51 answers

If you could redo college, what would you do differently?

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51 answers

Marina’s Answer

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Mireia,

Personally, I would be more focused, waste less time and get more sleep. Sometimes in college you become overwhelmed with new found freedom and experiences, that it's easy for your studies to become less of a priority. It's good to be mindful of that and keep a schedule of the work you need to accomplish and stick to it.
Thank you so much for your advice! Mireia R.
You're welcome. Best of luck! Marina Cubias-Castro

Edmond’s Answer

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Two things: (1) I would have tried to convince one of my professors to be my mentor; (2) team up with other students for study and homework. It's OK to study on your own but find one or two other students who are better than you are in a given subject and do some of the harder homework together. In that setting where we explain the topic verbally, the brain functions much better.

JENNA’s Answer

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I would have focused harder on my language classes, I would have studied abroad during the semester, and I would have been more involved- I wish I had participated in more events, organizations or volunteer activities. I really value the friendships I created in college- I would have worked harder to cultivate more of them.
Thank you for your insight! Mireia R.

Amanda’s Answer

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I would have taken part in more activities and used all the services that were offered. I was too focused on just the work. I think I missed out on a lot.

Thank you for sharing! Mireia R.

Kim’s Answer

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Well, honestly, I would have enjoyed life more. You have your whole life ahead of you to be saddled with adult responsibilities. I would have gone out more, explored new and different things, and taken the time to be a kid. I was a nerdy, goody two-shoes who never got in trouble. While I do NOT advocate doing anything illegal that will potentially jeopardize your entire future life and career, it is important to learn how to socialize and relax. In fact, socializing is actually a required skill for successful networking and career-advancement. Everything in moderation!

Kim
Thank you so much for your insight! Mireia R.
I couldn't agree more with you Kim. College is the time to not only discover yourself , but make everlasting memories. You have put across the answer beautifully. Kudos. Priyanka Agrawal
Though i agree with your answer, sometimes i feel like i should have utilised it a bit for efficiently. I've spent like 80% of the time making memories and 20% to actually study. Looking back, I feel that i could've probably pushed the needle a little towards studies as well. Not that I'm not happy with where i am but just a thought. Surendra Kanala

Naveed’s Answer

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I really enjoyed my time at college, studied science subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics). I would study IT more, spend more time in understanding how the internet works. I would do some certifications on my own apart from just going to college for a degree. College degree helps but certifications get you the job. This is what my experience is. Learn a skill like photography early in my life, and keep developing it through out my life.

Naveed recommends the following next steps:

  • Join a university
  • Find work in your education field
  • Keep doing certifications

Robert’s Answer

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If given the opportunity to redo college I would be more open and expand the circles of people I engaged and surrounded myself with. College is the most free and widest expanse of opportunity most people will have in their lives. The more diverse experiences you have and broad/varied groups of people you surround yourself with will provide you a greater foundation from which to both tackle the challenges the world will throw your way and the pathways and opportunities to success will be less limited.

Jerome’s Answer

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Great question!! I would have taken greater advantage of being around very smart people who have devoted their life to teaching others. Most profs I encountered really enjoyed getting to share their experiences and insight beyond the textbooks and tests which are really beneficial in really seeing if these fields of study have potential as career paths. Additionally, their contacts in various fields of study and industry can prove very valuable for your post-studies path. In short, take advantage of office hours and build those relationships!

Denise’s Answer

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Shadow.  Sometimes your perception of a career and reality of the career differ.  Better to know that before investing years of college to find out it is what you want to do.  Ask about other career opportunities within the organization which may align with your interests/strengths.  Don't be fixated on having to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life.  Explore several different options.     

Kelley’s Answer

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I would have done a few things differently...I would have studied abroad, I would have asked my top professors to be career mentors, II would have interned during the summers to get a better feel for what I wanted to do when I graduated.  A business degree is so broad; there were many career options to consider.

Kaitlyn’s Answer

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I would think twice about taking out large student loans. I chose a school I wanted to go to and I lived on campus. Had I been a commuter or even chose a school with lower costs, I would have saved some serious money and wouldn't be paying the student loan debt I am paying now (it costs more than my mortgage).

In addition- I would have waited to obtain my Master's Degree. I got it right after getting my Bachelor's. If I had waited until I was employed, my employer would have paid my tuition (instead of me now paying back a loan for the degree).

Last thing I would have done differently: I should have taken networking more seriously as a college student. I don't have many contacts from college I could go to for advice or for various opportunities. I wish I would have spent more time building my professional network.

