There are so many valuable resources on every college campus, and often, they’re not well-publicized. Here’s a few that I found at my college along that way that helped me a lot.
I have three siblings, and between the four of us, we’ve attended five different colleges. Many of these resources were available at all of them. No matter the size of your campus, it’s worth Googling or asking around to see if you have anything similar that you could use.
I didn’t start using the gym until third year—but I was paying for it the whole time! Our campus gym was included in our tuition. My sisters’ school does not include gym passes in tuition, but you can get them for much cheaper than any regular gym—compared to some gyms in the area, my sister saved about 75%! If you have an on-campus gym, make sure you’re taking advantage of it!
Staying healthy in college is a must. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hours and hours at the gym every day, but make an effort to keep active. Many on-campus gyms offer classes from kickboxing to lifting to yoga to spin, as well as tons of equipment and dedicated areas for almost any activity.
Mental health resources
Like physical health, mental health is so important. Please take care of yourself. There are tons of not-well-known resources on campus: my college had counselling with licensed doctors, peer-to-peer counselling, roundtables and safe spaces, as well as a 24/7 crisis line. There were also plenty of awareness and de-stressing events, including a full week dedicated to mental health awareness, free midnight breakfasts at exam-time, and daily therapy dog sessions. Please take advantage of these resources as much as possible!
Health insurance plan
On the theme of health in all its forms, if your college offers a health plan, ensure that you read through the details to see what’s covered and use it. This can help with everything from regular checkups to reproductive health to mental health counselling to massages.
New grad job openings don’t always offer health insurance. Your university might have been able to negotiate a better deal than you can find on your own. This might be the cheapest/best insurance you’ll have for a while, so make sure you take advantage of what’s covered.
Development lectures and workshops
My university had a Student Development centre, which offered weekly lectures on topics ranging from time management to budgeting to self-care. They were free and offered valuable learning points that helped me in multiple areas of my life. Do some research to see if your university offers any lectures or workshops that may be valuable to you.
I can’t stress this enough. There are plenty of free/cheap resources for academic help, including your professors’ office hours, tutoring from TAs or peer tutors, and pre-exam course reviews put on by faculty councils. Actively seek out and participate in these events (before you need them!)
Don’t just apply for scholarships. Go into the financial aid office and talk to someone about your options.
Your financial aid office can give you tips and tricks to help navigate the millions upon millions of dollars available in financial assistance in various forms. They know this system and want to help.
I didn’t think I was eligible for more financial assistance, but when I went into the office, the counsellor encouraged me to fill out a 20-minute application for an additional air program. The program was highly confusing on the website, but the counsellor walked me through it. I got an additional $4,500 from that 30-minute appointment.
Take advantage of lectures, workshops, and advisors here. They can help with deciding on a career path, looking for jobs, resume writing, preparing for interviews, negotiating a job offer, and more!
Colleges are breeding grounds for art and fun events. Lectures, conferences, theatre and film, galleries, poetry, and more are waiting for you every single day. It’s often hard to keep track of all of these, especially at a large college, so look to see if there is a good events calendar or Facebook group where you can keep track of upcoming events that might interest you.
What campus resources have helped you the most? What resources do you wish your college offered? Join the discussion in the comments below!