College! A time for growth and development. A time for independence and freedom. It is during college that many students will discover just who they want to be when they grow up. With so many options and activities to choose from, here is a list of the top five things I did while in college:

I lived on campus freshman year.

This was both exciting and scary for me. I had always lived with my family, but now I was set to go live on a college campus two hours away from home. I’ll never forget those first few days: everybody was new and a bit awkward, but eventually connections were made and friendships were formed, some of which are still intact today. There is nothing like that experience of living on campus. Personally, it forced me to step out of my comfort zone and make new friends. It also began to teach me how to become more independent, a strength that served me well during the rest of college. If you need tips on decorating your dorm, check out this blog.

I joined a fraternity.

I was not interested in joining Greek life until about midway through freshmen year of college. Sure, I had seen the numerous movies and TV shows that paint fraternities and sororities in a negative light. But it was during freshmen year I began to see a side of Greek life that the movies didn’t show: young men and women doing community service, taking positions of leadership on campus, raising money for noble causes, and being a part of an on-campus family. Greek life may not be for everybody, but if there is interest in going Greek, I strongly recommend researching the different organizations on campus. Find an organization and a membership that aligns well with your expectations. Get to know some of the members. See if it seems like the right fit, and then consider joining. I’m glad I did.

I studied abroad!

I had the opportunity to spend a summer in a foreign country. Sure, vacations are fun, but there is nothing quite like living in a foreign country for a significant amount of time, being in the non-touristy parts of town, and being a part of the day-to-day experience. The perspective is one that will take you out of your bubble and serve you well beyond the classroom. I had the opportunity to travel within the country, I went to museums, I made friendships that I still have to this day. Sure, there is a cost associated with Study Abroad, but there are also Scholarships available too.  Also, check out this Blog to learn more about Study Abroad.

I participated in a professional internship.

I spent seven months on a professional internship in Florida. It was a total blast! I received training in branding and customer service that I still draw from today. I also networked with people from all around the country and the world. Some internships are unpaid, some are paid. Seek out an opportunity that will enhance your training and knowledge about the industry you hope to get into. Remember, if you can match education plus experience, that will make you that much more competitive in the job market. Internships are a great way to gain that early experience.

I graduated!

Yes, it was a long road filled with long study sessions, term papers, and the occasional late-night burrito. Through the challenge, it was all worth it. College is a journey, and the person that received that college degree was much different than the kid who showed up to campus that first day. I had to learn how to study, something I didn’t necessarily do a lot of in high school. I had to read. A lot. I had to learn how to think critically, comprehend and dissect a point and counterpoint. I had to step out of my comfort zone, meet and work alongside a diverse spectrum of individuals. And the one thing that nobody will ever be able to take from me is that sense of accomplishment: I did it!

Anyone else have any interesting things they accomplished while in college?