The College Resources You Should Use More Often

Colleges offer an abundance of resources to make students' lives happier and healthier. Your school's administrators want you to succeed—a successful graduate is the best advertising, after all!—so they've designed programs to help you make the most of your time on campus. Whether you're looking for assistance with a research project, advice on course selection, or a little extra motivation to work out, your college has just the resources you need. 

Library

Library (18th century) of Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
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 Though it may be tempting to study in your room (in bed, under the covers), try the library. Most libraries have a wide range of study spaces, from solo-occupant study carrels to lounge areas designs for group work to don't-you-dare-say-a-word quiet zones. Test them all out to see which environment works best for you, and once you've found a few favorite spots, make them part of your studying your studying routine

If you're working on a research project, the library is a one-stop shop for all the information you could possibly need. That information isn't limited to the number of books that can fit in the stacks. Your school's library has access to all sorts of digital resources you might not know about. And while you surely know your way around Google, librarians are research masters. If you aren't sure where to start, they'll be more than happy to help you narrow down your search and direct you to useful resources. Drop in at the beginning of the semester to find out what your library offers so you know exactly where to go when your professor assigns the next research paper. In the words of Arthur the animated aardvark: “Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.”

Academic Advising

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 Selecting courses, meeting graduation requirements, and declaring a major might seem daunting, but an academic advisor can simplify the process. During your freshman year, you may be assigned an advisor to help you make your first (and most important) academic decisions. In the years that follow, you'll likely have a departmental advisor whose job it is to make sure you take all the required courses for your major and graduate on time. Get to know these advisors by scheduling meetings with them throughout the semester, not just when your schedule needs approval. They have deep insight into courses, professors, and opportunities on campus and the better they know you, the more valuable the advice and support they'll be able to provide. 

Health Center

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You already know you can go to the health center when you feel sick, but did you know that most health centers also provide resources to improve students' well-beingTo help students destress, many schools offer wellness programs, including yoga, meditation, and even visits from therapy dogs. The health center is there to support your mental health as well as your physical health. Counseling is available for all students. Remember that no problem is too big or too small—your counselor can provide support any time you feel overwhelmed. 

Career Center

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 Balancing college life with career planning is no easy task. Navigating the world of internships, cover letters, and networking sometimes feels like managing an extra class you forgot you signed up for. But you don't have to take on this challenge alone! Your school's career center exists to help you prepare your professional life.

As early as your freshman year, you can meet one-on-one with an advisor to discuss your interests and goals. Whether you have a definitive five-year plan or you're still wondering “What should I do with my life?”, schedule a meeting and take advantage of these advisors’ knowledge. They've guided countless students through this process, so they know what opportunities are out there and can help you figure out (and follow through on) the specific steps necessary to achieve your goals. 

Most career centers hold workshops where advisors spill their best tips on specific topics, from how to score a top internship to when to take the LSAT. They also conduct mock job interviews, edit resumes, and cover letters, and host networking events with successful alumni. These services are all free (with the price of tuition, that is) because your school wants to help you become a success story – so let them!

Tutoring and Writing Centers

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Let’s face it: no one coasts through college. At some point, everyone will struggle with a class. Whether you’re facing stubborn writer’s block or can’t seem to make sense of your latest problem set, your school’s tutoring and writing centers can make a difference. If you’re not sure where to go for tutoring, check the academic department’s website or ask a professor or advisor. Tutors will meet with you one-on-one to review challenging concepts and can even help you prepare for exams. At the writing center, skilled academic writers are available to help you through every stage of the writing process, from brainstorming and outlining to polishing your final draft. These resources are often flooded with stressed students at the end of every semester, so get ahead of the game by making your first appointment early in the year.

Fitness Center

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 Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress and unwind, and college fitness centers provide many different ways to work out beyond the typical strength and cardio machines. There are group fitness classes to suit everyone’s taste, from Zumba and cycling to strength training and ballet. At the beginning of each semester, check the class listing and find out which classes fit into your weekly schedule. Then, try as many classes as you want until you find the one that makes you excited to get moving. Since colleges understand students’ demanding schedules, campus fitness centers usually offer early morning and late night hours, so you can always find time to squeeze in a workout