By Eliza Medley
University is a special time. Sure, you’re supposed to learn stuff, but it shouldn’t all come from books. After all, this is where you explore, try new things and experiment with the different lifestyles you might want to live.
The problem, however, is that it’s far too easy to get distracted. Perhaps there are midterms. Maybe there’s a party you want to go to. Heck, this might be (another) night to stay in and watch movies instead.
To avoid the temptation to not make the most of your university time, I advise you have some sort of bucket list. A ‘this is what I want to do before I’m done’ kind of thing. Then, based on how many items you’ve got on that list, you know how many things you’ve got to do a month in order to be able to do it all.
But what will you put on that list? That’s what the rest of this article will cover.
Take a road trip
You can’t really say that you’ve been a student if you haven’t taken a road trip. Driving long distances with a bunch of friends to see something odd and do something exciting is how you lay down memories that you’ll be able to draw on for the rest of your life.
Don’t just go somewhere close by, either. Commit yourself to something far away and something slightly out of the norm. Make sure you take some people that have interesting things to say. Talk politics, religion, women, and men. Stop often, to look at things. Take pictures, selfies and drinks.
Do whatever it takes to make the road trip special, memorable and a little bit crazy (but stay safe). Yes, doing all of this might turn it into an ordeal, but the pain will fall away and ultimately you’ll remember it as one of those moments in your life when you were truly alive.
Attend a guest lecture
Find out what famous speakers are coming to your university and attend a lecture on something that really interests you. It doesn’t have to be in the direction that you’re studying. It doesn’t have to be something you know anything about. That’s not the point. The point of university is to come to understand different things and see different sides of life.
There is no better way to do that, then to listen to somebody who really knows their stuff and knows how to communicate it well explain these things to you. Doors might end up opened that you didn’t even know existed.
Remember, when you’re out of school you won’t get these opportunities again. The public is rarely invited to hear some of the smartest people of our generation speak. So make the most of it while you can.
Write for a publication
When you’re in university you’ve got some strong opinions. Share them by writing articles for some sort of publication. If it turns out to be nonsense, then you can say that those were your university days. When it turns out to be brilliant, you might just have found your new career.
A lot of writers started out at their university publications. There is a lot of freedom there that you won’t get later on in life. There’s a time to shape and form your opinions, your ideology, and your politics that you’ll struggle to find later on in life.
OF course, you will have to make sure that you’ve actually got the skills to write, so make sure that you practice. You could even consider following a writing workshop or ask about help some special services, such as get good grade.
Get to know a foreign culture
There are bound to be people from other countries at your school. So, find out about their cultures. This is a great chance to hear some great stories about other countries, try out some wild food that you otherwise wouldn’t have, and possibly find a country to visit over summer break.
What’s more, often people from other countries struggle to integrate because they have different expectations, different social rules and might not control the language. For that reason, they’ll quite often be thrilled to talk to somebody from the US, particularly if that person takes an active interest in them.
And what is better than having a friend in the US? Having one outside of it, that you can visit and whose house you can stay at.
Join a protest
Stand up for something you believe in. Wave a placard. Show that you care. After all, ‘the only thing that’s necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing’. So don’t do anything. Get involved with a cause that’s important.
People that have gotten involved in things like this often say that it shapes them. It becomes an important part of who they are, who they hang out with and what they do. Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me.
There are so many things you should do in university than we’ve covered here. Still, with this list at your disposal, you’ll at least have a good place to start. Hopefully, just reading through it, you already came up with a few ideas of your own that you’d love to try. Write it all down. Don’t be shy. Take everything that comes to mind and put it on paper.
Then, when you’ve got a list with everything you possibly might want to do, start organizing these things into, ‘have to’, ‘want to’, and ‘might do’.
Then all you’ve got to do is put it somewhere prominently, where you’ll be sure you’ll see it and work your way through. Try to cross off at least one thing a month (preferably more). If you can do that, then you won’t regret it as you’ll have a slew of memories to enjoy for the rest of your life.
Eliza Medley is a tutor and freelance writer. She loves to cover topics on content marketing, education and college life. Contact her via Facebook.