Top 10 Educational Regrets Students Have after College Graduation
Looking back, a lot of adults tend to have educational regrets about their college years that wish they could have back in order to do them over again. It’s all too common for college graduates to feel less than content about their higher education years, which is a very serious injustice to the college experience and the graduates that paid fortunes to be able to further their education. It’s easy to become lost in the life-altering transition from high school to the grand and alluring life of college. Becoming independent for the first time in 18 years is a challenge in its own, as many become blinded by the freedom and soon succumb to their own mistakes. These kinds of mistakes and lapses in judgment can be the start of long-lived feelings of regret and lament. Ensuring that a well-balanced and goal-oriented approach to college is met is your surefire way of keeping your regrets to a minimum and your contentment with your college experience at an unwavering high. If you’re heading off to college in the near future, try to learn from the mistakes of others so you can take a balanced approach that will allow you to excel academically and socially.
10 – Focusing on Grades Instead of Learning
Grades are important, especially if you have a scholarship or want to apply for grad school. But many students confuse good grades with learning. They ace their tests, but they’ve forgotten the material by graduation. It’s important find usefulness for the information that you learn in college, which will ultimately help you to retain a good portion of the knowledge that you encounter. Finding the information relatable to your life is helpful in absorbing much of what they professor tries to convey to you. If you focus on putting learning as the top priority, good grades will fall in place.
9 – Didn’t Include Diverse Classes
If your college doesn’t force you to take classes outside of your major, you could get stuck with homogenous courses that don’t let you explore outside of your major courses. The most important element of college is discovering the unknown and creating new experiences. Minds are still being molded and developed in college, so it’s necessary to expose yourself to things that you have never tried before, as it may awaken buried interests. Sign up for fun classes like creative writing, athletics, or mathematics (hey, some people think math is a blast) to get more out of your college experience.
8 – Never Took Advantage of Office Hours
Most professors are busy people who don’t have a lot of time to chat with students. But that’s why colleges created the beneficial system of office hours. All professors will strongly encourage you to take advantage of their office hours, as they are specifically there to give students close attention outside of the classroom. College classes can often times be comprised of several hundred students, which can sometimes not be so conducive to a personal learning environment. Professors have a lot to teach you outside of the classroom, too. So get to know them on a more personal level.
7 – Never Studied Abroad
Studying abroad can open you to experiences that you would never have at home. It’s an experience that most students do not choose to experience; however, it is most certainly a decision that many students regret not taking advantage of during their college years. Studying abroad in foreign countries bestows unique and different experiences onto students, which is what college is all about. Once you graduate and get a job, you might never have another opportunity to live abroad. Do it while you still can!
Here are the most popular study abroad destinations (by studying students):
- United Kingdom – 32,683
- Italy – 27,940
- Spain – 25,411
- France – 17,161
6 – Studied too Much
Yes, it’s possible to study too much. Only so much can be absorbed after hours on hours of studying the same, boring information in the library. Trying to cram mass amounts of information into your head will always prove to be a futile study method. Learn to reward yourself after a successful period of studying, as it relaxes the tension accumulated from the constant straining on your brain and eyes. Otherwise, you could get so stressed out that your brain rebels against you. Take some time away from studying and the library to engage in activities around campus.
5 – Didn’t Study Enough
You spent all that time on SAT prep to get into a good college, and then you spent your nights hanging out with your friends like you were in a movie version of college. Don’t mistake rewarding yourself as an opportunity to completely neglect your educational duties. Staying out late when you have a test in the morning is just an example of poorly allocating your time and mental resources. Engaging in regular studying and classwork can significantly help you to retain much of the information that is conveyed in class. You have to find the perfect balance that lets you succeed academically and socially.
4 – Went to School Near Home
Going to school in-state often costs less. It certainly feels safer. Moving out-of-state for a few years, however, can make you a more well-rounded, independent person. If money is a significant factor, then sometimes it’s a better option to choose a school that is closer to home. While it may not be the more appealing choice, however, it does raise very powerful benefits. You can save a ton of money by living at home, or even by commuting home during financially stressful times. Eating and doing laundry at your parent’s house can help when times are a bit tight. That’s something you can only learn by venturing out into the world on your own.
3 – Didn’t Play Sports
You don’t have to be a great athlete to play sports in college. A lot of people sign up for intramural teams. Intramural teams are filled with average students, so there’s no need to worry about being schooled by collegiate-level athletes, as many schools actually ban college athletes from participating intramural leagues. Play one of your favorite sports from high school in a fun and supportive atmosphere without the fear of being outmatched by competing players. It’s a great way to meet new people, learn more about your community, and improve your mood by getting some exercise.
2 – Didn’t Get Involved in Extracurricular Activities
Whether it’s a debate team or a guitar trio, college makes it easy to get involved in extracurricular activities. Whatever your interests may be, chances are there will be some sort of club based around your specific interests. With your interests aside, it’s important to offer yourself to new experiences and different things that you otherwise would not have been exposed to. Not only will you reap the benefits of being exposed to different activities, but you will be able to include those extracurricular activities in resumes for grad school or to impress future employers. Do it now before the real world gives you other priorities.
1 – Didn’t Finish My Degree
More than 60 percent of college freshman will not graduate from college within 4 years. Some studies show that over 50 percent of students don’t finish their degrees. That can weigh on a person’s mind for years. Securing your degree ensures that you will have an easier time obtaining a quality career and earn a great deal more money over the course of your lifetime. It’s essential to put yourself in the best position possible for the future of your life and career, which includes graduating from college and receiving your degree. Here’s a hint for success: staying on a four-year track greatly improves your odds.
What do you think you’ll regret most after college?