Last September, I neatly packed up half my room and moved to my dorm room 45 minutes away. Four weeks ago, after my last final of the semester, I randomly shoved everything I owned in containers and plastic bags and moved back home. This September, I’ll be repeating that process to start my Sophomore year, but today, I want to talk about my first year in college. Mainly the things I regret and the ones I’d do again if given the chance.
Some Background Info
My freshman year at my state college was pretty successful for me. I met a lot of wonderful people. I learned a lot of valuable lessons. I got the grades I wanted (mostly). That being said, if given the chance, there are some things I’d do differently if I could redo that year.
But before I start listing my biggest regrets, there are some things you should know. Some of what I’m going to talk about might not make a whole lot of sense without this information. So pay close attention. I have not declared a specific major but I am a member of the business school. And I lived in a living-learning community (a community of kids with similar interests that live in the same building and attend some of the same exact classes).
Not Getting Very Involved
I’m usually one all for not getting involved. Especially when there’s a conflict. But this was different. Probably the biggest regret I have on this list is not getting involved in campus life, be it joining clubs, or participating in school events, or even just going to football games (that we lose, badly). I lived in a pretty tight knit building (more on this next Wednesday) so I spent a lot of time hanging out with my friends who lived close to me. It was nice but at the same time, I wish I made more friends outside of that circle.
I wish I had made more of an effort to consistently join some clubs, even if none of my friends wanted to come with me. Also, beyond social life, clubs are great from a professional standpoint, as well. I definitely wish I attended more meetings for more academically focused clubs. They can help a lot with career paths and ideas, even as a freshman, especially since they often have opportunities you’ll have a hard time finding elsewhere. Which is kind of related to…
Not Taking Advantage of Every Oppurtuinity
One of my mottos going into college is “seize every chance presented”. Yeah… I got lazy after a while and kind of just discarded that mantra, which was a mistake. You never know what’s going to happen unless you try. What’s the harm of going to an interview? Even if you don’t get the job or position or whatever, it’ll still give you something, whether it’s a lesson, new friends, other opportunities, etc.
This is a two sided sword. I wish that I didn’t burn some of the bridges that I did and wish I had the courage to burn some others. As a business major, the word I hear most often is either “networking” or “connections”. So you can kind of see why I’d be hesitant to let go of relationships. You’d be surprised what favors people will do for you if you just say “hi!” to them.
On the flip side, some relationships are just not worth the effort. They have no value (or even potential) value. I hate degrading people and relationships down to a “what can you do for me?” mentality, but sometimes you have to think that way to judge if it’s worth it putting up with a clingy friend, obnoxious roommate, or arrogant team member.
Not Staying Connected
This is kind of related to the one above. I did a really terrible job of staying connected to my high school friends. And some of them were only a 5-minute walk away. I mean, who else is going to understand your angst about high school? Also, not keeping in touch makes you feel so out of the loop when you get back together during breaks.
I feel like this is just one of those things will continue to show up on my “what I regret the most” lists for the rest of my life. I happen to be really good at procrastinating. I wish I took the time to study just a little bit every day. If I did, I’d definitely enjoyed the finals week with my dormmates much more, instead of being so stressed about tests and grades.
Making Unhealthy Choices
When I say “unhealthy” I don’t mean things like smoking weed or binge drinking. Because I have no interest in doing either. I promise! I mean making unhealthy diet and exercise choices. Because let me tell you, even with spending my Freshman year completely sober (unless you count a few Vodka gummy worms, don’t tell my mom), the Freshman 15 is still very real. Unfortunately. I blame my buffet style dining hall and my ginormous meal plan. Also my laziness, but that’s whatever.
So that’s it for my biggest regrets. Come visit next Wednesday to see what I’d do again if I had to repeat the last year!
What were your biggest regrets your freshman year (of college or high school)?
Have any college (or high school) related questions? Shoot me an email or tweet me. I’m always happy to give “advice”. 🙂