There are many quotes on not looking back at the past, but sometimes it is good to look back at the past and think about what you would have done differently if you could. Of course we can’t go back and actually do that (unless you have a time machine) so we can only take what we have learned and apply it to the future.
If I could go back and redo or learn from my college experience here is what I would do.
Classes are required by college, and you have to pass in order to move on in your program. There tends to be many people in a class, the size depends on the college or the room size, and with tons of people comes distractions. Early on in my college years I should have figured out why I wasn’t focused 100% in a class, and do something about it. Because if you don’t learn then it is easier to fail.
I should have turned off all the notifications, or set them to do not disturb. If you have every notification go off for every email you get around 80 notifications per day and that doesn’t include notifications for anything else (communication program, social media, etc…). People in the US on average receive 46 push notifications per day. Every notification adds up and if I didn’t see the notification I could focus on more important (at that time) things.
434 words. That is how long the average email length is, which means each email takes about 3 minutes just to read. I should have learned earlier in my life to shorten my emails. Either by being disciplined by using a site like five.sentenc.es or learning how to properly email in the first place. This is something that I still struggle with, and I think everyone struggles with this, most of the time shorter is better.
Sometimes things during college are hard, and many students don’t ask for help. There are many resources that students have available but don’t use. Yes it will take time out of your day to get the help you need, but it will help you in the aspect of college that you need help with.
It’s so easy to spend money while at college, especially if you have a dining card / meal plans. I would have spend as little as possible while at college, I know it would have been hard but overall it would have been better in the long term.
One thing I wish I spent money on was a locker, it would have been great to put stuff in here and not have to carry everything around all day long. You may think that your bag won’t be heavy but in 2009 the New York Times had a post that basically said school backpacks get heaver as the person gets older and I believe that to be true even in college.
Colleges tends to have tons of things that the students don’t utilize that can improve grades and just be a better person, like the library or gym, going to a professor’s office hours, or health services. I wish I had taken more advantage of these services.
College is a great place to meet people and have friends all together in one place, but I wish I got away from my friends more often. You tend to gain friends who are in your program but they may not always be your friends so while you should have a group of friends (if you can) you should also do things away from them. This could mean volunteering, getting homework done away from them, or just spending time away from those friends.
There are advantages and disadvantages to going to a bigger college, one major thing I didn’t take advantage of in a bigger college was being able to explore the college. If you get to explore you can find your best place to work, best place to relax, and really what else your college has to offer.
Some people work better early in the morning, and some work better at night. While early in my life I figured out I was a night owl, I may want to have considered staying at the college after all my classes were done for the day in order to get work done at the time that works best for me. When I was in college I always wanted to leave more or less after my classes were done, but looking back at it I maybe should have stayed at the college later.
If you fail a class and you have the option to take it in night school, which there are positives and negatives to it especially if you are or aren’t a night owl. At night colleges are different, they are more relaxed, and have a different vibe compared to regular day classes. Taking night classes did allow me to see the college in a different light, and meet different people, but I should have done my best to pass all my regular day classes and take a night class on something not directly in my program (to learn more).
A college can only teach you so much, and it never seems to teach the latest and greatest as with every course update it has to be approved by many people. Colleges to tend to teach the basis which helps get you started, but I should have spent time outside of college learning more (and learning the latest and greatest).
I’m posting this as part of 100 Days To Offload (post number 37).
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