College is a rite of passage for those able to attend. It’s an in-between transition from adolescence to adulthood, and it’s a time where you’ll learn about yourself and the world. Of course, getting a solid education is the crucial goal. But the college experience is an adventure in itself.

While you’re furthering your education and preparing for your career, there are many other things you can be working on, too. Your time in college can be used to build your character and work ethic and create a network for your future.

These five activities are must-haves to add to your schedule in order to make your college years worthwhile.

1. Network Outside of Class

Now is the time to learn how to juggle a busy work/personal life balance. This skill will take you far as an adult when your responsibilities include a full-time job and a family.

Look for ways to build relationships outside of your class. This could be something as simple as signing up for a sport or a club. A part-time job is often a good way to network, too.

As you’re talking to people, keep in mind that you never know who may benefit you in the future. Everyone, no matter what their job or current status is, is worthy of connecting with. When you’re kind to others, it will come back to you.

The network you’re building now could end up being extremely important to you later.

2. Prioritize Nutrition

In middle and high school, you probably had science, health, and fitness classes that “taught” you about nutrition. Most of us paid no attention then.

Today, over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The obesity epidemic is skyrocketing, bringing with it massive cases of diabetes and heart conditions.

You may have had someone cooking for you and guiding your meals at home. Now that you’re on your own, it’s easy to lose track of the reasons why your body needs food.

The healthier you can eat, the more efficiently your brain works. You’ll also have a more restful sleep and feel better overall.

Your college eating habits will follow you after you graduate. Prioritize nutrition, and those good choices will have long-lasting consequences!

3. Learn Time Management

In addition to networking, keeping an active social life along with your courses teaches you to manage your time. As you attempt to turn in your homework and projects on time, study for tests, and make it to all the events you’ve booked, you’re learning to use your time wisely. You begin to understand the effects of procrastination and cramming and what works for you and what doesn’t.

College is the perfect time to master a time management method like the Pomodoro Technique or the Eisenhower Matrix. These skills can become ingrained in your mind and used throughout your many responsibilities.

4. Organize Your Living Space

You might feel cramped in your dorm room or frustrated sharing an apartment with your peers, but this is the best time to get organized. Check out this article from capital Quarry Trail for some tips.

You only have to clean up after yourself. There’s no reason to leave your clothes all over the place and clutter in your room. The sooner you start getting used to keeping things tidy, the quicker it will become a habit.

That habit will help you start out in your own place with an organized footing. You’ll take that same need to stay neat and clean into your work life, too!

5. Get Comfortable With Budgeting

Living on a budget when you’re forced to can be stressful. But it’s an excellent way to train yourself about finances and avoid getting into debt.

Budgeting the right way isn’t just about curbing spending. It’s about knowing what money is coming in and then allocating it strategically. By getting comfortable living within your means, you can prevent common mistakes like too much credit card debt or unnecessary loans.

Saving money when you’re on a tight budget might seem impossible. But if you can scrape even a couple of dollars a week into a savings account, you’ll be amazed at how much you have when you graduate.

Saving will then become a habit you’re used to, and you’ll be able to start putting more away with your paycheck when you start your career.


College is a time where you can learn so much more than what your instructors teach you. The curriculum is important, of course. But using that time to build yourself and your life skills will make your college years so much more worthwhile!