Am I a super boring person if I ask the question above? Of course, you can also sleep in your room, check out the food in new canteens and chill with your friends in a coffee shop. But they all sound too normal and too daily-life. Then is your life really reduced to study and/or participating in club activities? Not at all. There are many dimensions that you can add to your life in university. Digital Senior can think of 5 more kinds of things that you can do. Let’s see if you’d agree and want to try them out!
Attend workshops: Enjoy the exchange of thought
One major perk of being a university student is the free workshops on campus. There are usually a wide range of sharing sessions by speakers from various fields. There may be a scientist talking about his most recent discovery, an economist discussing the ASEAN economy or a personal care professional sharing tips on how to remove pimples and take good care of your skin.
You can always find at least a few workshops that appeal to you. But how to go about finding them?
The most effective way is to subscribe to the emailers of various workshop-providers’. Your own school may offer talks related to academics. Some student clubs also invite speakers to campus and you’d make sure you become the club member (often by paying an annual fee) and stay in tune with their events.
The less-tried method is also to get into the mailing lists of the various institutes on campus that you like. They normally have talks or workshops related to what they are doing. Such opportunities may not be advertised widely, as they only serve a much smaller audience, such as the research fellows or graduate students. But if you share their interest, do get in touch.
Overseas trips: Learning in the field
Secondly, you can go for trips. The trips may be organized by your schools or by certain clubs. Such trips can happen during the semester, either over the weekend or during the recess week.
The various schools or clubs may organize trips based on a topic, such as a study trip. If you major in the area, it is a great opportunity to gain practical experiences, such as study the indigenous cultures in Australia or observing the political changes in the Middle East. If you don’t major in the area, you can also join them just for exposure.
Networking: Make your net work for you
Other than having fun by going for overseas trips, thinking about your career is as important. But preparing for your career is not just about getting a high GPA and a good résumé. It’s also about understanding different industries, knowing your interests and building your connection. University just offers you the perfect place to achieve the three things via networking.
Very often your career office will organize networking events, either by inviting companies down or inviting the alumni back for sharing. Make sure you go for such events often. By talking to insiders of an industry, you will have much better appreciation of your career choices.
If you already know clearly what you want, you can be more focused in your approach to networking. If you are interested in working in the finance industry, for example, keep an eye on networking events related to finance. Dress up, bring your name card, go to the place and introduce yourself. If you want to start your own business, be where your potential partners, suppliers or customers are. Talking to strangers can be fun if you have a reason to talk to them.
Entrepreneurship: Starting a small business
Just now we talked about starting your own business. In fact, the university provides an excellent, relatively low risk environment for you to gain some entrepreneurship experience. Your university may periodically organize many bazaars or fairs, where sellers set up push carts in a select area and promote their products.
You can be one of them! Though it doesn’t look like a big business, you would have a good taste of how to negotiate price form suppliers, how to make the sales pitch and so on. And normally the rental is free or subsidized. See, you are paid to start your business. Isn’t it a great idea?
Be employed: Finding a part-time job
The opposite of being an employer for your own business is to be employed by others. That sounds not bad if you can find good part-time job opportunities on campus while earning some pocket money. Usually the libraries and administration offices have constant demand for part timers. And the pay is market rate, fixed and standard.
But there could be more interesting and better paying opportunities. Some professors would recruit short term research assistants or participants for some experiments for data collection. As they are professors, the pay is at their discretion and usually slightly higher than you may get elsewhere. And you get to do something not many people get to do. Isn’t that double rewards?
Other than your professors, many institutes may also be hiring on a short term basis. Your university administration may also be recruiting student ambassadors or tour guides for certain events. Grab such opportunities where you can improve communication skills and earn some income.
So the above are the five things you can consider doing. Any more that you have tried before and would like to let us know? Do get in touch if you want to share. But at least, we have shown to you university life can’t possibly be uninteresting as long as you are always willing to try something new. Start with one of the 5 things tomorrow!