Collegiate Corner: Taking Advantage of Opportunities

By Shelby White

Education & Career, Featured

On Janurary 8th, 2013, the transfer student orientation for the University of Southern California took place. The administrators, advisors, deans, and other presenters spent the entire day explaining to us why students and parents made the right decision to attend their institution. USC is extremely expensive, but what they offer as a university is worth the money parents pay to send their children there. Listening to all of the presenters speak, it was obvious the programs and resources they offer students are beneficial to their academic success; to fully reach one’s potential taking advantage of them is a must. Taking advantage of opportunities opens up doors for students and the college experience would not be complete without it.

Socially, academically, and experientially, there are opportunities and resources to grab while attending college. An article on collegeparents.org entitled “Helping your college student “supersize” his college experience” declares that students struggle to find a balance in many areas of their life while attending school. While that is true, the opportunities provided on a college campus cater to students’ need to feel academically and socially strong. Academically, students come to college expecting a new level of schoolwork.  Most rise to the challenge of different types of classes and increased homework.  Many college campuses offer free tutoring, have world class libraries with tremendous resources, have professors willing to help and offer research opportunities, etc. In addition, the social environment on a college campus allows students to seek out people from all walks of life, engage in a variety of cultural experiences, take field trips, and join clubs and organizations. Most colleges provide study abroad prospects, internships, community service, and other leadership roles that give students an opportunity to expand their potential in their field of study.

Now attending USC, the only change for me, aside from the level of course work, is the wider range of opportunities on campus. From the very beginning, the opportunities given to me at El Camino College: Compton Center, I took advantage of which has made me a good student and got me to where I am today. Since my enrollment to USC, the same ideology and practice exists for me on this new campus, especially with the plethora of opportunities that are offered. My advisor sends me emails daily about research opportunities, classes, workshops, and summer study abroad program, which I am currently in the process of applying for. No matter where you are in you academic career, taking advantage of what’s offered will go a long way in making contacts, broadening your experiences, and just having fun.

As a whole, college provides students with countless new experiences and opportunities.   For many students, the college experience will be whatever they make of it.  Students who seek those “value added” opportunities, who push themselves beyond the minimum, will carry away richer, broader experiences when they graduate. You won’t be able to take back a minute you waste, so don’t waste a second. College is the time to grow as an individual and get to know who you are and who you want to become.

Shelby White is a student at the University of Southern California and an editorial intern for Black Is. 

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