One of the things college and high school have in common are that there are many different aspects of attending the school that pull you in different directions. While the opportunities are far greater in college, they still mirror much of the same choices you have made in the previous four years of your life.
With so many choices of how to spend your time, it is easy to become overwhelmed, but throwing your hands in the air and saying “I don’t know!” isn’t the answer. A simple prioritization of possibilities is all it takes to figure out how to allocate your time.
First and foremost, you are at college to receive a quality education, so grades must come first.
There are sayings that span many different perspectives on grades in college, from “C’s get degrees” to “4.0 or nothing at all.”
But while grades are very important, they are not 100% of what college is about. There are so many more parts of college that demand attention that a perfect GPA might not be possible for everybody.
On the other hand, your grades will make an impact on how you will be viewed in the future.
Some employers will request a transcript of your college education, and if it is riddled with bad grades, it reflects poorly on you.
Another important part of college is the sports. Not all colleges can have Division I sports teams that drum up tons of energy for schools, but most schools have at least on that they can boast about.
For bigger schools, such as the University of Colorado- Boulder, football is a huge deal, forcing students to buy tickets at the beginning of the season or risk not getting in at all.
For schools that have particularly good football teams, such as the University of Texas- Austin, football is almost a religion. If you have the opportunity to embrace experiences like these, I suggest you jump on them whole-heartedly.
Even if your school doesn’t have a spectacular sports scene, school spirit is a great way to make friends and solidify existing friendships.
Going to a poorly attending soccer game can convince others to go, and before you know it, you could have a whole cheering section behind you.
Extracurricular activities are also huge for college. From student government to intramural sports teams, these are great for many reasons.
First, they are great social gatherings. You are around students with similar interests that want to accomplish the same things as you (be it social change or a win next Wednesday).
However, they aren’t just important for the social side of things; they are important for post-college life as well.
Participating in these activities shows a willingness to go above and beyond the bare minimum for graduation, as well as a desire to be a part of something bigger than yourself.
Just as colleges prefer to accept students that have been on committees, so do employers. Adding a little spice to your resume can never hurt, and you can actually have a great time along the way.
The important thing to remember is Balance
While some parts of college may be more fun, you have to keep in mind which are the most important to you. If you can find a way to keep them all in balance, you’re sure to have a great experience!