Kaitlyn recommends the following next steps:

  • Research schools that offer your desired academic program and compare their costs.
  • Determine if the cost of the school you want to go to is worth it based on the average salary you will make upon graduation

Jaclyn’s Answer

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I would have gone abroad or travelled further from school to broaden my perspective

Samuel’s Answer

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I would become involved in the entrepreneurial community as early as possible and start a business sooner. I didn't get involved in the entrepreneurial community till my senior project, and it was literally life changing in many ways. There's a reason universities are the breeding ground for so many startups - having access to some of the world's best equipment, technology, software, and last but not least, minds, is such a massive opportunity, that if someone is focused and uses the available resources and support, they can truly change their life.

Samuel recommends the following next steps:

  • Join your entrepreneurial community.
  • Start a business

Mikayla’s Answer

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Hi Mireia,

There are quite a few things I would do differently if I could go back in time to when I was in college. The biggest thing, though, is I wish I had taken advantage of study abroad opportunities. I was so focused on getting out of college quickly and working while doing so, that I didn't really consider studying abroad. It's such a great opportunity though, and I would advise any current college students to consider it.

Angus’s Answer

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Hi


Speaking for myself and some of my colleagues ... we have a few suggestions:

Think about a "study break" - take a break from the "academic" pressures - doing stuff for college (coursework, deadlines, exams results etc) - but getting out into the real world (travel, work experience, whatever) gives a different perspective which will help, when you come back, have a different, broader perspective - makes you realise why you are studying / why it matters - so helps you work hards with a better level of focus (clearer end-goals)

Consider international student exchange ... that is a GREAT way of being exposed to other cultures / countries / career opportunities etc ...

<span style="color: black;">I would have worked for a year first before going to university in order to discover what my passions were. Instead, I started a course I thought I would like but hated, essentially wasting the year. I then had to work for three years before going back in order to save money for the extortionate re-entry fees! So be careful with your initial choices. </span>

Think about the skills you need in the industries you may go and work in and think about the "softer" skills you may need that they are not teaching you in the classroom. e.g. I did a business degree, and no one taught be presentation or negotiation skills - which are every-day requirements in the "real world" - think what the equivalent is for your degree / work environment ...

Consider "mixed" topic degrees / double degree ... e.g. a colleague did Communications, but would have preferred to have done Communications AND Business combined to make it a more "real-life" useable degree (easier to change industries etc) . My daughter does Psychology AND Spanish - so gives her that extra edge for where she could work in the future

Sheila’s Answer

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Hello Mireia:

This is a great question; thank you. If I could go back in time and redo college I'd do the following:

1) Scholarship Opportunities: Take advantage of all the current scholarship opportunities. There are so many scholarship opportunities out there until most students miss out probably due to their lack of knowledge on where to go for them by not doing their research in advance.

2) Work Part-time: I worked a full-time job while I was in college including during the summer. If I could redo I would have worked part-time and got more involved with on-campus activities and organizations. But, I was thankful for the company's tuition reimbursement program because this helped out financially.

3) Seek a Mentor: Although I was a very diligent student I wish I had seek out a mentor while in college.

I wish you much success on your journey. Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila

Jennifer’s Answer

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If I could redo college, I would worry less and take more chances. You have the rest of your life to play it safe, college is the time to take chances and see what happens. I tried to be too responsible and serious in college and didn't enjoy that care-free time as much as I should have. I am not advocating not studying, but I guess the old adage, "work hard, play hard!"

Lisa’s Answer

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What a tough question!  Sometimes we have an idea of what we'd like to study, but not a definitive idea of how that would translate into a career.  If I could go back, I would make a list of my interests and strengths, and compare those with available career opportunities to ensure my courses and major are going to result in job placement after college.  I ended up in a career that I love, but I have friends and colleagues whose selected their major without thinking about the number of available jobs in that field and have settled for jobs that are outside of their field of study.  Good luck!

Michele’s Answer

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What a great question ... I would definitively invest more time networking, giving back to the community and focusing on self development. There are so many opportunities, you now have time to explore, travel, meet new people and make a difference; take advantage of the time you have and help others. If i could go back i would definitively join the peace corps and travel the world before jumping into corporate America!

Jenna’s Answer

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I would get more involved in the college life. Take advantage of the all the programs offered. Enjoy socializing and networking. I would probably live in campus the first couple of years.

Dara’s Answer

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When I was in college, my first two years I stayed in my own bubble a lot and wouldn’t go out and explore the city with friends or go to campus events. If I could do it differently, I would try to get more involved and get out there earlier than I did.

