From writing term papers to borrowing student loans to managing stress levels, you’ve got a lot on your plate as a college student. Fortunately, you don’t have to navigate these choppy waters alone if you make the most of the free college resources & services on your campus.
Whether you head to the college career services center to practice interview skills or to the counseling center to care for your mental wellness, you can find a number of free resources that will make your college experience as happy, healthy and productive as it can be.
Read on to learn how to take advantage of these college services on campus:
- Academic advisors to chart a path to graduation
- Financial aid administrators to help you pay for college
- College career services for planning your future
- Health and wellness resources to keep you fit and happy
- Crisis centers for dealing with emergencies
- Public safety centers to keep you feeling safe
- Writing centers to help you with term papers
- Tutoring for surviving that tricky class
- IT services to patch up your laptop
- Library databases to access useful information
- International student services to help you adjust to the U.S.
When you start college as a freshman, your school may assign a professor to be your academic advisor. Your advisor can help you pick courses, fulfill prerequisites and explore potential majors.
Once you decide on a major, you could end up changing advisors to a professor in that department. The best advisors will help you set long-term goals and design a course of study that will allow you to reach them.
Get to know your advisor so you can benefit from their guidance and mentorship. They might even help you land a research position, develop a senior thesis or get a job after graduation by providing a strong recommendation letter.
Paying for college these days is no easy feat, especially given the high cost of tuition. Most students pay for their higher education with a combination of savings, grants, scholarships and student loans.
But navigating this process can be complicated, and it’s crucial to understand how your college doles out institutional aid. That’s why it’s a smart move to reach out to your financial aid office to discuss your options with administrators there.
They can help you understand your financial aid award, as well as advise you on how much to borrow in student loans, if anything. And if you run into dire straits, they might also be able to help you out with an emergency student loan.
One of the most useful services needed by college students is the career services office. Among other services, your career center can help you…
- Explore career paths and starting salaries
- Reflect on your professional goals and values
- Find internship opportunities during the school year or over the summer
- Learn about graduate school programs and prepare your application
- Design a professional resume that highlights your skills and experiences
- Prepare for job interviews and practice your interview skills
- Set up days to shadow a professional in your target field
- Find a mentor to guide you on your academic and professional journey
Ultimately, your college degree should be a stepping stone to a fulfilling career or graduate program. While you might not know what you want to do after graduation — or might change your mind several times along the way — your career services office can help you clarify your goals and hone the skills you need to land a job after graduation.
While you’re spending a lot of time writing papers and studying for exams, your health and wellness needs to be a priority, too. Fortunately, campuses often have a variety of college services to help you maintain your physical, mental and emotional health.
College health service centers, for instance, provide medical care, including immunizations, medications and women’s health services. Health service centers or separate counseling centers also provide individual and group counseling to students.
You’ll also likely have access to a gym and recreational activities, so you can exercise to keep those stress levels down.
While health services can help you deal with a sickness or injury, your college also probably has a crisis center for serious emergencies. If you’re dealing with depression or suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out your school’s crisis center. This vital college service can also support students who are dealing with drug addiction or have been victims of sexual assault.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable walking across campus alone in the dark, reach out to your public safety office. Public safety centers or similar college services can provide a shuttle or escort to accompany you home and make sure you feel safe.
Even if you’re a math or science major, you’ll likely have to write some (long) papers during your time in college. For assistance with the research and writing process, head to your college’s writing center. You can work with a tutor who will help you sharpen your writing skills and produce strong work.
Along with writing tutors, you can probably find free tutoring services for other subjects. So if you’re struggling to make it through calculus or biology, take advantage of the academic services on campus and find a tutor who can help support you as you make your way through the course.
Is your laptop suddenly freezing or refusing to turn on? If you’re having computer issues, head to your college’s IT services department. It should be able to tell you what’s wrong with your electronic device and, if possible, fix it up like new.
Your college library isn’t just a quiet place to study and get work done. It also might provide access to databases so you can find the information you need to write term papers or produce a stand-out thesis. If you’re not sure how to navigate these resources, reach out to a librarian for assistance.
Finally, international students can take advantage of the international student services office, if your school has one. Not only can this office help you through the visa process, but it will also provide services for your academic and personal well-being, like English-language learning support or filing taxes. Many offices also hold events and workshops so you can meet other international students or find a mentor.
Take advantage of these useful college resources
While college is an enriching and exciting time, it can also be incredibly challenging. Fortunately, your tuition and fees don’t just go toward classes — they also open the door to free academic, health and wellness, financial and other resources.
Whether you want to speak with someone about planning your career or preparing to pay back student loans, take advantage of these college services. You can truly make the most of your school years by pursuing the support you need.