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10 Trips to Take in College

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College… your last chance to be a kid without adults giving you the stink-eye about it! Wear your PJ’s to class, try new things, figure out your life—or start to figure out that you’ll never have life figured out! College is also the time of life when you get to do a few crazy things, find out what you’re made of, and learn how to be an adult before “adulting” really takes effect.

If I was to choose one college experience that put my life in a fresh direction and made me the person I am today, it would be my summer working in Japan. That one decision, studied and prayed over, not made lightly, effected all my life decisions going forward. So that is what I hope for you. Try out some traveling while you’re experimenting with life, and you might just find your passion! These are in no particular order; the numbers are there to make them easy to check off your list!

10. Camping

Think tinkling in the woods and going a couple of days without a shower are simply not your things? Give it a go anyway! I went camping with several engineer friends (make friends with engineers—the Big Bang Theory TV show is based on actual events!) my senior year of college, and while it’s not something I feel passionately about, I was shocked with how much fun it was! Give it a go!

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That’s my head in the armpit of my dear friend Keith.
9. An Away Game

If you’re playing a sport in college, you will obviously be going to away games. But if not, make a plan to go to one! Whether it’s a big rivalry game or the one everyone thinks your school will lose, go anyway and cheer on your team!

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My friend Celeste and me getting ready for a game! #majorettesrule
8. Study Abroad

This is one of my only regrets from college—I didn’t study abroad. I did work abroad, but that’s not quite the same! Many college exchange programs only require regular tuition without any added cost for studying abroad, but even if you do have to pay a little more, the experience will certainly change you for the better, especially if you learn another language in the process!

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This historic church looms just across the street from student housing in Budapest, Hungary! That’s not something you often see out your dorm window in the States! Photo Credit: Luke O’Halek
7. Work Abroad

Like I said, this is a bit of a different experience. Whether you find an internship opportunity abroad, go on a mission trip, volunteer, teach English, or something else, having a bit of responsibility and having to “make it” somewhere so new and different will definitely be a memorable (and exciting!) way to make yourself grow up just a little bit. And it looks AWESOME on a resume!

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Exploring Osaka with my co-worker and friend Yoko!
6. Road Trip

You will definitely be taking a road trip in college! Maybe you’re taking a road trip to college! Either way, pile in with some friends and take a drive to somewhere fun or far off. Need some inspiration? Check out my Guide to the Great American Road Trip!

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Open road!
5. Let Someone Else Pick

This one will teach you some self-sacrifice. Let someone else decide where to go, and don’t complain about it! Do what they want to do (within reason, of course!), and you may be surprised to find something new or somewhere new that you love!

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It was totally Terri’s idea to dress up and go to Nashville for the symphony. And it was a TON of fun!
4. Girls-only/Dudes-only Weekend

You’ll be doing a lot with your “tribe” in school, but at least once before you all graduate, take a quick trip (or a week-long trip!) some place with just your girls or just your guys. It’s important to keep those bonds, so make them strong!

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My roommate and best friend Amber the night before she got married!
3. Spring Break Getaway

I never really took a big spring break trip, though I wish I had, just once! It doesn’t have to be a crazy party trip, it doesn’t need to be a beach trip, just a week away in the middle of the semester with no books, no homework, and no worries! You may have to work a little harder before you leave or a little harder right after you get back, but savor that time to cut yourself some slack and just get yourself recharged.

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Off to the Bahamas with my gal pal Terri!
2. Staycation

As a poor college student, it’s important to find out how to enjoy yourself wherever you are! So take a long weekend, a whole week break, or even a whole summer, and just stay in your college town, preferably with just yourself or possibly one or two others. Figure out what people do for fun when school’s not in session, and appreciate the lower population!

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A short walk off Tennessee Tech’s campus in Cookeville, TN, will take you to the most adorable downtown and Cream City Ice Cream! Photo Credit: klmiller222
1. One Last Trip with Your Parents

This is another lesson in selflessness. Your parents will be so happy when you say you want to take one more trip with them before you graduate. It can be your gift to them for raising you and getting you to college! You don’t have to do everything together every waking minute, and in fact, I have some helpful tips for planning travel and traveling with others on my Travel Planning Page!

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I did not go to my graduation… I rappelled Ellison’s Cave instead! But my mom REALLY wanted a picture of me in my graduation garb with my diploma. It was the least I could do!

Want more? Check out 20 Trips to Take in Your 20s and 10 Life-changing Trips!

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