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Abhishek Vashist's picture

PLAN TO GET SURPRISED

College is a mysterious place to be in. It’s my fourth year being here and there has not been a single week in which I have not found out something new that has been present in the University, or even around me, for long period of time. Whenever I come up to a conclusion that “Yes, now I know everything around me and I have the knowledge of the resources I need (or I find interesting) about the University”, someone tells me about a resource that I had never heard about before, making me feel dumb.

Don’t worry. I am not trying to state that you would never get to know the University in your time at the U, but my point is having a vision about your college experience beforehand (or in an early stage of college life) would help you fetch the most out of what is available at the campus. As humans, we are incapable of doing or experiencing everything present around us. But if we have our priorities figured out, we will spend most of our time making the most out of what is available in that interest area that we decide on. Students come to University with different interests in mind, different goals to accomplish. University of Minnesota is driven to provide all the help and access it can to make justice to your wishes. Having that clear vision gives you a head start so that you do not miss on the things which other students (or faculty) has prepared or witnessed in the same field in the University.

Talking about my experience, I love to interact with fellow students at campus. But as I figured this out after a good chunk of my college life had passed, I was never able to do what all I could have possibly done to maximize my interaction with people from different backgrounds, given the length of my stay at the University (4 years). Foe example, I came to know about Student Ambassador program in my 2nd year of college, which is one of the best ways to interact with students if you take my advice. But had I known about my desire to meet new people on campus earlier, I would have worked on this much earlier than I did. In my 1st year of college, I was just overwhelmed by the vastness of the campus and all it had to offer (and it is not a bad thing). But sooner you realize your goals and interests, the faster you get aligned to the respective resources.

I am not here making any judgements about any student’s experience being good or bad, in my experience every student has their own story of life written in the time they are in college. But being aware of yourself right from the beginning (or as soon as you can) will help you create contents of that story that resonate with your taste and make your story more “YOURS”.