A new Gallup poll released this summer suggests that there are six choice students can make while in college that will make a difference in their Great Jobs Great Lives index. The poll looked at five elements of well-being for 29,000 recent graduates: social support, financial stability, physical health, sense of purpose and sense of community. One interesting finding? That students scored higher on the index when they had made these choices in college:
- Do an internship or hold a summer job in your field of study.
- Get deeply involved in an extracurricular activity. (As opposed to shallowly involved in many activities.)
- Do a long-term academic project - one that takes more than a semester. It can be for a particular class, a senior thesis project, or an independent research project.
- Find a professor that makes you excited about learning. It doesn't have to be in your major.
- Choose, as your professors, instructors who care about students as people.
- Find a mentor. This doesn't have to be someone associated with the university.