Real-World Readiness

“Where have these last four years gone?” is a question many seniors may ask themselves as graduation day nears and their four years as an undergraduate student come to a close. Now that it’s time to enter the “real world,” it becomes apparent that college was just a routine: struggling through class during the day, partying at night, finding time in between to get work done and repeating the equation.

This might have turned into a four-year long habit that has no benefit after college. Here are some tips to help make the most of your academic career.

Don’t Procrastinate

One of the most important things that a successful student can learn in college is to balance their priorities between schoolwork and social activities. Procrastination can become a nasty habit that leads to hours of regrettable late-night studying. All of this could have been avoided with a proper study schedule that budgets your time. The most effective way to do this is by purchasing an agenda pad or planner.

“Don’t slack,” sophomore Rachel Guzzo said. “It may seem annoying but have everything done before it’s due to be able to take your time and do your best to make things less stressful.”

Connect with Professors

Another key to success both in and out of the classroom is connecting with professors in a more down-to-earth setting to make sure they get to know you personally. It might seem uncomfortable, but many professors love reaching out to their students and can ultimately be a great resource for networking, potential internships and career opportunities in the future.

Not only is it a good idea to build bridges instead of walls when connecting with your professors, but also asking for help and utilizing their office hours can make a great impression. 

Utilize College Resources

Aside from your professors, attending sessions at the Center for Reading and Writing to help with writing papers and forming study groups with classmates are also great ways to put in that extra effort and further your academic experience at Ramapo.

Many students are so focused on how many credits they need for their major that they do not realize the importance of taking classes out of their major in order to grow as an individual.

Carolyn Cutrone and Melissa Stanger, contributors of, wrote about experiencing a diversity of classes.

“This will make you think differently and potentially inspire you in the future in unexpected ways,” they said.

Join Greek Life

“Going Greek” is also another popular option for students on college campuses seeking a multitude of opportunities in one organization. Joining the Greek community can mean a variety of leadership and community service opportunities, new friendships, close ties with alumni networks and a social scene as well. 

“I’m in an organization of women who all share the same values as me,” senior Clair Chapel said. “The relationships I’ve made with women in this sorority are definitely the greatest memories I’ll take away from Ramapo throughout my life.”

Study Abroad

Another way students shape their college years is by studying abroad. Although a big expense, many programs tend to have applicable scholarships students can apply for in order to lessen the financial burden and fulfill such a cultural and educational experience. 

Studying abroad is often considered to be one of the greatest decisions students can make during their time at college.

”International education ignites a passion for understanding other people and their perspectives. That’s one important benefit to working or studying abroad – and it’s essential to success in our increasingly diverse world,” according to Douglass H. Daft,
 chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca Cola Company in an article for Globalinks Learning Abroad. “Students with international exposure come to understand the value of dialogue between people from different cultures and between people with different points of view.” 

Many students realize the importance of taking advantage of all the opportunities college affords.

“Try new things and keep an open mind,” freshman Brianna Kropp said. “Step out of your comfort zone and give something uncommon a try.”

Whether it’s getting involved in leadership positions on campus, joining clubs, connecting with professors, studying abroad or a combination of a multitude of activities, there are many ways to enhance your college years before the reality sets in.