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Three Things You Must Do Before You Graduate

Mount Holyoke has a tradition of serving milk and cookies, or

Mount Holyoke has a tradition of serving milk and cookies, or "M&C's," each evening in the dorms. (Image credit to


There are a lot of things to do in college.  There are the ubiquitous parties.  There are picnics, sports games, clubs, and live music events.  While the variety is great and it is extremely exiting to be part of such a vibrant community, choosing which events to attend in college can sometimes be daunting.  Demands on your time come from all sides: you have to attend classes, write papers, study for exams, and keep up with your readings. Somewhere in there you have to squeeze in three meals a day and a moderate amount of exercise, too.  Don’t make the mistake of trying to do everything; you will only overwhelm yourself.  It really is okay if you don’t go to every event.  Still, there are some events that you should experience at least once before you graduate.

Go to a lecture.  No, not one of the lectures on your syllabus (you should be attending those anyway)!  Attend a talk given by a speaker that your school has invited to campus.  It doesn’t have to be on topic that you specialize in.  You can attend a talk about a subject that you know absolutely nothing about!  All that matters is that the topic interests you.  Colleges often recruit very influential and sometimes rather famous speakers.  Take the opportunity to hear an expert speak about their field!  Did I mention these events are almost always free?

Take part in a tradition that’s unique to your school.  Most colleges have special traditions that have a unique and special meaning.  Schools that have been around for longer than a handful of decades may even have multiple traditions.  You don’t have to participate in every single one, or participate in the event every single year.  But do take part in one at least once.  It’s a way of affirming your identity as part of the community and an opportunity to participate in your college’s rich history.  It’s also likely to be a lot of fun!

Attend an event that showcases live, local music.  Nearly every college will sponsor at least one musical event a year.  Take the opportunity to see live, local talent performing.  Often, the featured performers are your peers, and it’s fun to cheer them on.  Regardless, experiencing live music is very rewarding and fun.  Colleges don’t usually charge outrageous ticket prices, especially if the performers are lesser-known, local treasures.  Attending a music event is a fun activity to do with friends or by yourself, and who knows?  Maybe one of the acts will get famous someday, and you can say you saw them live before they hit it big!


These are just some of the events that I think are important elements of the college experience.  But there really is no correct way to experience college.  In fact, learning to prioritize and make decisions about what matters most to you is one of the most important and useful lessons you can learn in college.  You control your college experience.  By tailoring it to your personality, priorities, and needs, you can enjoy being a student without feeling overwhelmed or worrying that you’re missing out.

College: Mt. Holyoke College
Major: English and Art History Double Major
Graduation Date: May 2013
Lauren recently graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in English and Art History. She is passionate about writing, reading, and good food. If you would like to contact her, please do not hesitate to send an email to, or call 401-419-4892.
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