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College Regrets: If I Could Do Everything Over, Here’s What I’d Change

It’s the end of August, and doe eyed freshman are stumbling across their campuses, making absolute fools of themselves. In light of back to school season, I thought I’d share the college regrets that I would go back and change if given the opportunity in hopes that some 18 year old idiot doesn’t make the same mistakes I did.

Going into debt for a liberal arts degree

This is easily the greatest of my college regrets. It is my belief that college no longer serves a real purpose in this country. It’s fun, and it definitely changes you and challenges you, but if you’re going into debt for it, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see a worthwhile return on your investment unless of course you’re going to school to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. If I knew what I know now at the age of 18, I never would’ve went to college and taken out loans to study communications. It was a complete waste of money.

Going to a small D3 school

If I could do everything over I don’t know if I necessarily would’ve gone to a huge SEC school, but I definitely wouldn’t have gone to a D3 liberal arts school with so little school spirit. I wouldn’t have gone to a school with no football team. My college is well on its way to becoming a better university but what does that do for me as an alumna? Going to a “work in progress” school just wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t like having to convince myself that I actually enjoyed my college experience, leading me to my next point.

Going to a school without Greek life

After going into debt, this is probably one of my most painful college regrets, as silly as it sounds.. I went to a school with no Greek life, and literally put my all into trying to get Greek life on my campus. After all the time, energy and hard earned money I put into it I had nothing to show for it at the end of my four years. As shallow as it sounds I still get sad when I meet new people that assume I was in a sorority and I have to sheepishly admit that I’m a GDI. 

Not taking advantage of more opportunities

No matter what school you go to, there are ample opportunities being offered. In most environments you’ll find that the majority of students aren’t taking advantage of them. People get busy, bogged down and deadlines come and go but if I could do everything over again I’d definitely at least shoot my shots and see where it got me. 

Not pushing myself outside of my comfort zone

I’m a very quiet, introverted person. Socializing doesn’t come easily or naturally to me at all. In the past few years as I’ve attended political conferences and events, I’ve somewhat forced myself out of my shell but it’s definitely still a work in progress. In college the only friends I really had were made for me. They were introduced to me, and we knew each other because it was convenient (or I met them black out drunk). I think I would have had a much more fulfilling social life if I pushed myself earlier and harder to stop being so shy and go out of my way to get to know more people.

Not working out

My body isn’t what it was at the beginning of my college career at all. The earlier you start working out and forming healthy habits, the less time you have to get fat. It’s pretty straightforward.

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12 COMMENTS
  • Nicole Amos
    1 year ago

    Really great points! I feel the same way about college and this more people should read this to consider before heading off to college.

  • Jennifer
    1 year ago

    The first time I went to college (FIDM) I realized I was missing out on so much of the college experience. However, now that I am older, I don’t know if I would be for it again when I transfer. I do hope wherever I go that there is some semblance of school spirit, and they schedule events so that non-traditional students like myself can attend.

  • Shannon
    1 year ago

    We all have these regrets! Sometimes I regret not pushing myself out of my comfort zone to go away to school, but then again, I would have had wayyy more loans than I already do! Loans are the reason it is so hard to even go back to school, if you want to try something else. Don’t get me started lol… it angers me!

  • Helene
    1 year ago

    I can relate to so many of these! I would have gone to a state school for a liberal arts degree, taken more advantage or the opportunities around me, and joined a sorority that I wanted to, but never did. If only we could go back in time and tell our younger selves these things!

  • Sensaisha Nal
    1 year ago

    I also went to a small school with no teams and I actually ended up transferring out. I agree and I wish I had spent more time visiting schools when I was in high school. Good advice!

  • Stephanie
    1 year ago

    These are all such good points. I had a great time in college (I met my husband there), but there are some things I wish I had done as well. Overall, though, I don’t have too many regrets from college.

  • Willow
    1 year ago

    I totally agree that college is unnecessary these days. I have regrets about my life, but try not to think about it. There are many things I would have changed in my past, but then I might not have learned from all my mistakes.

  • I had a great university experience but I understand what you mean by having a few regrets. A friend graduated with a communications degree as well and didn’t land anything in his field yet and he’s giving up just to get any decent salaried gig at this point.

  • Elise
    1 year ago

    You made some strong solid points but I do not agree with the idea that higher education was a waste of money.

  • Flo
    1 year ago

    Interesting read. I have many regrets with my college choice too. Now my son is going to college next year and I’m determined not to let him repeat my mistakes. Your post is right on time. Glad I saw this!

  • Joolz
    1 year ago

    Liberal arts degrees destroy you economically for the rest of your working life. By hard work and some initial luck I’ve been able to overcome my sociology degree, by clawing my way up a company and refashioning myself as a data wizard. But I have no desire to be tens of thousands in debt again and that makes me risk-averse to say buying a condo or getting further education or being more assertive with my investments
    I make good money but I could have been making it a decade ago if I hadn’t done such a stupid lazy choice in my degree.

  • Bryant
    1 year ago

    I can relate with almost all of these. I of course believe in going to college, because without it I don’t believe I would ever make a decent living, but we shall see when I graduate next May. My school does have Greek Life and I really regret not joining it. I think that we will all always have regrets.

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