Ryan’s Answer

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Hi Mireia, I would definitely be a lot more mindful about organizing my time. You are in charge of how you want your life to be. Be mindful of creating a solid work/life balance. I always find that having a planner was very helpful. I feel that writing everything down makes your goals more tangible.

Jim’s Answer

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Great question! I would take more time to form relationships with others going into a similar field/career. I found that most people formed their core groups of friends early and just continued to spend time with those core people. Though I met others in classes, I didn't build or foster those relationships with those going into my field which would have been helpful when first entering the workforce.

Richard’s Answer

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If i could redo college, will try to understand what companies are looking to recruit from my college and learn more about them. This will help in aligning my choice of the company based on my career goals. Look to connect with the Alumni of the college.

Eugene’s Answer

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As you progress through your career, we tend to focus on getting jobs done and working to achieve stretch goals. Time to dedicate to Learning becomes harder, so firstly, I would appreciate the time at college.

Secondly, sometimes we are too hard on ourselves on trying to achieve a grade. You only have a certain amount of energy, so be clear on your outcomes ie. Grade can be necessary vs I'm just here to build a skill.

Thirdly, I would not focus on studying something to get the big $$$. This doesnt mean to ignore it but don't forget to feed the soul and explore different subjects. Experiment don't be afraid to fail.

Colleague is great to develop your thinking and build relationships. It takes practice. I wish I had better habits. Read more, write more papers without trying to make it perfect. Journalling is another great too to create clarity of thought. These give you great foundations to build upon and then you spend most of your energy growing, instead of trying to catch up :)

Eugene recommends the following next steps:

  • journalling

Daniel’s Answer

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Take a few hours at a local community college and intern at a local company or organization that you find interesting and are planning to study in college.  Apply to a few in-state schools  to transfer to after a year of community college.  You can get a few hours of college credit, intern on the side and save a little money for college at the same time.

Robert’s Answer

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Mireia - If I could redo one thing during my college experience it would have to be that I should have listened to one of my professor's. I was finishing junior college and had to decide where I should transfer to continue my studies and he had suggested a college and I decided to attend another one instead. It was a disaster. If you are lucky enough to have that one professor who believes in you and wants the best for you, listen to them!

Think of them as your mentor, an extension of your family as they have been a large part of your life and they may see you pursuing a career track you had not envisioned, pursuing an additional educational degree, etc.. Think about what they are saying and/or encouraging you to do and perhaps take their advice.

Ron’s Answer

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I would have done more research on the long term viability of my career choice. In addition, if necessary, how easy is it to transition from your career choice to other similar careers.  I

Donny’s Answer

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Better time management, and utilise Google, online (free) classes and external publications more.

Don't forget to enjoy college life too :)

joelle’s Answer

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What a great question! I would major in something that I was passionate about and less about what I thought my parents would want me to major in. Get straight A's, take a year off, then decide what I really wanted to do as a career. I really let other people sway my decisions on what I really wanted to do.

TV’s Answer

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Dear Mireia,

I graduated from college almost 8 years back and the memories that I made are still fresh in mind. I had a fabulous time in college which involved lots of challenges like stressful nights before exam, worrying about results etc. However, I had a great group of friends, who were my support system during those tough times. Eventually everything fell into place but in hindsight I feel I could have worked harder and earned better grades. But that certainly cannot take away the great time I had there.

So, if I could redo college, I would work harder, learn more and make many many more memories!

Good luck!

TV recommends the following next steps:

  • Maintain a schedule
  • Don't forget to have some fun

David’s Answer

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Great question.

I worked full time while attending school. I would highly recommend, concentrating your time and efforts into your classes, studies, and school activities. Get more involved in on campus groups and only work part time if needed.

Best of luck to you.

David recommends the following next steps:

  • Apply for scholarships early and often. Many scholarships have few applicants.

Jeremy’s Answer

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This is a very good question! My university experience was heavily focused on academic performance and volunteerism. I was very "future focused" and tried to do everything I could in the moment to prepare myself for life after graduating. Looking back, I definitely could've taken my foot off the pedal and pursued personal goals - for example, I always wanted to learn music and there were clubs on campus that taught music.


I think everyone has something they wish they could change, and it's useful to take these learnings forward after college to continue to improve as an individual.

Steven Chang-Hsun’s Answer

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If I could redo college, I would explore more interests and opportunities outside my major. Seek more opportunities to study or work abroad. Pick up a new language and try to master it.

Steven Chang-Hsun recommends the following next steps:

  • discuss with friends, family and even strangers to hear various of answers
  • prioritize your goals and list the resources you may have during college or in the near future
  • start to do it now. slow but steady.

