to working with the Interfraternity Council, where I really saw the "big picture".
No matter if a fraternity or sorority isn't for you, there are lots of clubs to join on college campuses that can provide you the same support system. These are all great places to learn leadership and working well with others toward a common goal.
Most professors are very open to discussions and help. If they see you reaching out, they know you are trying and that will go a long way. Never know when they may end up being a referral also.
Trust me, after college I went through a period when I was bored. I just went to work and home. It was because I missed being involved and being on the go. This lead me to becoming more involved as an alumni for my fraternity at my alma mater as well as others.
Bryant here form the CareerVillage team. Thank you for your question! I'm wondering if your question is more focused on making the most out of the college experience, or more about making sure that college leads you to a successful life/career.
I'll specifically address making the most of your college experience. I've shared the following advice on CareerVillage before but I think it definitely applies here to your question:
As a teacher, I always told my high school students that college is exactly what you make of it. My advice for you start doing on day 1 to get the most out of your college experience. You'll see that college gives you a great amount of freedom and independence that you may be experiencing for the first time in your life (especially in a school setting). Take this freedom and seek out all opportunities available to you! Go to office hours, talk to your professors, make a commitment to attend all of your classes and study sessions, seek out tutoring, form study groups with friends/in your dorms etc. etc.
Things like undergraduate research opportunities, chances to work closely with professors and other faculty (Maybe in the lab or out in the field), and extra curricular activities ( ie. student publications or clubs and service programs) are great ways to start expanding your educational and professional network while in college. It's always good to have an idea of how you want to be involved with your university because being involved is a great way to get your name out there! Getting involved is an awesome way to best prepare for landing a career once you earn your college degree. Once you begin college, you will inevitably find brand new things that peak your interest that you may want to get involved with, which is great! Seize these opportunities to leave college with a vast network of contacts, mentors, colleagues, and friends that you can use to support your career path.
It's so easy for students to not seek out different opportunities and stay in their comfort zone because there isn't anyone telling them that they have to. My advice for you, seek out as much as you can from your college/university and you will undoubtedly have a great experience.
Best of luck as you continue to explore college opportunities!
“Making the most out of college” can mean a few things. It can relate to your life outside of school and the experiences you will have and also your future career you are preparing for.
As as far as experiences use this time to make new friends, expose yourself to new things, and learn about things you think you would enjoy. College is a unique time that you have freedom to explore and learn that can be hard to do when you have a job. And it is also a time you can build new relationships you will have for the rest of your life. Take advantage!
At the same time the reason you are likely going to school is to get prepared for the career you want to get into. Look into groups you can join that would further you down this path. Take time to ask questions and to learn everything you can to prep yourself for your future. Look at a complementary minor to make yourself more marketable to employers.
At at the end of the day you need to decide what you want out of college then get out of your comfort zone and make it happen!