Discover Studying Abroad

10 Things I Miss About College

The U.S. College experience is a memorable one, says Meher Varma - who offers some valuable advice to any student considering heading that way to complete their higher education.
BY Meher Varma |   08-04-2013
Even though I graduated from Bard College – a small, private, liberal arts institution -- in Upstate New York, more than a few years ago, I remember so much of my experience (both the little details, and the bigger things, like academics!) clearly and fondly. These are the things I’d tell anyone going to a U.S. college to go and really enjoy!

A diverse group of students sit out on campus

1. International Diversity: The best thing about college was that all my classes, gatherings, parties and activities were so internationally diverse. Without making a conscious effort to be worldly, I would learn about traditions in Namibia or taste food from Brazil.

2. Accessibility to Friends: I never had to walk more than a few steps to find a good friend. From freshman to senior year, I lived in the vicinity of great company, and this was something that made the cliché of ‘college being the best days of your life’ very true.

Bagels for breakfast

3. Bagels and Cream Cheese: hot, toasted and filling. The best breakfast ever, and one you’ll only find done well in the U.S. Taken with a strong, strong cup of coffee, this always got me through the day.
4. Being able to go to class in my pyjamas: and no one blinked an eye, unless of course, I hadn’t done the reading for that day.

Walk Safe booths like this are found on many U.S. College Campuses

5. Walk Safe: most college campuses in the US have a similar program that is set up to ensure safety on the premise through telephone technology (usually specially marked phone booths). While I never took advantage of this service, Walk Safe (sometimes called other names on different campuses) encourages students to call them if they ever need company walking home or feel a little unsafe. Say, after the library closes late, or you’ve had too much to drink. Now that I think about it, it really did give a sense of security.

6. Free Gym and Gym Classes: After leaving college, never did I ever have the pleasure of a free gym and all the perks that went along with working out with friends. Another amazing bonus, the gym was open till the wee hours of the morning. Nothing like going for a swim when you can’t sleep.

Inside one of the libraries at the University of California, Berkeley

7. Amazing Library and Library Services: I wish I realized then as to just how spoiled I was when I was offered help finding any book I was looking for. In some cases, it would be ordered for me from other nearby libraries if my college didn’t have it. And this wasn’t even a privilege, it was a right.

8. Dorm Room Parties: there is a certain joy in being in a tiny dorm room stuffed with a dozen people, an unmade bed, and the cheapest available snacks and drinks – and  having the time of your life.

Professors typically hold ‘Office Hours’ to help answer individual student questions

9. Professor Office Hours: Almost all U.S. college professors offer office hours outside of lecture/class time. This is an amazing opportunity to go meet them personally and take class discussions further. It’s intimidating at first, but could really, really help to boost that recommendation you will eventually need. And if you love what you’re studying, sometimes these chats are a great chance to take your knowledge a step further through talking to someone who loves the subject as much as you do!

10. Spring: On the East Coast, Spring is, hands down, the best time of the year. Aside from the fact that you know a long vacation is around the corner, campuses across the East Coast tend to use this time to  hold amazing celebrations with concerts, block parties, and wonderful outdoor events on the freshly cut lawns.

Meher Varma attended Bard College in upstate New York and received a BA in anthropology. She loved college so much, that she is still studying: her next degree, a PhD in cultural anthropology, is a seven year stint that she hopes to complete by 2015.


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Hi Jeff! We have passed on your message to Meher. Thank you for looking up, and we hope you continue to enjoy our articles!
29 November 2013

Jeff Katz
Hey Meher, Greetings from all your friends at Bard College! Remember "Articulate Sounds," the poetry class we had? I remember your senior project on call centers! Best of luck with your PhD. Jeff Katz (Stevenson Library)
08 October 2013

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