Christina’s Answer

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I would have gotten more involved in the school itself- student government, clubs, etc. This would have given me a more well -rounded experience and an opportunity to meet different people. I went to school with a lot of my friends and we had a great time, but meeting other people would have given me an opportunity to get different perspectives. In addition, I would also have connected with more of my professors to gain some professional mentorship. #liveandlearn

Jennifer’s Answer

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I would have waited a year to declare a major (my first major was elementary education). In the first year I would have taken classes from different areas of interest to determine what I was naturally good at, and what things I enjoyed learning about. No matter what major you work towards, in today's working world, it's important to at least have some high level business courses that would help in any industry. I did work full time as I went through college, and I wouldn't change that. I found a company to work for that paid for my education (however it had to be a business curriculum - so I changed majors after two years to Communications). I think gaining work experience as I was also completing my degree was priceless, as I was able to enter the job market easier due to having work experience on my resume.

Patricia’s Answer

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Such a FUN question. Ohboy if I could redo college. College is suppose to be a time to meet new friends and have fun. There are sororities to think about, new friends to meet, parties; extra curricular activities - you are able to choose everything and there is a great deal of responsibility and time management. Unfortunately I started later in life and changing career paths. I enrolled in the BSN-RN program and what a program that is. It takes all of your time (and sleep). I didn't have much time for football, tailgating parties and the like due to it was such a rigorous program and consumes all of your free time. I attended college during the summer months too while in the program (year round) and only saw my friends at Christmas. But I wouldn't change anything at this point. I have my BSN-RN degree and that is the door to all possibilities in this life. So sacrificing football games and sororities for my degree is a good thing. Thank you for such a wonderful question and enjoy your education. Choose wisely and don't allow anything to take you from the path of the 'good life'. Surviving college takes a lot of hard work but once you have your degree no one can take it away from you. Cool huh!

Monisha’s Answer

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I would probably have focused on enjoying my time rather than striving for grades. Its the best time to find where my passion lies and pursue them.

Tova’s Answer

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I would have relied less on my classmates for help and worked more on learning how to work through coding issues on my own (I'm a software developer). When I struggled with a homework assignment or got an error I didn't know how to handle, my first reaction was to call a friend, rather than spending some time working through the issue. When I entered the workforce, I then had to unlearn this habit and learn how to do my own research and ask well-thought-out questions, rather than instinctively going straight to team members when I was stuck.

Anuja’s Answer

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Hello,

I have would have done a lot of independent projects that cover the subjects from my majors. Also, I would have joined a club and taken part in lots of club activity.

JOSEPH’s Answer

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I went to college part time and did not live on campus or in a dorm. If you have the opportunity to live in campus do it. I am pleased with what I learned at college, but feel I really missed out on the full college experience of living in a dorm and forming those bonds and friendships with classmates

Sanjai’s Answer

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A mixture of comments provided already. Be focused on your studies but at the same time make the most of the opportunities open to you. Try something new, make new friends, experience stuff

Sindhuja’s Answer

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I would go through the career prospectus of each subject and try to related to my interests. It is also important to understand how is the career marketplace of that subject that you want to work on and depending on your focus during the time of you college, you should be able to decide the path you want to take.

Heena’s Answer

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I would have opted for Graduation in Mathematics, instead of electrical. It took a bit longer for me to understand this fact.

david_skrivanek@glic.comDavid’s Answer

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I would be more thoughtful about the type of school that best suited my goals as well as my personality. I choose a large state school that was full of distractions and learned that a smaller school might have been better for me.

Cynthia’s Answer

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Great question. I would first take a test of interest and interview people in the fields. Then research the future of that field.

sridhar’s Answer

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I would have spend more time in learning history and literature, Students who understand the history and historic mistakes can only take this socitey forward by avoiding the mistakes from the past.

Jayne’s Answer

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Maintain a better balance between studies and extracurricular activities.  

Shannon’s Answer

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Hi! Although I had to work full time while in school I wish I had more time to focus on studying. However I wouldn’t want to go back and do it over!

Stanley’s Answer

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This is a great question and one that I get enjoy answering. I worked multiple jobs and started a small family business while in school and got a degree in a field I am not utilizing. With that, enjoy your time in college. Find a mentor in the field that you think you want to be in and ask for their advice and insight in that field. And most importantly socialize and network. It’s not always what you know but who you know and that is with every career. I hope this helps and good luck!

Doug’s Answer

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If I were to redo college, I would have went sooner. I didn't start college until I was almost 40. It's been a great experience even at a bit of an older age but I wish I had started sooner and had a bigger head start.