OPINION | More to college than student activities

Students gather for Spanglish Karaoke at the Latinx event on Sept. 16. Although events are an important part of students’ college experience, it’s not the only important part, Hannah Hickman says. Photo by Breanna BIorato.

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The college experience shouldn’t solely be based on the activities and events you go to.

While student activities and events bring the student population together, students can still gain plenty of experiences even with a lack of events. Staying in doesn’t have to be boring; it can be a time for students to self-reflect and self-discover.

Students who have undeclared majors can take this time to focus on classes and decide what they’re passionate about pursuing.

College Parent Central sheds light on starting conversations with students getting ready to head to college: While you may not know what you want to do, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of your education and decide what’s best for you.

According to College Parent Central, “Some students may be unwilling, unable, or unready to make a choice of an area of study at the point when they enter college.”

Rather than focusing on events, students can focus on navigating through college. Transitions aren’t always the easiest and taking time can help students focus on school and adjust. According to Collegiate Village, six tips students can implement when heading into college are to determine living arrangements, communicate class schedules with employers, get to know classmates, read every class syllabus at least once, keep a head-start on classwork, and set up a monthly budget.

While having academics and schoolwork in the forefront of your mind, you are still able to socialize with others in a classroom setting. Being part of discussions is a way to interact with other students; you can even take the time to reach out to one another outside of class discussions as a way to make new friends.

“Making friends with your fellow students can have some serious academic payoffs,” according to Collegiate Village.

By making friends with fellow classmates, students have the opportunity to build an academic community where they can study and do assignments together.

Another point to consider with the cancellation of events on campus is your mental health. While it may be hard for students to not have activities to participate in around campus, students can still take the time to have mental health check-ins with themselves.

According to Good Therapy, “This is a life stage that is supposed to be focused on learning and growing as an adult.”

Although the cancellation of events can make it harder for students to experience a true college experience, they have the opportunity to look into the academic and mental health resources available to them on campus.

With mental health being a prevalent topic during the pandemic, students should take this time to themselves to set a routine where they can relax and destress.

The cancellation of events doesn’t mean your college experience is ruined. This just means you can find more creative ways to stay in touch with friends and focus on academics. Go out and start a conversation with someone in your class; it may lead you down a path to new memories, plus you’ll have a friend to go to events with once they come back to campus.

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