6 answers

What are some things you regret not doing in college?

Asked Oakland, California

I'm not in college yet, but I want to know the different opportunities and experiences you may have received but didn't take the chance to do it! I want to learn from other people's mistakes so that I live out the rest of my 4 years to its fullest.
One thing I want to do to study abroad, but I know it's going to be financially hard for me. I know there are scholarships, but is there any advice as to how I can find money to go & also balance out my school work?
Also, was it okay - if you studied abroad - for you to travel alone with your program, or did you apply with a friend?

#abroad #travel #money #finance #college #regrets #life #excitement #confusion

6 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

During my years in college, Human Resources, and College Recruiting I have some very important things that need attention before, during, and after college.

  • Develop an appropriate career focus early
  • Make prudent choices relating to creating a proper balance time/life during college
  • Take care to control costs during college to prevent accumulation of unnecessary debt

Here are some tips on balancing life in college: ## https://www.unigo.com/in-college/college-experience/creating-a-workschool-balance-a-college-student-perspective

http://www.mycollegesuccessstory.com/academic-success-tools/college-life-balance.html

http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/000241/


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .





Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • • It really does not matter what school you attend, as the most important factors are how well you do with the school work, which is an indication to an employer about what kind of employee you will be, and the effort that you put forth in your networking to set up networking connections that will help you throughout your education/career journey. Here is an important video for you to watch: ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education ##
  • Here are some good pointers to reduce college costs: ## http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml ##

Laura’s Answer

Updated Portland, Oregon

Super smart to start thinking about this ahead of time! The number one thing I wish I did in college was study abroad - it's one of the most affordable and immersive ways to experience another culture, and getting to do it with your classmates is an exceptional bonding experience. My sister did a package deal where they went to London, Paris, and Rome, and visited major art museums, took local walking tours, and ate at local neighborhood restaurants. They took their learnings abroad back to the classroom and wove it in to both History and Art classes, solidifying key concepts via direct experience and classroom learning.

Secondly, I echo the suggestion to join as many clubs and hobby-based groups as your schedule and bandwidth allows. I've found the easiest way to make life-long connections and friends is by doing shared activities where everyone contributes - and is engaged in what they're doing. These college friendships can also turn into future career networking possibilities, carrying the value of these connections forward.

Laura recommends the following next steps:

  • Explore potential study abroad programs and research where you might like to go! https://www.goabroad.com/study-abroad

Scott’s Answer

This is a very personal question and your answers may be different because you want(ed) different things from the college experience. You asked what *I* regretted not doing so I'll share a few things that are top of mind:

1) . I regret not applying myself academically as much as I could have. The primary reason I regret it is because college is a great opportunity to test what you're made of. If I'd pushed myself harder I may have learned more about what I was truly capable of. As a result of not making this choice in college I've had to work harder and find other ways to do so in my professional life.

2) . I regret not spending more time networking with fellow students and professors. I've lost touch with most of them. My network isn't as effective as I'd like it to be to help me answer professional questions. I don't have the comraderie that I see others get from their college experiences.

Divy’s Answer

I got an opportunity to travel abroad for a semester but chose to graduate early and take a job instead. In hindsight, I should have traveled abroad as those opportunities are limited when you're working full time - it is hard (although, not impossible) to take multiple weeks or months off at a time and you gain more responsibilities.

Divy recommends the following next steps:

  • Identify the things you really want to experience and start doing them today. Avoid procrastination and don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Time is precious.

sdf’s Answer

I did my masters in CMU. During my final year, I wasn't concentrated on career and I was totally concentrating on friends and partying. I had beautiful opportunities to get in to amazing job, but now I regret so much that i wasn't given importance to my goals. My advise is going through priorities is important. Balance your life with enjoyment and career goals.

Taylor’s Answer

Updated Tampa, Florida

Study abroad and join as many clubs as possible even if you only go to one meeting! I studied abroad in Italy for 6 weeks and did not know people in the school group I went with but I loved it! The school put us in groups for living arrangements so we quickly made new friends.

Taylor recommends the following next steps:

  • Look up places you find interesting and which programs your school offers for study abroad.