For the four years or so of undergraduate school, university students experience newfound freedom and start making their own big decisions. These new freedom-havers and decision-makers can now go off-campus into the “wild” and fend for themselves.
And by “fend for themselves,” I mean be able to book a hotel room, work the metro, schedule day trips and even remember where you parked a car the night before. Exposed to the new world, college students experience crazy adventures like no one else. (Of course, you could stay at home and play some free slots, no download, and avoid the headache of a hangover and a night in jail.) All this begs the question: What types of adventures should college students have?
1. Study Abroad
Study abroad trips are the go-to for every college student. It is no surprise that students flock to study abroad trips: they’re available through most universities, the cost is largely covered if need be and advertisements for the programs litter classroom walls. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Indeed, many people find that their college study abroad was one of the most influential experiences they have ever had. Living in another country exposes you to a different culture and oftentimes to the challenge of learning a new language as well, not to mention meeting new people from all over the world.
Living abroad for a year, semester or even summer can allow students to become fully immersed in country’s culture, traditions and day-to-day habits. Bringing those experiences back home can create powerful resumes, some amazing stories and years of memories.
A volunteering adventure can be very structured — even a little bit sheltered — but like a study abroad trip, it can be also very exciting. Volunteering trips are one of the purest kinds of adventure, as instead of going out to party or study a new subject, this kind of going out into the world consists of helping others.
There is a common misconception that all volunteering trips are religion-based, but in many cases, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many organizations unaffiliated with any religion that allow students to have volunteering opportunities all over the world (though primarily in Asia, Africa and Latin-America.)
With volunteering opportunities expanding to new heights, there is nothing to hold you back from getting involved
3. Weekend Camping
While camping is not for everyone (glamping may be more your style), a weekend of backpacking always has its benefits. Roughing it with the guys — or with the girls — can create lifelong bonds that last far longer than four years of college.
While bushwhacking your way into the backcountry is not recommended, an easy trail with a camping spot by a lake will do for starters. Overnight backpacking trails are littered all over the United States, with clusters in Washington, Maine, California and even Florida. From fighting off bears and wolves (highly unlikely) to roasting s’mores around the fire (much more likely), overnight backpacking is an exhausting, but fulfilling adventure.
Skiing is one of the most intense sports you can ever participate in. Going down a mountain at 35 miles per hour on two sticks with only a helmet to protect you sounds insane, but experts say that it is a good time. Growing up in a hippy-ski town, I (not an expert) would recommend it myself. Whether you’re an amateur or a veteran, taking a skiing adventure is always worth the effort.
For a typical college student who doesn’t have a lot of money to spare, a ski trip is ideal. Not only will you gain a new skill that you can impress all of your friends with, but you can often find student discounts and keep prices low by splitting them with friends.
5. Las Vegas
At this point, some of you might be thinking: Enough with the nature trips, where are the parties? Las Vegas is the ideal place to go if you want to let loose, and people say “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” for a reason. With its concentration of nightclubs, strip clubs, strip shows, a massive number of casinos and weed dispensaries at every corner, Las Vegas is the devil’s playground.
Other than sinfully entertaining attractions, Vegas also offers a variety of more “kid-friendly” activities. Las Vegas is jam-packed with world-famous shows like Cirque du Soleil and shopping destinations with names like Michael Kors, Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein and True Religion.
Crawling with buffets, crammed with up-scale restaurants and topped off with the Fountains of Bellagio, Las Vegas is a party paradise perfect for any college student ready to dip into its daring side.
From reclusive trips in the wild to partying in Las Vegas, all college students should spare no effort in finding new and exciting adventures. These experiences can mold paths and open doors; heck, you might just discover the next step in your journey. So, what are you waiting for? The adventure is out there.