College life is a very exciting experience, unlike anything else in life: many people for the first (and some for the last) time in their lives get an opportunity to live in a real interest-based community, take part in a wide array of different activities, meet a lot of new and fascinating people… But what should you do if for some reason you have to live off-campus? Forget about it and treat your time at college as simply a period of getting education?
By no means.
Even if you have to commute to your college, there are still plenty of opportunities to take part in college life – you just have to take a little effort.
Schedule and Transportation
First of all, you should work on your schedule. Work out the time it is best to get to the campus and leave it – traffic is different at different hours, so by tweaking your departure time even a little bit you can save a lot of time. Learn about alternative ways of travelling to the grounds, for example, local bus routes from your house you will be able to use in a pinch.
Keep Yourself Informed
In order to take part in college life you have to know what you want to take part in, right? It is true even for those who live on the grounds, but in your case it is especially important, for you cannot simply go out of your dorm and join this or that event – you have to know about everything in advance and plan accordingly.
Most colleges have a variation of Student Affairs Calendar – a calendar showing all the major events that take part throughout the academic year. Take time to study it and later find out about those which seem interesting – in addition to that, you are likely to find an online version of this calendar on the college website, as well as the information about events and extracurricular activities.
Learn the Opening Times
Students usually have free or discounted access to a lot of college assets, and there is a lot to do on campus even when there are no classes. So use it to your advantage: learn the working hours of libraries, gyms, swimming pools, and whatever else your college has to offer, and use them before or after classes. Gyms, for example, usually open up at about 6 AM, which means that you can have a work-out to energize yourself before classes.
Connect with Your Classmates
College is all about meeting new people, so go out and meet them! Get contact information from your classmates, communicate with them, make new friends. It is good both in itself and from a practical standpoint: thus you will be able to find out whatever you may need about your classes, events, interesting student organizations and so on straight from the horse’s mouth, without having to resort to student books, calendars and online sources.
All in all, participating in college life while living off-campus is all about your wish to participate – if you really want it, nothing is going to stop you.