5 Things You Never Knew You Could Do at College

hold em resized 600With so much to get involved in while in college, some interesting opportunities can go unnoticed. Here are five things you probably never thought you could do in college, but students just like you are doing them.

1. Save a life.

At St. Petersburg, Fla., students on the Eckerd College Search and Rescue Team (EC-SAR) work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard, 911 Emergency Medical Response and other state and local agencies to assist boaters in the Tampa Bay area. Members spend 12-15 hours a week training, meeting and repairing equipment and are “on call” for a 24 hour period every three days.  It keeps them busy; EC-SAR receives up to 500 calls for help a year, ranging from minor incidents to life-threatening accidents.

On dry land, students at Sewanee: The University of the South can join Tennessee’s only volunteer emergency medical services team. Freshmen can take a class that runs from August to April to become certified EMTs, after which they must try out for a position on the team. Students can also join the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department after taking a class in the spring semester and trying out for one of six spots for each class level. Student firefighters live together in Wiggins Hall, located next to the fire station.

2. Hang out with Supreme Court Justices.

Earlier this month, Dr. Todd Peppers, assistant professor of public affairs at Roanoke College in Salem, Va., led a group of students on a trip to Washington, D.C., where they got to watch the Supreme Court in action. Afterwards, they were granted a private audience with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, where they were allowed to ask questions and speak with her in a way most students will never get to.

3. Brush up on 19th century manners.

Fashion design students at Albright College in Reading, Pa. host a Victorian Fashion Ball each spring to bring the 19th century back to life.  Students design and create the gowns – a process that takes up to 100 hours – in Paula Trimpey’s advanced costume course. Guests at the ball learn Victorian etiquette and dances, while enjoying a nice of historical music and dinner. You don’t even have to be a student at Albright to attend – the event is open to the public.

4. Learn how to win at Texas Hold ‘Em.

When most people think of statistics, the words “fun” and “exciting” don’t always come to mind. But Robert Hannum, a professor at the University of Denver in Colorado, applied his knowledge of probability and statistics to the study of poker to make math fun again. He can use his skills to analyze games such as blackjack, roulette, and craps. The ironic part? Hannum isn’t a big gambler.  His students learn the ins and outs and most importantly the odds.

5. Hang out with the president of your school.

At Mansfield University in Mansfield, Pa., President Maravene Loeschke make sure students know they are welcome in her home. If the light of her porch is on, which it is several times a week, that means students can come in to talk with her, hang out or just relax.  She even has a candy dispensary in her house.  Sweet, huh? What more could you want in a university president?

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