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Sydney R.

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What would you have done differently in college/university?

If you could go back in time, what would you have changed about your college experience? What are the things you're happy you did and wouldn't change? I'm looking for suggestions regarding all aspects of college -- academic, social, personal -- everything. I'd especially appreciate advice specific to sophomores in college! #college #college-major #university #school #college-bound #college-jobs #college-minor #college-advice

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Hello! As a recent graduate I have been asking myself this question quite often so that I can give advice to others attending college. Obviously because I am from England universities/colleges work very differently but I understand that sophomore year is the 2nd year of university/college. Firstly, I am happy that I tried new things in regards to societies and event within my first year when the work was less stressful and I had more spare time, I am also very happy that I put in the time to volunteer and get work experience in every year of my degree. However, although I did these things I feel that I could have still done more and had more variation. I also wish that I had kept on in the societies that I had joined in my first year as I wasn't as involved within my 2nd and final year. My advice would be to do lots of varied volunteering/work experience/ work shadowing as this will help in any sorts of applications you make after completing college and also to become involved in societies and clubs even outside of the college setting as this is a good way to a good social life, make sure you have friends in a variety of settings at college and make the most of your summers by working or doing the things that are on your bucket list, chances are they will be the longest summers you will ever have with no commitments or work to think about!

Last updated Jun 23 '16 at 03:26 PM

Hi Sydney - great question because as they say, hindsight is always 20/20! If only we had a time machine to go back and re-live our college days. For me, first I would have spent more time assessing my life and career goals to ensure I was studying within the correct major/minors. My first semester was in Engineering which I chose more based salary goals and family history in the field. But I quickly found it didn't meet my interests nor my skillset. Luckily I was able to transfer within the same college to Management for the second half of the year and from there excelled, but I regret wasting the months and money of that first semester. Ensure you're studying a field that you love! Second, not to keep with the puns, but variety is the spice of life. Take advantage of exploring as many social groups, activities, volunteer work and internships that are offered, as long as they don't negatively impact your studies. All can be used towards building your resume, expanding networking contacts, as well as making you a more rounded individual. Truly enjoy these years and make them memorable as well as productive! Cheers!

Last updated Jun 23 '16 at 05:47 PM

Hi. I would have gone away to college. I missed having a true college experience. That said, I landed an summer internship in a corporation and was able continue working part-time during the school year because I stayed home. I was able to do that all 4 years of school and I was offered a full-time job upon graduation. I didn't accept the offer, but it was great to receive that invitation. It really helped my confidence. If you have an opportunity to apply for professional internships, do so. It will provide you with great exposure to what happens in your chosen field.

I was very socially active through college, although I have not kept in touch with any of my college friends. I regret that. If possible, stay in touch with the network of friends you meet in school. They may be able to help you professionally, especially if you share the same major. They will also will be a comfort to you later in your life as you reminisce.

Get as much sleep as you can, it will help you academically. Putting aside time to study every day will also help you. Don't cram for exams if you can help it.

Good luck

Last updated Jun 23 '16 at 05:54 PM

You will need to focus on stress and time management. In order to manage stress you have to manage your time wisely. <span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>



Last updated Apr 03 at 06:54 PM
Hi Sydney. This is a fabulous question-- and one I wish I would've asked when I was in #college! While college was, overall, a good experience for me and I "came out of my shell" a lot more so to speak, I still wish I had done a lot of things differently. For starters, I wish I had put more effort into my #grades. That's not to say that I didn't do well or that I flunked any of my #classes, I just wish I had taken more time to fine tune my efforts and make me look better on my graduate program applications. I also wish I had joined at least one club or organization and stuck with it. Socializing as a whole was never my forte and because I was a commuter student I saw it more as an inconvenience than anything else. It's not. Even if it feels like it is, it's not. Clubs and organizations are hugely beneficial in that you'll meet new friends, build your networks, and have a potentially endless list of future references. Plus it can be fun too! As I previously said, I was a commuter student. I graduated high school at 17 and I just wasn't ready to move out at that point in my life. I wish I had taken the plunge and done it, even if I did still stay at a school only 30 minutes from my house. I think it would have vastly accelerated the improvements I made on myself throughout college, and again, it's a new opportunity to make friends and build your networks. I wish I had gotten to know my #professors better. I can say with probably about 99% confidence that only one of my professors remembers me and that's a huge inconvenience when you have no work experience and no networks to fall back on when you need references and letters of recommendation! I wish I had volunteered, interned, or even worked while I was in school. For my #career goals, I'm not sure what work experience might have helped but volunteering and interning could have vastly improved my chances of getting a #job in my desired field directly out of college. One thing I'm extremely happy I did do while in school was thoroughly plan the next semester's #classes out well before registration opened. My university had set scheduling for when we could register (i.e., not everyone could register at the same time, we were all assigned a date and time we could do so) so actually getting the classes and professors I wanted was tough every time. I researched and planned and did everything in advance, including compiling a lengthy list of back up classes, so that I would be sure I'd get at least 5 every semester. Getting desired courses/professors became tougher and tougher as the years went by because I had fewer and fewer required classes as well as electives I was actually interested in, yet I still managed to get every single professor I wanted for nearly every single course I wanted. Planning ahead does work! It looks like you posted this question quite some time ago but I hope my answer can still be of help to you. Best of luck!
Last updated Nov 12 '17 at 12:56 AM
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