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How to Take Advantage of
Your College Years

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By Mikkie Mills

Going to college means many things to many different people. For some, it's about freedom. For others, it's about starting a new life. No matter what college means to you, you have to admit that it's a special time in anyone's life. You'll have many possibilities ahead of you once you enter, but you'll be well on the path to defining yourself once you leave. If you are getting ready to go to college - or if you're in the middle of your academic career - it's important to know how to take advantage of this time. Below are a few things you should do to ensure that you get the most out of going to college.

Work Towards the Future

The primary purpose of college is, at least for most, to become employable in the future. One of the best ways to take advantage of your college years is to start taking advantage of all the on-campus resources that colleges provide to students. Getting help on things like creating a simple resume for college employment might not seem like a huge undertaking, but it will teach you a valuable life skill that you can make use of when you start applying to post-college jobs.

Meet People

College is a fantastic place to meet people. While you might think of this simply as making friends, this is also a time in which you'll start to build your later-in-life career network. While you certainly shouldn't spend your college years trying to create only business relationships, it is important that you put yourself out there and meet as many different types of people as you can. The more people you meet, the more friends you will make. These friends will not only help you in business, but they can often form the core of your social support group as you get older.

Take Risks

Your college years are generally a good time to try out an experimental phase. If there's something legal that you've always wanted to do, college provides you with the freedom to do so. This might mean taking a semester to study abroad or dating someone that you wouldn't usually date, but what's important is that you go ahead and get the experiment out of the way. The worst that can happen is that you've had a unique experience and you might even end up finding out something new about yourself along the way. Always make sure that your risks are reasonable, though, and they're not the kind that would hurt your future.

Try Something New

Finally, take some time in college to go outside of your comfort zone. Join a club, take an interesting elective, or just spend the evening reading something that you've never looked at before. College isn't just a time to stick to your major - it's a time to broaden your horizons. Take time during your college years to push the boundaries of what makes you comfortable and find out more about yourself. This doesn't necessarily mean taking risks, but it does mean being honest enough with yourself to realize that you need to grow.

Make the most of your years in college. Take risks, try new things, and make friends. While you're growing, take some time to look at the future and start to lay the foundations for your later success. College gives you a great mixture of freedom and security, so do as much with it as you can. Your college experience should be a special time in your life, so don't waste it by staying on the beaten path. Get out there and discover these ways to give yourself an amazing future.

About Mikkie Mills: “I’m a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.” More articles by Mikkie

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