1. Living in a dorm your freshman year.
Whether dorms are amazing at your school or not, living in a dorm is a classic college experience. After talking to many commuter students, or those who chose to live off campus, most of them said that not living in a dorm was their biggest regret. Getting to meet new people and going to all the events in dorms is something you’ll miss if you do not live there.
2. Going abroad.
College is one of the few opportunities you will have for going abroad without having to take time off work and other adult responsibilities. You can study and get college credits while exploring new countries, and even if you can’t commit to a whole semester, many schools offer 2 week, Spring Break, May semester and summer exchange programs.
3. Going to the gym.
Colleges usually offer free or just really cheap gym membership options, so why not take advantage of it? The regret will be there when you start noticing the Freshman 15.
4. Going to free events.
This is a good way to go out and meet people, plus they usually have free food and/or free swag. You might think it’s cheesy, but it’s a lot better than sitting in the dorms waiting for people to come to you. Nobody remembers that time they stayed in and watched Netflix, but everyone remembers that time they went to the tailgate or the Hex Rally.
Your undergrad years are probably going to be the last real time you can party without people judging you. After that, parties can turn into casual drinks after work, even if you go to grad school, parties will not be the same. Harsh reality, but it happens. You have 4 years to party as much as you can, without damaging your grades, and then the real world kicks in. Almost nobody likes to be that 25 year old in a 21 year old bar, and you definitely don’t want to drink with those old guys in a dusty bar either.
6. Joining a fraternity or sorority.
This is not all about partying, you can gain a family. Greek life boasts a higher GPA than that of GDIs. Philanthropy and alumni benefits are another reason to join. Greek life makes the 4 years of school and work stress bearable, and the idea of having a family to help you through anything is something you might regret not experience.
7. Playing intramural or club sports.
You might not be a superstar D1 athlete, but that does not mean that you can’t get involved at the intramural level. If you like playing sports and don’t want to settle into the NARP (non-athletic regular person) lifestyle just yet, trying an intramural or club team might be for you. And if you really want, you can still technically boast the “college athlete” title.
8. Going to sport events.
It doesn’t matter if you go to a D1 or D3 school, winning or losing program, the atmosphere of going to a game is an experience that you don’t want to pass up. Student tickets are usually cheaper than regular admission tickets, or they may even be free, so why not go?
9. Gaining some work, intern or volunteer experience.
Some type of experience for your resume is important. Nothing can be worse than breaking into the real world and realizing that you didn’t hustle while in college, and you have nothing to show for it. Even experience as a club president or on a club committee is better than being completely experience-less.
10. Not taking part in “overrated” campus traditions.
Climbing to the top of a water tower, sledding down a famous hill, throwing party beads into a tree? How fun can that be, right? Everyone’s doing it, and you while it might seem ridiculous now, I promise you, 10 years from now, you’ll regret not participating in any of the campus traditions.
11. Taking a fun elective.
College is 4 years of hard work, and taking a fun elective will break up some of the monotony of a tough schedule. Most colleges offer random electives, like Tattoos in American Popular Culture at Pitzer College, How To Win A Beauty Pageant at Oberlin College, or the Game of Thrones course at the University of Virginia. Lots of universities offer a wine or beer tasting class, or physical education classes from Fencing to weightlifting. A class to look forward to will make college more bearable.