We’ve come to the end of our Q&A series with Her Campus cofounder and college expert Stephanie Kaplan Lewis. (First, she talked about Greek life and sororities. Then it was college relationships.) Here we bounce around a few different student life issues, such as extracurriculars, time management, and campus safety. If you want to catch more of her advice for “collegiettes,” visit Her Campus.
Q: What are your top tips for getting involved on campus?
Stephanie Kaplan Lewis: Decide what areas are of interest to you, and check out a wide variety of clubs related to that area. Read about them online, go to their meetings, and attend their events. If you can’t find the club you are looking for, start it yourself!
Q: How might students choose between living on or off campus?
SKL: Most students live on campus freshman year. If you are attending a community college or a university close to home, however, it may make sense to live at home and commute to school. There are pros as well as cons to living at home in college. You’ll save money and be closer to your family, but you’ll have limited freedom and you might miss out on social opportunities. Weigh the options and decide what is right for you. Whatever you choose, make the most of it.
Q: Are there situations where students may be less safe than they realize? How should they deal with those situations?
SKL: There are definitely safety concerns when attending college parties. Be wary of accepting a drink at a party if you didn’t see it being prepared. Don’t put your drink down and then come back to it later. The only way to know what you’re drinking is if you watch where it comes from and never leave it unattended. Your best bet is to drink from a can of beer that you opened yourself.
Q: How should students balance and manage their busy schedules?
SKL: It is important to manage your time effectively. Avoid all-nighters and getting behind on work. Try out various methods of studying until you find one that is most effective for you. Plan your semester out ahead of time. That way, you’ll know what your workload looks like each week. And of course, don’t be afraid to make changes to your schedule if you are overwhelmed.
Q: What is networking like in college?
SKL: LinkedIn is a great networking tool for college students. It’s kind of like the Facebook of professional networking. Your profile is basically a résumé, and instead of “friends,” you have “connections.” Keep your profile complete, professional, and up-to-date, and use your account to connect with people who can help with your career success.