When it comes to tackling the big picture issues of college -- Why am I here? What type of life am I trying to build for myself? -- you must first gain enough control of your life to actually act on your answers. This is why I delayed this crucial discussion until the end. Hopefully, by this point in the semester, your work on the technical issues that preceded this discussion have built your confidence that you can make changes -- even hard ones -- in your life.
My philosophy on maximizing your college experience is simple: do less; do better; know why.
Do only a small number of things -- i.e., one major, an easy course load, and a small number of extracurricular activities -- leaving an abundance of time in your schedule. Do these small number of things extremely well. I mean this both on the small scale of using smart strategies (like those discussed in the previous discussions), and the large scale of pushing beyond simply getting the job done, and instead focusing on becoming excellent. Finally, ground these efforts in a solid understanding of what you want out of life and how your college experience is going to get you closer. There is no magic right answer to this final question. It's up to you to nail down one out of the many options that could work for you.
There are two reasons why I love this approach:
The final step toward taking control your college career is to ask yourself what you're looking for in life, and then give serious consideration to my claim that doing less and doing better is the best path to get there.
First, give some serious thought to what you're looking for in life. (This article on lifestyle-centric career planning should help guide you in this effort.)
Second, imagine what adopting the do less and do better philosophy would mean in your own student life.
Finally, decide whether you believe that this approach seems like a sustainable path to achieving your life vision. If so, then it's time to lay out some serious changes for the semesters ahead.
These are deep issues. Don't rush the process of figuring out what you're looking for in life. Discussing these ideas with your SHOC group members -- perhaps on multiple occasions -- should help you start coming to grips with these big questions surrounding college life.