Back to School Guide 2013 | College Regrets

When it comes to the question of how to make the most of your college experience, there is no “correct” answer. Everyone’s experience is different and valuable in its own right. However, there are those instances when we look back on our time as undergrads and think, “I wish I could’ve…” The Audrey Magazine staff, although all have great college memories, share about the things they wish they got a chance to do during their undergrad careers. If nothing else, hopefully it spurs you on to take full advantage of your college experience and the unique opportunities available to you at this time in your life.

Not studying abroad has been one of the biggest regrets for multiple Audrey staffers.  One of our editors explains:

There was an English study abroad program that was essentially studying Shakespeare in London. It was described as a mixture of Literature and Theater and if you know anything about me, thats basically riiiiiight up my ballpark. Unfortunately, I had already taken the classes that satisfy that requirement prior to hearing about this program. My suggestion is to really look into study abroad programs. I always assumed that as an English major, I wouldn’t find a study abroad program that would fit my requirements. Obviously, I was wrong.”

Budgeting time between family, old friends, and the constant excitement of a completely new college environment also cropped up multiple times with our staff as something they wish they had managed better.

“I regret the way that I managed my time with my family. When I went off to college, I was experiencing an entirely new lifestyle. I was living on my own, creating new friends, having new experiences, etc. My family completely understood that I was too busy to call and to come home often, but it wasn’t until I graduated that I found out how difficult it was for them. In hindsight, I realize that while I was in college having the time of my life, they felt like they had just lost a presence at home. Even worse, I had lost a family member during this time and I definitely regret not putting in enough effort to contact them all on a daily basis. A phone call isn’t all too hard after all. “

“Sticking with my group of friends/one org for 4 years; it would’ve been nice to branch out and meet more people!”

“I usually make the effort to call my parents everyday, but I never regularly checked up on my friends who I’ve known since like childhood or middle school. I guess I got around to thinking more about the friendships I cared about and needed to put more effort into when I found out one of my friends was depressed and suicidal.”

College is also a good time to learn to be responsible with your finances, as one of our editors found out.

“Not paying attention to my finances. I didn’t go on shopping sprees or anything, but I’d forget to pay the credit card bills, eat out for every single meal, continue to pay for expensive cable for months after we stopped watching it. College is a good time to develop good spending habits.”

Another common regret among our staff and one of the best tips for all you soon-to-be collegiates is to appreciate the opportunity you have to attend college and just enjoy the ride.

“Not taking the time to let everything sink in. College passes by FAST and even then that’s an understatement. If I could do it all over again, I would take more time to just walk around campus on my own and really take it all in. Its easy to get distracted by everything going on, but sometimes it helps to slow down and appreciate the privilege/opportunity of just being there.” 

Mostly I regret not making the most of where I am. Things like not getting to know some really cool people or not taking advantage of weekends to travel.” 

“Sometimes I also regret taking my classes for granted. Yeah, we always complain, but in the end it’s a real privilege to have learning as your sole obligation.”

“I’d have to say the one thing I regret about college — other than my crazy dorm roommates freshman year — is not appreciating my time in college enough. Looking back, I really had a great college experience — one that was good for me at the time. All my bills were paid, I traveled, I made great friends, my love life was always interesting, I studied hard and had a lot of good, clean fun.”