The 4-ish years you spend in college are, to many, the best of your life. Yet, if you’re anything like me they are flying by. Freshman year feels like yesterday but I’m already an upperclassman. So how can you make the most of your college experience? By taking advantage of the unique combination we have in college—the freedom of a kid with the privileges and abilities of an adult. Check out this list of the 5 places you need to see during college and start planning your adventures for next year.
A Place You’re Afraid Of: Whether it’s a deathly fear of heights or spiders, we all have our irrational fears. Push yourself by going somewhere you never thought you could—from the top floor of a skyscraper to camping in the wilderness where yes, there are bugs. Can’t do it alone? Consider bringing a date: bonding over a new, albeit scary, experience will bring you even closer and make for a great story.
A Place You’ve Always Dreamed Of: For me, this means going to see the places my ancestors lived when I travel abroad to Germany this fall. What does it mean for you? Seeing your favorite team play in person in their home stadium, crossing the equator, Times Square in New York City, finally realizing your childhood dreams with a trip to Disney—you get the idea. While it may seem unrealistic to fulfill these wishes on a college student’s budget, now is actually the perfect time. It makes much more sense to save up your spending money for a dream trip now than when you’re faced with the real-world expenses that accompany graduation. Plus, many companies offer discounts for students.
A Place You Always “See”: This exists in every town and on every campus. That one place you always walk past, maybe even see every day, but have never actually gone into. For an easy example, think of that one restaurant that always looks intriguing but you’ve never actually tried because you go to your same hangout every time you go out to eat. There’s no guarantee that you’ll stay in the same area post-college, so don’t miss the opportunity to get to know as much of your college town as possible.
A Place That Makes You Cheer: Even if sports aren’t usually your cup of tea, you definitely need to see at least one game during your career as a college student. The more into it you get, the more you’ll have fun, so go the whole nine yards with tailgating, wearing your team colors, and cheering at the top of your lungs. If you don’t go to a D1 school and want to experience the stadium atmosphere, check out the professional teams nearby. Some may offer student discounts or have cheap seats on less popular game days. Minor leagues are also a great, wallet-friendly alternative and are usually very interactive with the audience.
A Place That Makes You Think: When you’re on campus 24/7, it’s easy to get caught up in the collegiate bubble and forget about what else might be going on in the world or even in your community. At times, the stress of college can make it easy to forget how fortunate we are to be getting such a great education. Don’t take this for granted and go somewhere that makes you think—and that makes you grateful for what you have. Experiencing new cultures will challenge what you accept as normal and donating your time to those in need reminds you just how much you have to give.