I know, I know—this seems like a good problem to have. Why would someone want their college classes to be harder? Not everyone understands or agrees, but lately, I’ve been feeling totally bored.
After heading to the CMA convention in Atlanta, I realized that a lot of other, bigger schools have a lot of awesome programs that my small, private college just doesn’t have—and that’s okay! I elected to forgo those things in return for super small classes and a tight-knit university community.
That said—I still feel like I should be being challenged in my college classes. Because I’m a little bit (okay…a lotta bit) ahead with transfer credits, many of the courses I’m taking are super redundant, and it feels like I’m doing the same thing over and over again. This makes me one bored-out-of-her-mind student who’s just looking to learn something!
Here are some things I did to make my advanced education happen:
1. Take assignments one step further.
Instead of just doing the bare minimum with your homework and projects, do your best to really create something you’re proud of. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use the work you did in a portfolio at some point, but if not, find another way to tie the assignment to your future career. Everything can be useful to you, you just have to be creative!
2. Join a club or organization, and devote yourself to it.
Particularly if you join a club that is directly related to your future career path, this can work wonders for you. I am Editor in Chief of our school newspaper, and I have learned so much about print and web design, editing, writing, management, and leadership—all skills that are necessary in my future career and that I am constantly improving. Even if your organization is a little unrelated to what you want to do in the future, it’s still a great idea to get involved and learn something new, and, hopefully, you’ll be challenged in the process!
3. Get a head start on prepping for graduate school.
If your after-college goals are to go back to school, it’s never to early to start researching graduate schools and Master’s programs. They may require a portfolio, writing sample, test score, or other component that can eat up a lot of your time preparing—so start to work on that when you get done with your easier assignments. Getting started now will ensure that you’ll be ready when it comes time to apply.
4. Get a job or internship.
One of the biggest issues with going to college is that while you have a lot of education, you often don’t have as much experience as someone who entered the workforce right out of high school. Combat this by starting an apprenticeship, internship, or paid job in your desired industry while in college to eat up the extra time you have with easy classes. The position will probably challenge you, as well! I want to work as a writer and book editor, so I write freelance and keep a blog when I’m not working on assignments. It’s a great way to build my portfolio and my work history, and I’m getting paid for it!
5. Work to make your classes more challenging.
If you really feel like you’re paying for a quality of education that you’re not getting, talk to someone about it. While working on a story for the school paper on this issue, I found out that the faculty at my university were trying to start an honors program for the more advanced students. All you have to do is make your voice heard for things like this to happen! Discuss the level of difficulty in your classes directly with the professor (saying something like “what can I do to make this class really count?”), with the dean of your school, or with an academic administrator. Odds are, they want to help!
Everyone says that college is so much harder than high school, but if you’re not seeing it, it’s time to make things a little more challenging for yourself!
What have you done to step it up in your college classes? Let me know in the comments!