College should be a wonderful time for exploration and self-discovery. However, many people look back at their experiences and wish they had done things differently. In a recent online discussion, several users shared what they would have done differently if they could return to college. From focusing more on better study habits and avoiding unnecessary procrastination to taking care of mental health, there are various changes people would make if given the chance.
1. Focus on Academics and Prioritize Studying
Many users wished they had taken their academics more seriously and spent more time studying. They spoke of how they had focused too much on socializing and partying, leading to poor grades and missed opportunities. One user shared how they had failed a class and had to retake it, causing them to fall behind in their studies. Another user wished they had taken more challenging courses, as they felt they had not learned enough in their easier classes.
2. Choose a Major More Carefully
Several users spoke of the importance of choosing a major that was a good fit for them. They shared stories of picking a major based on what they thought would make them the most money or what their parents wanted. They wished they had taken more time to explore their interests and passions and picked a major that aligned with them.
3. Take Advantage of Extracurricular Activities
Many users regretted not getting more involved in extracurricular activities on campus. They spoke of missing out on opportunities to meet new people, develop new skills, and make a difference in their community. One user shared how they had been too shy to join a club they were interested in, and another regretted not studying abroad.
4. Spend Less Money
Several users wished they had managed their finances more carefully. They spoke of how they had taken out too many student loans, spent too much money on unnecessary things, and did not save enough. One user shared how they had been surprised by how quickly their debt had added up and wished they had been more mindful of their spending. Consider saving money by cooking for yourself or others.
5. Develop Better Study Habits and Time Management Skills
Many users wished they had developed better study habits and time management skills in college. They spoke of procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to complete assignments, causing stress and poor grades. One user shared how they wished they had set specific study goals and scheduled study time each day.
6. Take Advantage of Office Hours and Resources
Many users shared how they had not taken advantage of the resources available to them in college. They wished they had gone to their professor’s office hours for extra help, used the writing center for assistance with papers, and attended career fairs to network with potential employers. One user shared how they had not realized the importance of building relationships with professors and mentors until after graduation.
7. Study Abroad
Some users wished they had lived in different places during their college years. They spoke of staying in the same dorm or apartment all four years and wished they had experienced different living situations. One user shared how they had always wanted to study abroad but did not take the opportunity, and another wished they had lived in a different city or state to broaden their perspectives.
8. Build Stronger Relationships With Peers
Several users wished they had made more effort to build stronger peer relationships. They spoke of how they had spent too much time studying alone or not being social enough, causing them to miss out on potential friendships. One user shared how they had not realized the importance of networking with classmates until after graduation and were looking for jobs.
9. Learn Practical Skills
Many users shared how they wished they had learned more practical skills in college. They spoke of how they had focused too much on theory and abstract concepts and had not gained enough real-world experience. One user shared how they wished they had taken more computer programming courses, as those skills would have been valuable in their current job. Another user wished they had taken more business classes to prepare for entrepreneurship.
Related Reading: 18 Desirable High Income Skills You Can Learn and Earn More
10. Take Care of Mental Health
Several users spoke of the importance of caring for their mental health in college. They shared stories of how they had ignored their stress and anxiety, causing them to burn out and struggle academically. One user shared how they had not realized how important self-care was until after they had graduated and were dealing with the effects of untreated mental health issues.
11. Less Procrastination
College students are known for procrastination. Several commented on handing in assignments late, doing a crappy job waiting for the last minute, and getting lower grades. Many suggested they could have done a better job planning their workload and earned better grades. With fewer parties and hangovers, commenters believe they would have been less worn out to tackle their priorities.
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This article was produced and syndicated by The Cents of Money.
With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.