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Minnu’s Minute: Student Life

This is the perfect time for you to explore the best university with the best academic program for YOU. However, don’t forget to explore the student life on campus, either!  I understand that it is important to look at the academic programs, but at the same time I highly recommend you to put an emphasis on your life beyond the classroom. Exploring the student life in universities will help you identify ways that you can develop personally during college as well as academically!
Clubs and organizations are a very good platform for you to meet new people that share similar interests as you. You will also have the ability to strengthen your leadership skills by holding a leadership position.  You could also take the initiative of starting your own club! When I was at my university, I developed deep relationships with students from different backgrounds by being part of the DePauw Entrepreneurs’ Club. I also had the opportunity to lead the largest organization, the International Student Association, on campus and through my involvement in this club greatly strengthened my networking and leadership skills.
Research the fun courses you can take during your time at the university. Courses outside of your major are an excellent way for you to discover a new interest and do something out of your comfort zone. One of my friends (who thought he had two left feet) took a ballroom dancing course and is now wooing women with his dance moves at the engineering firm he works for. My Bulgarian friend decided to take up a scuba diving class to get some stress relief from his Econometrics course. The scuba diving instructor took the whole class to the U.S. Virgin Islands to get their scuba diving certification. My colleague from my previous place of employment often bragged about her one month trip where she studied ship wrecks near an island on the Pacific Ocean.  While these courses may sound like lots of fun, they also help you develop important work and life skills in ways that you may have never imagined.
Through classes and events, think about building relationships with professors and your upperclassmen; such relationship will add a lot of value to your personal development. Once you develop a good relationship with a professor, you will be able to talk to them about managing your time between school, work and social life. You can ask for their advice on your career opportunities. You can brainstorm with them to identify your goal. Your seniors can also be a great support system for you as well. Based on their experiences, your seniors can help you figure out what courses and professors you should take. You can ask for their recommendations on managing stress and time, and developing yourself by maximizing the value of your duration in the university.
Please remember that college is a great time for you to learn, explore and develop yourself in more ways than one. Don’t lose this opportunity

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