You’re in college. Your high school teachers and parents have told you that these next four years will be the best four years of your life. They would be correct, if you allow it to happen.
As a college instructor, I have thought about my college life often, actually, every day. I see my students having fun in class, talking about their fun weekends, making a lot of new friendships that would hopefully last a lifetime, and I see students (not all, unfortunately) thinking critically about their life goals. I am happy for them, but am also disappointed in myself.
Seeing and hearing these every day has made me reflect on my undergraduate years in college. I will admit-I did a lot wrong.
There are definitely some things I would do differently if I could go back to those four years:
- I would find a healthy balance of work and play. I studied far too much in college. I didn’t give myself enough time to hang out with friends or meet new people. Even in class, I was so quiet and just thought that making friends was a little pointless because on the weekends, I would work and hang out with my boyfriend. This is something I regret the MOST. I spent much of my time studying and little time networking or forming long-lasting friendships. I wish I got out of my shell then. I am naturally a shy, introverted person. Recently, I have gotten out of my shell and have become more talkative, but why the hell did this happen 13 years later!?
- I would be single while I was in college. I regret being in a long-term relationship because I spent much of my free time with him, and far little time with friends. Honestly, I think I spent every weekend with him. I know we are now married and have two beautiful children, but it would be great to go back in time, put that relationship on hold or at least not spend so much time with him, and pick up with it after college! We’d still be married and would still have our cute little girls. If I could do it all over again, I would be single and I would spend every weekend with my friends. I love the guy, but friendships are important as well.
- I would have partied more. I know this relates to the first two, but it is also different. Don’t take this as I wanted to party hard; I just mean more. In fact, I didn’t go to ONE single college party. Nope. I was too good. I feel, every day, that I didn’t get to fully enjoy my college experience.
- I would have changed my major. I definitely regret that I stuck with a teaching major even after I HATED my field and observation experience. This is the first teaching experience education majors go through. It is supposed to be the time where you realize you either will love teaching, or you will hate it. Honestly, I hated my time student teaching. So, now that I am older and wiser, why the hell did I NOT simply change my major? Even if it took another year or two to graduate? I was so stupid and naïve. I just wanted to finish college and start my life. It hurt me in the end (not entirely, though). Currently, I am not too happy teaching, so I wish I had more guts to be strong and change my major to obtain some sort of office job as I like being behind a desk. I gravely regret not being strong and changing my major. I do enjoy teaching to an extent, but I have realized I would be much happier doing something different, like writing on my computer =).
If I could go back, I would implement all four of these in a heartbeat. These would have made my college experience much more enjoyable!
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