As my fourth year here at Michigan State University is wrapping up, I don’t claim to know everything, but I sure have learned a whole lot. As a parting tribute, I want to share my advice to underclassmen looking to make the most of their college experience.
Although I wrote these in no particular order, if you asked me for one thing to do with your time at Michigan State, I would say study abroad. We are lucky to be at a school with a top-notch Study Abroad program. The Study Abroad office is extremely helpful and they lay out everything necessary for you to do to make it happen. If you’re worried about money, there are plenty of scholarships available. I was lucky enough to receive two scholarships that helped tremendously.
I’m not claiming that studying abroad is cheap, however, you can make it cheaper by going on a shorter length summer program. It is also important to be aware that some countries are cheaper to study abroad in than others. I was deciding between Greece and Australia (although I didn’t really have a choice when I talked to my 100% Greek mother about it) and Greece was significantly cheaper than Australia. I’d suggest picking a few places you would be interested in studying abroad and then comparing prices and other cost of living factors.
Intern, Intern, and Intern Again
One of the best things I did as an undergraduate student was get an internship the summer before my sophomore year. It set me up for a plethora of other opportunities. I made so many important connections with my internships. I was able to intern with HOMTV (Reporting, Production, Social Media & Promotion people – check it out), where I learned more than I can even begin to explain from Communications Director, Deborah Guthrie and Internship Coordinator, Brandie Yates. My internship experiences have led to further opportunities and left me with a killer resume.
Campus is huge. You dread walking across it in the winter and get sweaty on your mile walk to class in the spring. But our campus is worth exploring! The botanical gardens are a great place to hang out on a nice, sunny day, while the MSU Museum is free to students and is exciting to see. Last but not least, the MSU Dairy Store is always a delicious place to take a study break.
Go Watch a Sport Other Than Football or Basketball
It’s pretty obvious that football and basketball have a special place in any Spartan’s heart. However, Michigan State has plenty of other Division I sports that are worth checking out. Spring is the season for baseball and softball. Spend some time at the field with your friends cheering on your Spartans.
Build Relationships With Your Professors
Thinking about applying to a graduate school? Want to have someone to go to for a job recommendation? Or, do you simply want a mentor to help you out when you need career advice? Professors are your go-to. Build relationships with your professors simply by staying after class or stopping by office hours. You don’t have to talk about the class itself. Instead, ask your professor how they got where they are now and if there is anything they recommend you do. A relationship with a professor can be a very important connection to have when building your skill set and resume.
For Goodness Sake, Meet With Your Advisor
Don’t put off seeing an advisor, even if you think you are on the “right track.” It is so much better to be sure that you are on your way to graduate on time. Advisors can also provide career advice, class recommendations, and lots of information if you’re thinking about studying abroad or other academic opportunities.
No matter what you do, do your best to make the most of your time at Michigan State. The opportunities are endless!