The Perspective of a College Graduate

 08 - 05 - 12
Uncategorized News

6 Things I Wish I Would Have Done Differently

After four years of college, you make it through graduation and reality begins to set in that your carefree life is slowly ending and you’re about to enter the real world.  During this time many of us recent graduates begin to reminisce on the past four years and all the things we wish we had done or wish we could go back and change.  As an incoming freshman, graduation seemed like a lifetime away, something that would never come. 

Unfortunately that day does indeed come, and the anxiety of knowing that the opportunities that were presented to you in college are no longer available.  It’s impossible not to look back and think of all the things I wish I had done.

Here are 6 of the most common “wish I would have’s” of recent college graduates to inform prospective students on what former college students would have liked to have done differently.

Wish They Had Been More Careful About Choosing a Major

Many of my friends, myself included, have seriously contemplated if we chose the right major or not.  Sometimes it’s hard to know what you actually like until you figure out what it is that you don’t like.  After I graduated I had a much better sense of what I actually enjoyed doing compared to when I was a freshman—clueless on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.  Take some time to explore different majors and see what it is you enjoy, so you can graduate with a major that will be valuable to you.

Wish They Had Taken Advantage of Internships 

 After you graduate college and go on the job hunt, you may begin to realize that it is difficult to find a job in this economy without previous internships.  Often times in college it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and not want to put in that extra effort during your summer months off, but it is definitely worth it when you go to apply for jobs! You will have an extra leg up on someone who is applying for the same position and doesn’t have any previous experience.

Wish They Hadn’t Missed as Much Class

When you’re in college there is no one there to force you to go to class, and it can be a blessing and a curse.  It’s a blessing when you’re sick, or need to take a personal day, or have a last minute emergency.  However, it is very easy to fall into the habit of not attending class, which can have many negative effects on a college student.  Also, after you graduate you realize how easy it was to attend a class that only lasts a few hours, and how nice it is to be able to learn as opposed to working.  You also have the opportunity to take a wide range of classes and learn about stuff that you are actually interested in, so take advantage of it!

Wish They Had Been More Involved 

On-campus organizations are a great way to get involved with fun activities with your fellow classmates.  By joining different student groups you will be able to make lasting relationships and learn how to interact with all different sorts of people.  It’s also a great resume booster, and when you are applying for jobs you will be thankful you have the extra-curricular to add to it. Put yourself into opportunities where you will be able to meet people, you won’t regret it!

Wish They Had Studied Abroad 
Once you join the real world and have to get a full-time job you realize that you don’t have as much free time as you had before for traveling.  Often times it’s hard to get more than a week or two off a year, so take advantage of any opportunity to be able to travel for a few months and study abroad.
Websites such as Study Abroad and Study Abroad 101 are great tools to help research a program that is right for you. Looking back, I wish I would have spent a semester studying abroad because it just isn’t as easy to spend that much time over seas once you graduate college unless you’re willing to work there.

Wish They Hadn’t Taken Out Too Much in Student Loans
Most students don’t realize how much they are in debt until they actually have to make their first payment.  Believe me, you do not want to be one of these people.  You could be in for some serious anxiety and stress if you graduate college buried in debt with no job perspectives.  It’s important to weigh your scholarship options and do your homework on your finances before you get in over your head. Websites such as the National College Finance Center can help you prepare and plan for the cost of your college tuition.
Let us know if you have any “wish I would have’s” from your college experience!

Guest Post by Trae Lewis

Trae Lewis is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she majored in journalism She is currently a staff writer for CollegeFocus and an active community blogger. You can find CollegeFocus on Facebook

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