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One of the best things about going to college is being on your own for the first time in your life. While this comes with a lot of responsibility, it will allow you to explore your own interests, whether they are related to your academic goals or not. Your personal life is as important as your professional life, so when choosing a school, consider your life outside of class.

Greek life

College brings with it a lot of different experiences, many that can help you grow as a person. Most traditional universities have fraternities and sororities that you can join to help you meet new people and learn about activities on campus. These types of Greek letter organizations will often help you get a job or get into graduate school after graduating as well. The relationships you create while being in one of these organizations can usually last long into your adult life.

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Club sports and other activities

While a lot of colleges have intercollegiate sports, they will also typically offer club sports, like soccer, football, Frisbee golf, baseball, and softball. If you aren’t into sports, then colleges also have events and activities like math, chess, and philosophy club, choir and band, religious clubs, school newspaper and radio station, recreational activities like mountain climbing, fishing, and paintball, and even activism clubs to get involved in politics, saving the environment, or student outreach. There are so many things that you can do at college that you should seriously consider joining something that interests you. It is a great way to meet like-minded people.

Where are you going to live?

Another consideration at college is where you will be staying. Are you planning on staying in the dorms or off campus? For most incoming freshman you will be staying in the dorms, which means that you should be prepared to share a room with one or more other students. And if you are planning to stay off campus and rent an apartment or house with other people, be sure that you are prepared for that as well. A lot of students can get overwhelmed or in over their heads renting a place on their own for the first time.

It isn’t all just about partying and exploring yourself in your newfound sense of independence. It is more so about learning about who you are and bettering yourself as a person by engaging in activities that interest you. Take the opportunity to join activities that will make you a happier and more active person at college. When you are deciding what school you want to go to, be sure to check with the campus’ Student Life office as well as asking other students about what they like to do on campus.