For many, going to college offers up the first true taste of independence.
But trying to be completely independent in everything from meal prep to studying to homework can be a challenge, not to mention stressful. Thankfully, there are tons of resources for college students available to help you out along the way.
Whether you’re currently in college or thinking about enrolling, you need to know what campus resources are at your disposal. Here are some of the most crucial college resources to help you succeed.
1. Health Services (Dentist, Doctor)
Most colleges have a doctor’s and dentist’s office right on campus. What’s more, they’ll include some basic health insurance in the price of your tuition. If you’ve got it, you might as well use it!
Medical services can be expensive, so if you can get a check-up, a necessary prescription, or some dental work for “free” you definitely should. Many students don’t take advantage of these services, which is basically just like throwing extra money at the college.
2. The Writing Center
Writing is a major part of every college experience. You’ll be writing countless essays, papers, critiques — you name it. If writing isn’t your strong point, the writing center is there to help.
At the writing center, a staff member will sit with you and help you with any struggles you might have. They can teach you how to research, how to format, how to cite sources — any skill you’ll need to write a successful paper. They’ll even proofread or give you feedback on finished papers if you just need an extra set of eyes.
3. The Used Bookstore
Every college has a campus bookstore, but if your college has a used bookstore, well, you’d be best to use it.
Textbooks are one of the most expensive aspects of the college experience. The high prices of new textbooks turn many students away. They’ll neglect to buy important textbooks simply because they can’t afford it.
Sure, you might get a book with some writing in the margins, or some damaged pages, but it’s better than paying full price for something you’ll only use for a semester. Plus, you can also sell your old textbooks back to the used bookstore and get a portion of your money back! Now that’s thrifty student life.
That, or you can buy or rent your textbooks online. But if you need a book right away, the campus’ used bookstore is the way to go.
4. Private Study Spaces
One of the most crucially important and appreciated resources colleges offer is private study spaces. If you’re a chronic procrastinator, this will change your life.
Working from the comfort of home is great and all, but it can be distracting. Many colleges offer both single-person and group private study spaces. This gives you the opportunity to work in peace and quiet in an environment that fosters concentration.
While many of these rooms need booking ahead of time, there are usually private study/work booths in the campus libraries, too. These are perfect if you need to do some work between classes, or find you can work better in a library setting.
5. Career Services
So, you’re nearing the end of your college experience… now what?
A lot of students are left in the dark after they graduate. They have a brand new skill set but aren’t sure how or where to apply it. Career services are there to set you on the right path.
Career services will help prepare you for interviews, write a resume and cover letter, and help you search the job market. They can help set you up with everything from internships to volunteer and paid work. Utilizing career services can take a load of stress off any student’s shoulders, and clear up what might be an uncertain future.
6. The Gym
It can be hard to balance good health and exercise with all the work college piles on you. The gym can help with that.
Most colleges will give you free access to the campus gym when you enroll. If not, they’ll offer you a steep discount that’s almost too good to be true. Either way, you should take full advantage of this incredible perk.
The campus gym offers you all the equipment you’ll need to stay fit while studying. They offer personal trainers if you need help, and things like pools and basketball courts if you want to do something more leisurely. Exercise has some great benefits for your mental health as well as your physical health, so going to the gym may even help you study better!
7. Office Hours
At the end of most lectures or classes, you’ll likely hear your professor say something about office hours. It turns out, these can be pretty helpful.
During office hours, you’ll have an opportunity to sit one-on-one with your professor. You can ask them to clarify things from class, to review your work, or just have a heated debate about class topics. This can be a great way to invest yourself in a class and make the information stick.
Plus, it never hurts to get on your professor’s good side.
8. Disability Services
If you have a disability of any kind, disability services should be one of your first stops.
Disability services will help set you up to succeed. Depending on your disability, they can provide you with a dictation computer, a note-taker, and get you a little more time on tests. Disability services can make your college experience a lot less stressful, and mean the difference between success and failure.
Don’t be ashamed to seek the help of disability services. Everyone is different and needs different resources to succeed.
College Resources: Might as Well Use Them
You’re only in college for a short amount of time, so you might as well use the college resources available. By taking advantage of the campus resources above, you’ll find your whole college experience a lot more easy and fun. You’ll notice the difference when you look at that glowing report card at the end of first year.
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