Tips for college students

Cade Wiberg is a Senior at James Madison University with a Major in Interpersonal Communications and a minor in Music Industry. Cade is passionate about music and movies, he has played multiple instruments in several bands and enjoys writing everything from songs to Creative Non-Fiction.

The best decision I ever made in college was getting involved with an organization. I was a Sophomore with few friends in college and I decided to go out of my comfort zone to attend an info session on the University Program Board; the people in charge of all of the entertaining college events such as concerts, movies, and comedians. The person giving a speech was named Mark, who was a complete stranger then, but now he’s a great friend. He explained what the organization did, and then ended his speech with a piece of wisdom that changed my life. He said, “Even if you don’t get into the Program Board, the best advice I can give is to get involved. No matter what it is, you will have a much better college experience if you share it with people like you.” Those words immediately resonated with me; before then the most social thing I had done my whole freshman year was play Call of Duty Nazi Zombies online. I applied to the University Program Board the next day and got accepted within a week. If I had not attended that info session or made the attempt to get involved with extracurricular activities, I would have deprived myself of every single one of my favorite college memories. I never would have spontaneously gone to concerts or midnight screenings of movies, I never would have hosted Rock Band nights that lasted until 3 am, and I never would have met the people who made me who I am today.
Getting involved made me more confident as a person; I came from a high school where I did not know a lot of people, I was very shy and kept to myself. After I was accepted into the Program Board I joined the Film committee and became part of the group of people responsible for showing movies on campus. After being involved for a year I was attending frequent socials and talking to people I never would have had the courage to talk to; I was changing as a person from a Walter Mitty lever introvert to a Ferris Bueller style extrovert. After two years I applied to run the committee and got the job.
People arrive at college with the mindset that the most important thing is to get good grades, but it’s not. The most important thing is to meet new people. College is a unique four years unlike any other time in your life, where you are constantly exposed to new people, all capable of changing your life for the better. Life is simply better with friends; people to share in your highs and lows, and college is the place to make the friends that last a lifetime. A lot of students think people similar to them don’t exist, it’s much easier to stay in the comfort of your dorm and play video games, or to use studying as an excuse to never leave your comfort zone, but I promise you if you go out of your way to meet new people it will make your college experience infinitely better.


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