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What could you have done differently/better in university?

What could you have done differently/better in university?
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Wayne’s Answer

Hi!

I did well in college, but there are definitely things that I wish I did better.

I Should Have Applied for More Scholarships. Even though I was fortunate as to finish out college without too much ebt, I should have definitely applied for more scholarships. More money is never a bad thing.

I Should Have Been More Involved. I wish I took part in more on-campus activities. The number of clubs and organizations on most college campuses is staggering. There is almost certainly a club for every niche. Not only are these clubs fun, but they can also offer great opportunities and friendships for your future career or for your personal life. Every student should join at least one club that sounds interesting to him or herself.

I Should Have Studied More. Make sure you focus on your studies more. Try to make a bit of an extra effort. You will thank yourself later.

I Should Have Spent More Time Learning New Things. Isn't the best time to start learning something new in your college years?

I Should Have Taken the Future More Seriously. You can’t just let things be and expect them to work out magically. You need to work things out, make plans, and be one step ahead. It’s okay if your plans don’t always work out — what matters is that you take responsibility for your life.

Good luck!
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Melissa’s Answer

Even as a pretty good student, there are areas looking back I could have been better/done something differently.

Study more. Take the time to learn how you study best. If it's in the silence of a library sitting by yourself or with a group of classmates so you can ask/answer questions, great. Find that out and study for everything.

Selecting best courses. When selecting classes (particularly those that were for GED and not your major/minor), make sure you're interested in the topic. The topic doesn't have to be relevant to your field, so long as you find it interesting and want to learn. If you don't attend or pay attention, you're throwing money away. I took a biology course to check a science course off my list, and I learned nothing.

Set goals. The journey can and will change, but the goal should always remain. It's ok to start small. This mentality will help with future career paths, especially the "where do you see yourself in 1, 5, 20 years?" question.

THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON LEARNED
Listen. Your professors are giving you feedback because they care and can see potential. It wasn't until a few years after graduating I finally realized what one professor was trying to tell me. I didn't give their comments enough time to sink in, and missed out on some better project outcomes because of it. Now, I'm updating my portfolio years later, trying to implement some of that feedback.

Best of luck!
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Molly’s Answer

I really enjoyed my time in college but I think the main thing I would do differently is take more classes that really interest me. I took classes to graduate on time with my major, etc., but now I'm wishing I took advantage of all the different elective-type classes on interesting topics. I miss learning and learning just because it's a topic that interests me especially. So my advice is to take classes that you want to take and enjoy the opportunity to learn about them from leaders in the subject-area!
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Xitlali’s Answer

Hi!

Even though I was involved in different clubs that were related to my major, I wish I would have taken more risks in college. That includes saying yes to more opportunities, and sometimes being uncomfortable. Freshman to Junior year, I was coasting by and thought I was doing okay for someone who switched from a STEM major to Business. It wasn't until my senior year that I realized I could be doing more. So I started going to more office hours and took on extra projects from professors. Because of this, I was able to receive insight on future career choices and get advice on the next steps I would be taking.

Also, don't be afraid to receive feedback! It can be hard to hear and receive, but it will all help out in the end.
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Peregrin’s Answer

Like the others I see answering here, I did very well in college.

I believe getting internships and building up a network of people who can help you get started out of college, either directly in the field you are looking for, or as recommendations to others, would have been smart to do. The academics were a must do. Having more scholarships or grants to reduce the cost of college, and minimize debt for you or your family, always a good thing. But for your personal growth and career success, developing a network and gaining practical experience through internships makes the most sense to me looking back.

Beyond the immediate benefits of learning about careers through practical work and meeting people to help recommend you, learning how to actively network and identify mentors to work with is an incredibly valuable skill. Once in the working world, it will be as much your ability to network successfully (assuming your job performance is above average), that will lead you to promotion and higher responsibilities.
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Katie’s Answer

There are three things I would have done differently:

1. I would have taken time off to work and decide what I really wanted to study. I wasted many credits, time, and money by switching majors without a clear understanding of what my interests were and what my future goals were.

2. I would have studied abroad and learned another language. There aren't many chances in life to completely immerse yourself in another culture or become bilingual as quickly than experiencing time abroad. I've traveled a great deal since college, but it is just not the same and there are many experiences that would have changed my perspective on world.

3. Lastly, I would have taken internship positions as early as possible. It's never too early to apply for internships either during the school year or for the summer break. There is no better way to understand what environment and work you would enjoy than experiencing it first hand. Additionally, it will give you interpersonal skills within the work environment, interview skills, and added experience to your resume. All this will make for an easier transition from school to the workforce.
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Nate’s Answer

Hi Rbx,

Great question!

I wish I would have spent more time in college exploring personal passions outside of my primary career aspirations (as a finance major, I loaded up on business courses to ensure a strong resume and academic track record). Looking back, I wish I would have learned French or Italian, taken computer science courses, sports-related courses, nutritional/health studies, etc.

Additionally, I wish I had spent more time networking with my professors beyond the classroom. Especially in business courses, your instructors are often practitioners in the very field they are instructing you in; gaining their insight on the industry and the opportunities available to you beyond the coursework involved would have been invaluable. I've heard of many situations where professors actually assisted students in getting jobs lined up after college.

Best of luck to you! Focus on the end-goal, but remember that life is a continuous learning experience and exploring personal passions will only become more important to you as you progress in your career.
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Kenji’s Answer

Hi,
Rising senior in college here! There are some phenomenal points above talking about leadership, career, and studying. I hope to address a more non-academic aspect of college - take time for yourself.

It's super important to get good grades, recruit for awesome companies, and join leadership positions. There is hard work to be done and sacrifices to be made in order to achieve that. That being said, please take the time for yourself, your friends, and your family. Make sure to establish a limit as to how much you're willing to give up in order to achieve those goals and stick to it. Failing to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and others may diminish your support structure and mental health, which can make getting that 4.0 or offer letter even harder!

