Most colleges provide student, mental health, academic, and career services as well as fun and unique opportunities in relation to your college’s location and school specialties. These campus resources are often offered for free (or rather, as part of your tuition) to help keep you safe, healthy, successful, and enjoying your college experience. Stay informed and make the most of these on-campus offerings before you graduate with the following tips!
1. Read the fine print
When it comes to taking advantage of health services such as free or reduced counseling, physical checkups, and STI testing, I would highly recommend reading the fine print. What your college offers may be limited depending on a variety of circumstances, or it may be unlimited but not advertised as such. Read student handbooks and scour your school’s health-related website pages to know what you’re getting into when you sign up for these services. One common point of confusion is payment. Sometimes your school will pull from your bursar’s account, or they’ll ask for an advanced payment directly from you. It can also be far more nuanced and may take a conversation with a representative to complete your application accurately.
2. Sign up for mailing lists
It’s not uncommon for colleges to host pop-up events, but it’s a well-known fact that news regarding school-run events doesn’t always travel well. Reaching out to officials in student service departments and asking to get on mailing lists could help you score a last-minute ticket to a lecture or handout event you otherwise never would’ve known about. This doesn’t just help with campus services though. If there are any organizations you’re interested in that provide services you’d like access to, reach out to their leadership team and ask to be notified when there are events or other offerings. The campus health or student services buildings might also have a bulletin board of flyers of some sort, so keep this in mind as well.
Related: Make the Most of Campus Services During the Pandemic
3. Keep up with student publications
If your school has a paper or newsletter, they’re likely advertising on-campus service offerings. At the very least, skim through these publications every other week to learn about upcoming events and opportunities. Flyers posted on bulletin boards (digital or otherwise) will also likely have information for you, so check these as well! Ensuring that you receive a copy of each edition may require a subscription of some sort, but these are usually free to you as a student, so it’s just a matter of finding out how to get on the list. Reaching out to the newspaper team or digging around on their website, if they have one, will probably do the trick.
4. Talk to people on campus
Putting everything else aside, the best way to find out about new events and opportunities is to just talk to people—faculty, staff, and students. Most everyone you’ll bump into is involved with school activities in one way or another, and every person in a student service–related office is literally there to help students, so talking to people will surely help you stay in the know. If building relationships isn’t something you’re totally comfortable with, then connecting with people to seek out these opportunities could be what you need to come out of your shell. Campus-wide social events will likely take place on a regular basis by organizations such as the Residential Housing Association or by individual clubs. Try reaching out to your RA to find out about these events and services; they’re well versed in the provisions of the school and will have plenty of information on just about anything campus related.
Related: Where and How to Find Free Events in College
Getting in contact with the people in charge of events and services on campus, as well as the advertising of them, is the best way to stay in the know and ensure that you’re being notified about interesting and important opportunities at your school. Start by doing your own research, but always look to those who know best when going about your campus life. And reach out as soon as you can so you don’t miss out on exciting events or anything crucial to your academic, professional, or personal needs!
Learn more about health-related services with our College Health and Safety articles as well as campus opportunities with our Student Activities articles, both within our Student Life section.