Today’s topic takes me back to my college days. If you’re a junior or senior in high school reading this, please take note. My biggest regret in life was my 4 years in college.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved every second of college. From the marching band rehearsals to the Saturday night College games and from the classes to the close friendships was simply amazing. However, I felt that I didn’t seize every opportunity that an undergraduate should during my time at UC. To the youngsters that are reading this, please don’t waste your time in college. College is expensive and every move you make reflects on the dimes and dollars your parents are spending so that you have a good future ahead of you. Don’t skip class. Do your homework. Pay attention and take REALLY good notes. Form study groups. If you’re not doing well in a class, talk to your professor. It’s ok to ask for help and your professor wants you to do well. I feared the professor in most of my classes but I didn’t realize until after graduation that they are there to help you. They will set up an appointment to get you the help you need. Every university has a help center, go to it. There will be people there to help as well. I was the kid that did skip a couple classes and didn’t really talk to anyone in class. All of my friendships were in band. Think of it as this way: the people around you on your first day of class are just as nervous as you are. Introduce yourself and make friends. It will help you tremendously inside the classroom and create lifelong friendships outside of the classroom. For me, I probably had less than 10 friends inside the classroom. I’m typically a shy person and that’s ok. I regret that I didn’t step outside of that comfort zone and talk to someone.
Another regret I had was not doing a study abroad trip and signing up for a Co-op. Some majors don’t require a Co-op to graduate and my major was one of them. I was a mathematics major at first and switched to accounting at the end of my sophomore year. For accounting, I didn’t need a Co-op to graduate. I was still on pace to graduate on time but if I did take a Co-op, I would’ve graduated a semester late. I didn’t realize that if I did take a Co-op, I could’ve used the money I made towards my tuition. I wanted to graduate on time so I didn’t take that co-op. Having that in field experience during school will help tremendously! It will look good on your resume and it’s an instant connection you will have with an employer. If I could redo my college education, I would sign up for a Co-op in a heartbeat. Kids, find a co-op or an internship when you’re in college. It will help you in the long run. Another opportunity I didn’t take was study abroad. It is expensive. But, like the co-op, it will help boost your resume and will attract potential employers looking to hire. I have a handful of friends and family members that did take the study abroad and they wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. You get to take classes within your major and get to see the world at the same time. You’ll be part of a different culture and get to interact with the people, food and customs as well. Now, these words are from my friends. After hearing their experiences, it makes me regret that I didn’t study abroad.
Seniors and juniors in high school, take it from someone that has lived through college. College will be the most important thing in your life. There are billions that are attending college and millions that are still looking for a job. Employers want individuals that are well-rounded, experienced and team-players. If you form friendships in class, you will do well and get good grades. Doing a co-op and/or study abroad will not only help your resume but it will shape you as a person. If you have those experiences, I bet you will attract employers instantly and find a job right away. I am thankful with the job I have with the little experience but getting to experience those things will probably be the best days of your life. Most of my positive experiences in college was with the band and going on trips with them. But, I challenge you to seize every opportunity in college and make the best of it. Because, after graduation, you’ll reflect on your time in college and will think about the things you could change. For me, it’s quite a handful.
Thanks for reading!