Many students let their time in college pass them by – just looking toward the end goal without enjoying the journey there. The college years offer so many unique opportunities to try new things, meet new people and develop unique perspectives. We at the Lanthorn want to encourage students to actively look for these opportunities, or create their own, and get involved in them.

An important reason to expand your horizons in college is to establish a pattern for yourself after graduation. This is shown in Keith Eichholz’s article “Alumni accepts Peace Corps invitation.” Adam Polnik, a Grand Valley State University alumnus, will be going to Timor-Leste in Asia for 27 months. He said that his time at GVSU greatly affected his decision to do so because of his involvement in Make A Difference Day, study abroad and other experiences he had while attending the university.

This shows that what you do, or don’t do, in college can really affect what you choose to do after college.

While staying in your comfort zone can be enjoyable at the time, students may look back later and realize that they missed out on doing something at the university because they were afraid or indifferent to the opportunities around them.

Polnik explored his interests while he was in college, and now he will be making an impact in people’s lives overseas being in the Peace Corps. There are around 25,000 students at GVSU – imagine the impact we could make if more students decided to step out of their normal routines and tried something new.

Being at a university will, for most people, be the time when young adults are offered the most resources for helping them succeed in the future and accomplish what they want to. Students, you are paying for these resources anyway – GVSU faculty and staff are here to help you – so why not take advantage of it?

Why not go to the study abroad office and see where you could travel? Why not go to the financial aid office and find out how you can be fiscally responsible in your future? Why not go to the career center and ask what you can do to get your dream job?

College is what you make of it. If you hide out in your dorm or apartment all day and just come out to go to class, you won’t enjoy your college years as much as the person who is trying out different clubs, volunteering, studying abroad and taking part in various other opportunities. Though students might not enjoy everything they try, it can still provide a learning experience, can help you stand out when applying for jobs and can impact your perspectives throughout your life. GVSU is just a place to start.