When you’re a college student, some experiences will be a given. Eating in the dining hall and screaming from the stands at a big game are standard rites of passage. Ditto for the dorm party and the all-night study session. But did you know you could be missing out on fantastic events, opportunities, and services because you just didn’t know they were available? We can’t let that happen. So, we invite you to explore campus resources students like you should start using right away to make the most of your once-in-a-lifetime college experience.
Although none of these underutilized campus resources would fall into the category of essential, they’re the kind of perks that will provide tangible benefits to your education, either because they ease your stress, improve your quality of campus life, enhance your health, pump up your GPA, or make you smarter (yes, smarter). Ready to become master of the underappreciated good stuff on your campus?
For Your GPA
Extra Academic Support
This is one of those campus perks you might not seek out until you find yourself in a deep academic hole. Our advice: Don’t wait until your grade takes a dive before you take advantage of academic support. It’s usually free and it’s proven to help your grades.
- Writing Center: Make an appointment and get help to solve your grammar and structure issues. Don’t expect a rewrite (you have to do the work), but consultants, such as the editors at USF’s Writing Studio, can help you polish your draft in 45 minutes or less.
- Tutoring: You will find at least one subject a little tricky (or a lot tricky), so take full advantage of campus tutoring services. USF’s Academic Success Center can help you with a specific subject or simply your time management skills. Consider a peer tutoring program, too, which studies show can be highly effective.
- Librarians: Often the most underrated educators on campus, college librarians are an amazing resource for the million grade-saving tools, indexes, references, and publications not available on the internet (and some that are, but you won’t have access without a librarian’s assistance).
For Your Convenience
Handy Printing Services
You’re a digital native, so your “papers” have always been submitted electronically, but in college, some projects require a hard copy. Not to worry. Most colleges have printers located around campus, offering free or super cheap printing for even big documents like blueprints and posters, as well as a professional print shop where you can produce bound reports and signs — an on-campus miracle when you’re racing a deadline. At USF, your options include 3-D printing.
For Your Well-Being
Cheap Gear Rentals
No outdoorsy college student ever marveled at the storage space the dorm provides for their camping gear. That’s why colleges like USF offer inexpensive equipment rentals, everything from bikes to tents to kayaks. Another reason to get out there: It just might make you smarter.
College is the time to explore your world, so many schools offer adventuring programs. These short-term, low-cost trips are usually a quick bus ride from campus, but sometimes the destination is a faraway cave or ski town. It’s a healthy way to blow off steam and make fun-loving friends. USF’s recent adventure trips took students whitewater rafting in Georgia, urban roaming in Miami, and bioluminescent kayaking around Merritt Island.
For Your Spirit
Diverse Religious Services
Adventure trips provide one kind of exploration, religious experiences another. College presents many opportunities to discover new faith traditions, as well as learn more about your own. USF is host to several ministries and all three of its campuses are located in culturally rich metropolitan areas where students can explore many viewpoints, rituals, and expressions of faith.
Life-Changing Service Learning
Call it co-curricular learning, experiential education, or volunteering, the benefits of doing good begin with the warm fuzzies of making a difference, but they often end up providing résumé highlights and a deeper sense of purpose. If you’re ready to engage yourself intellectually, physically, and soulfully, check out USF’s service learning toolkit.
For Your Amusement
Almost Endless Campus Events
At no other time in your life will you have the chance to participate in or appreciate such a wide array of concerts, poetry readings, ballets, art shows, and comedy sketches right outside your door. Check the old-school bulletin boards on campus for colorful flyers announcing upcoming events or keep tabs on campus performances, lectures, races, tournaments, and street parties on your school’s online activities calendar.
For Your Academic Future
High-Impact Undergraduate Research
Too few undergraduate students pursue the opportunity to do important academic research with their professors. Here’s why you should: Undergraduate research will make you a better student, expand your understanding of the subject, and potentially help you get into graduate school. USF’s P.U.R.E. program (Preeminent Undergraduate Research Experience) provides a forum for undergraduates to complete research and share their results through presentation and publication.
Graduate School Test Prep
If you plan to take the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, or LSAT exam in the future, what better way to prepare than taking a test-prep course on your own campus? It’s local, familiar, and often less expensive for students than commercial programs (USF offers a 10 percent discount to students and alumni for its test-prep programs).
In addition to these student “extras,” USF offers other outstanding campus resources for career planning, academic advising, and aid for students with disabilities, to name just a few. If you want to know more about USF’s campus resources, the Office of Admissions is ready to answer your questions. Contact us online, or reach us by phone at 813-974-3350.
About Leigh Perkins
Freelance marketing writer Leigh Brown Perkins firmly believes that building new skills and chasing new ideas should be a lifelong quest for all of us.