Amazing Things Can Happen to You at College

Lori Johnston | March 26, 2013

What you learn in the classroom is only part of your college experience. Amazing things can happen to college students, with some once-in-a-lifetime events creating memories and even giving individuals their 15 minutes of fame.

Here are seven amazing things we’ve seen happen to college students.

1. You Can Rub Shoulders with Celebrities

Seven ways students can have once-in-a-lifetime experiences at college.

One student didn’t just get a picture with a celebrity, but performed with one. Vanderbilt University student Michael Pollack took the initiative to ask Billy Joel if he could accompany him on the piano in a performance of “New York State of Mind.” After cheers from the crowd, Pollack (flawlessly, in our opinion) displayed his talents and preparation while accompanying the Piano Man. Afterward, Joel told the crowd: “That’s Michael Pollack, remember that name.” What a cool experience! Other students also have the opportunity to spend time with actors/actresses, musicians, and athletes through their internships in fields such as advertising, film and video, and public relations.

2. You Can Meet the POTUS

Members of championship collegiate sports teams sometimes are invited to the White House, and other outstanding college students also get the opportunity to shake hands with the president. Even journalism majors, too. My senior year in college, I was invited with other student newspaper editors to spend a day at the White House, and during a press conference, President Clinton pointed directly at me and allowed me to ask him a question. The University of Wisconsin’s men’s basketball team got to meet President Obama in 2012 when he came to their campus, after player Zach Bohannon launched a Twitter campaign to meet the president and teammate George Marshall connected with an Obama staffer to make the visit happen, according to

3. You Can Become a Player in the Political Process

Presidential and vice presidential debates (as well as those for other elected office) and town hall meetings often happen on college campuses. In 2012, campuses included the University of Denver, Centre College in Kentucky, Hofstra University in New York, and Lynn University in Florida. It’s not only a chance to experience a part of the election process, but to also potentially be heard and on TV by getting to ask a question of the candidates or elected officials.

4.  You Can Become a YouTube Sensation

Creating a viral video — such as the “Harlem Shake” footage — not only gives college students attention. Being involved in flash mobs, video parodies and more require collaboration and teamwork. Those are skills that employers are seeking, although your chance of getting to create a viral video at work is much slimmer than at college.

5. You Can Sail Around the World

The Semester at Sea program takes studying abroad to a new level, and students on the ship can journey literally around the world. For example, this spring’s trip takes students to Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, and Spain. The Semester at Sea program is sponsored by the University of Virginia, and other colleges and universities partner with the school to offer the amazing experience to their students.

6. You Can Complete in the Olympics

Swimmers, divers, track and field stars, skiers, fencers, archers, wrestlers, and many other winter and summer Olympians are college students, representing not just their country but their universities and colleges.

7. You Can Earn a Degree, No Matter What Age

Individuals even in their 90s have accomplished lifelong goals to earn college degrees. The record-holder for oldest college graduate currently is Leo Plass, who received his diploma in 2011 from Eastern Oregon University at the age of 99. It’s never too late to pursue a college degree — and to potentially have once-in-a-lifetime experiences in school.

What amazing things have you done or do YOU hope to do in college?

One response to “Amazing Things Can Happen to You at College”

  1. Miles Young says:

    Excellent post! Keep up the good work Lori!

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