By Julie Pike, Editor-in-Chief
This is incredibly cliché, but it’s so true how fast your college years go by. Four years of working, taking classes, and juggling about a million things at once, preparing you to enter the work world for the next few decades.
As graduation gets closer, I can’t help but think what I would’ve done differently if I had the chance to do it all over again.
For a long time, I was so focused on getting good grades and being editor of the paper that I let the chance of making new friends and enjoying my time with the ones I had fly by me. I don’t regret working hard, but I do wish that I had made more time to just have fun and enjoy being a young adult.
I would’ve taken more advantage of the vast resources available to students, such as student discounts, career counselors, tutors, access to books and online resources from the library.
I would’ve spent more time on campus. Most students come to campus only when they have class, and they are missing out on the chance to take advantage of being in college by surrounding yourself with other students in the library or dining hall. Immerse yourself in the college atmosphere.
I would’ve appreciated my ever-changing schedule more. I’m not looking forward to the dreaded 9-5 schedule most full-time workers have. I thrive under a more flexible schedule, and I’m afraid of feeling burnt out from a schedule that never changes. Luckily for me, a career in journalism means I’ll be getting to do something different each day, even if I am confined to those hours.
I would’ve been smarter with my money. I’ve spent so much money on eating out when I easily could’ve cooked at home to save some cash. It was often out of laziness. But now, as I’m about to take on more bills and financial responsibilities, I wish I had set up and followed a budget to build up my savings account.
I would’ve started networking sooner. During the last few months I’ve been focused on my career search for after graduation, which showed me the importance of networking and making connections. I wish I had begun to do so early on in college when I had the opportunity to broaden my network.
I would’ve talked to more people. You’re surrounded by hundreds of students and faculty at school, whether in class or just around campus. Don’t shut them all out, talk to new people, say hi, and become more engaged with the people around you.
I would’ve been more adventurous. I’m sometimes reserved or hesitant about trying new things. Being a young adult in college is the time when it’s okay to be a little crazy. Take risks. Be spontaneous. I’m not saying go do something stupid that you might regret, but something out of your comfort zone. You don’t want to regret playing it safe all of the time.
Overall, I would’ve done more. I procrastinated and wasted what I now realize is precious time, when I could’ve been more social, working on school work or on an extra-curricular, volunteering or just getting out there to experience life. My best advice to students is to have a more well-rounded schedule. Find your balance between school, work and fun.
It took me a long time to realize just how much college has to offer, and you only have a small window of time to take advantage of that. For those of you not graduating this May, I hope you realize all of that sooner than I did and get all that you can out of your time in school.