While your hectic schedule may seem like there isn't room to breathe, a good way to find a balance is to set aside some time everyday that is protected and dedicated to do non-school/career activities. Treat it like a super important meeting that can't be rescheduled. Use this time to catch up with friends, take a walk, or do something that makes you happy.
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi - Great question! Looking back on it, when I was in college I wish I would've known to apply for more scholarship opportunities. There are so many ways to receive a scholarship/grants while you're still in college from various professional organizations. I'd definitely recommend doing the research to see which professional organizations offer student scholarships based on your major and/or career path desires. Something I also wish I did differently would've been to really connect with my professors, it wasn't until my junior/senior years that I networked and received advice from my professors that were designated to my specific major. My schedule was so busy I never had the chance to go to office hours that they held during the beginning of my college experience. I would've liked to have connected more with professors outside of my major but still in the business department and even other fields. Mainly because you never truly know when you'll need a reference or an introduction after you graduate from college and it's good to have them as resources. Definitely capitalize on getting to know everyone you meet because you never know what type of an impact they can have on your personal and professional growth later on.
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Michelle’s Answer

I wish I applied for more off-campus opportunities like internships or part-time office jobs with firms, no matter how large or small. This will provide you with more exposure to the workforce, which will help when you transition to a full-time role. Opportunities on campus are great and provide valuable learning and networking experiences as well, but make sure to apply to multiple internships or jobs at the types of firms you plan on working at. For example, if you want to work in banking, see if you can work part-time as a bank teller.
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Edwin’s Answer

Hi Rbx!

1. I wish I had more leadership skills by joining different organizations. For example, I am an active member in different clubs such as Associated Student Body and Cross Country.
2. I could have chosen a major earlier by understanding my likes and dislikes in a potential career. For example, I should have completed internships to explore my career path.
3. Volunteer at more different clubs and gain employable skills, I now emailed different non-profits to gain hard skills.

But, I would say you are doing a great job and you are always learning!

Best,
Edwin
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Brandon’s Answer

For me it was definitely interacting with other students and getting an internship that would help my degree. Currently I am on track to get my Bachelor's of Arts in Culture, Literature and the Arts, but back then I had a job working at a local library outside of school. Working at the library did give me experience working at a library setting, however with my degree it doesn't exactly apply well. So I wish that I was able to get an internship somewhere where my degree is applicable. Interacting with other students and joining school clubs is also something that I wish that could have done better. Since I was so focused on school and work, I missed out on plenty of opportunities offered by the University that I wish that I could have partaken in. By going to such events and volunteering you can branch out your networking and gain new recommendations if needed, for certain job. Having University clubs backing you up when it comes to recommendations is always a plus.
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Nikita’s Answer

Great question! College is the time to truly find your passion and as such, I wish I had spent more time networking with individuals in various fields (i.e. through professors, professionals, etc.) , stepping out of my comfort zone to apply for all sorts of internships and jobs, and finding a mentor.

Additionally, the other thing I wish I did is just take a moment to breath and enjoy my college years. It can be hard to find space to stop and take a moment to take it all in especially with classes, extracurriculars, and work but it's very important to find a good balance between work and life.
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Kristina’s Answer

This is a really interesting question. In college/university, it is very easy to get wrapped up in your courses and assignments. While it is important to stay focused on coursework, I think there are so many other elements of college that can be extremely beneficial. For example, there are typically an abundance of career resources, professors who have practical knowledge to share outside of the standard course lessons, clubs and organizations that can help you build skills and find passions, etc. These are often unique to the university environment and can be more difficult to find once you graduate.

While I did get involved in clubs and use my university's career resources, I did not explore nearly as much as I could have. For example, I found a couple clubs/organizations that interested me and stuck to them rather than trying out different things. I also used my career center for purposes of job applications, but I did not make use of the many opportunities, career fairs, etc. that could have better prepared me for different career options and what was to come after graduation. While I did have an excellent university experience, I know that the school had much more to offer than what I took advantage of.
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Gayatri’s Answer

Hi There!
This is a great question! I believe some of the things that I would have done better when I attended my Master's program at my University was to connect with as much people within my course, my classes and throughout my program at my University. This habit for creating connections should start at an early age especially if one has to be comfortable to step outside of their comfort zone and talk to people if one considers that to be a bit difficult. Colleges are a great resource that one should utilize to do any activities that they are not comfortable doing it otherwise, that safe space of college is a great way to upskill a lot of soft skills and thus prepare for their professional journey ahead.

Another thing I would have done differently is to participate in some clubs, social events and organize and lead these clubs. Along with academics, these social responsibilities helps to strengthen the leadership skills which are really helpful later on to help take on additional responsibilities at a professional settings.
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Caroline’s Answer

This is a great question to be asking and I wish I would’ve seen this post when I first got to college. I think I would’ve changed the way I did some things. First of all I had no idea how important networking was, especially when your young. Whatever you want to go into probably has som internship field so work hard your sophomore and junior year to find something you enjoy and do a great job because most companies offer return offers to their interns going into senior year. And if not, then at least you have that experience and have a leg up on everyone else. Also network with older people in organizations. I suggest working towards a leadership position early so that you will be surrounded by other people working towards similar goals. That being said I did do a few good things I would suggest: make friends over lunch and laughs rather than at night, worked towards a strong spirituality and learn more about myself and my independence.
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Ashley’s Answer

I wish I would've explored as many different career options and interests as possible. Learn what you like and don't like. Do you like working with people? Do you enjoy helping others? What motivates you to wake up in the morning? All great questions to get you to start thinking.
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