5 Ways You’re Letting Yourself Down in College

I was looking back at my undergrad years the other day and I couldn’t help but feel like I missed out on so much. There were games I could have attended, clubs I should have tried, and academic opportunities missed.

Maybe I was so caught up in the thought that college would last forever. Four years seemed like such a long time, but it was honestly some of the shortest years of my life.

Right after graduation, I was launched into adulthood where work schedules were demanding and activities were much harder to come by. Even worse? They required money! *Gasp*

5 Ways You're Letting Yourself Down in College | College tips for making the most of your years on-campus. Learn about the resources, campus life activities, and strategies you should be using to get the best college experience.

5 Ways You’re Letting Yourself Down in College

Let’s get real for a second – there are plenty of opportunities that we’ve all missed out on.

Knowing that, I’m pinpointing the 5 ways you’re letting yourself down in college in hopes that at least one of these will hit close to you and will challenge you to do something about it.

1. You’re Failing to Ask the Right (and Tough) Questions

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I let one of my questions go unanswered because:

  1. I didn’t want to speak up in class
  2. I didn’t want to take the time to seek out my professors during their office hours

I got better at this as time went on, but I missed out on tons of opportunities to get better direction, more insight, and new ways of thinking.

On top of that, failing to ask the right questions in college resulted in me getting grades that I wasn’t happy about.

Challenge: Stop letting yourself down in college and start writing down those burning questions that you’ve wanted answered all semester! Take a few moments to jot some ideas down and then make an effort to meet up with at least one of your professors this week to get answers.

2. You’re Not Using Your Campus Resources

When I say campus resources, I’m not just talking about the rec center or fitness classes. I’m also talking about the counseling, tutoring, career center, and other departments that get heavily overlooked by students.

All of these people are on-campus to specifically help you, so make sure you seek them out if you could benefit from their services! If I had to recommend just a few to you, I’d say check out the career center and the writing center (if available).

Look, you’re paying good money to attend college, so why not take advantage of all the wonderful resources that are right there waiting for you?

The harsh truth is that all of these conveniences are going away when you graduate, unless you pay for them of course.

Challenge: Choose an on-campus resource that you haven’t taken advantage of yet. Make it a priority to stop into the department this week to either gather some information or talk to someone!

3. You’re Stuck in Your Dorm Room Too Much

Again, I was totally guilty of this. Yes, I had school work to do and things to focus on, but I also secluded myself too much and didn’t get to experience the different buildings and environments around campus.

There was a brand new building on my campus that I didn’t even go to until my last semester, and I could literally kick myself because the interior would have been PERFECT for studying!

You’re letting yourself down in college if you’re staying cooped up in your room – enough said.

The “true” college years will only come around once in your life… Take some time to soak in your surroundings and get to know your campus better.

Challenge: As you go about your week, I challenge you to explore a place on your campus that you haven’t spent much time in. You might just find your new favorite hang out spot!

When you do want to spend time in your dorm room, at least make it comfy! Read How to Turn Your College Dorm Room Into a Retreat for ideas!

5 Ways You're Letting Yourself Down in College | College tips for making the most of your years on-campus. Learn about the resources, campus life activities, and strategies you should be using to get the best college experience.

4. You Haven’t Attended More Than a Few Sporting Events

I was super into the football games during my first two years, but I stopped going to sporting events as much during my last two years for some reason.

This is probably one of my biggest regrets because I will never get another chance to sit in the student section around my fellow classmates, decked out in temporary tattoos while screaming my lungs out.

Even if your school doesn’t have a stellar athletic program, it’s still fun to go to the games, show school pride, and hang out with your friends!

Challenge: Take a look at your school’s special events/athletic calendar and see if any spark your interest. After finding one that you’d like to attend, ask a friend if they’d like to go with you.

5. You Aren’t Consistently Building Your Network

Looking back, I now understand why my professors invited us to so many networking events.

I think I went to one or two… I was totally terrified and that scared me away from going to anymore.

Unfortunately, not branching out of my comfort zone meant that I was missing out on key connections with employers and people in the community who could set me up with jobs in the future.

Let this be a lesson that growth never comes without discomfort and struggle. If you’re just floating along, then you probably aren’t making much progress.

Trust me when I say that you’re letting yourself down in college if you aren’t networking.

It might not seem like a big deal at the time, but just imagine how many professional contacts you’ll miss out on by not putting yourself out there. Sometimes you have to take those risks to reap the rewards.

Challenge: Go to your career center and ask if there are any campus or local networking events coming up. Put the date on your calendar and make plans to attend.

Did any of these points stand out to you? If so, I’d love for you to tell me about it! Simply write a comment below and let me know where you’re getting stuck. I’m here to cheer you on!

And while you’re here, why not check out some of these awesome posts:

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  • Jenn Slavich
    February 4, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    These are all such great points. I to look back and think if only. School is such a tough time with trying to multi-task all of what is going on. Living on your own, being 100% responsible for getting your butt to class, then doing the tons of homework that is involved. I really like that you spoke about getting everything you can out of the classes by asking questions. Too many of us just are scared of talking in front of tons of people. Also, getting to events this is so important not only to feel a little bit of spirit but breaking up the monotony of school, study, school, study… Great post!

    • Tori
      February 4, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Thanks so much for your reply, Jenn. I look back at my college days all the time and think “shoulda, woulda, coulda.” I didn’t realize all of the wonderful things that I had at my disposal when I was a student!