Recently, I published the post How I Graduated From College In 2.5 Years With 2 Degrees and Saved $37,500. While I did graduate quickly and there are benefits related to that, there are things I missed out on by rushing my college experience.
Now I wouldn't say I had the worst college experience, but I also wouldn't say it was the best college experience in the world.
I understand that you can't go back and change the past, but sometimes you can help others learn from your mistakes.
Below are some of the things I would change about my college experience:
I would have started paying off my student loans while I was in college.
While I did pay off my student loans quickly, I didn't really put much towards them while I was actually in college.
Instead, I worked full-time and put most of my money towards things I shouldn't have been spending on, such as for clothing and restaurants. It was a huge waste of money, and I can't help but bang my head on a wall when I think about how much money I wasted.
Truth is, no one remembers your outfits and spending all your money on fast food is just stupid.
If I could do my college experience differently, I would have gone to a cheaper college.
I love the undergraduate college I went to, but sometimes I wonder why I was so stupid and didn't just go to a state school instead. Luckily I learned from this college mistake and I went to a state university for my graduate degree. It saved me a ton of money and I still earned a quality degree.
While I did save money in certain areas, such as through cheap textbook rentals, taking as many college credits as I can, and more, I definitely could have saved a little bit more money.
I wish I would have taken more classes that mattered in order to have a better college life experience.
Instead of focusing on just classes that were needed for college credit, I wish I would have taken more time to carefully select my classes. Instead, I just took what I needed and what fit perfectly into my work-life schedule, and never really went beyond that.
Knowing what I know now, taking a broader range of classes would have been more enjoyable.
I would have taken college more seriously.
I had a great GPA when I graduated from college, but I didn't really take my classes too seriously. I was so focused on working, that I didn't really focus enough on college. This meant I often skipped classes in order to work, I would often try to debate whether or not I should do homework or if I should sleep, and more.
If I could go back, I would have attended more of my classes and learned how to budget better so that I didn't have to work so much.
I would have liked to be more active on campus.
99.9% of the time, I would just go to class and then go straight home or straight to work. I never stayed on campus except for just a handful of times.
If I could go back, I would be more active on campus. I would have joined more school clubs, stayed for college activities/games, and more.
Studying abroad would have been a fun college experience.
The university I went to has satellite campuses all over the world, and I wish I would have taken advantage of that. Instead of being so focused on making money, I'm sure I could have done something in order to take one semester off from work.
I should have made some college friends.
Since I was so busy with working and going to school, I didn't make any lifelong friends from college. Yes, I am Facebook friends with a few and I would talk to people during my college years, but that is not the same.
Instead, I stuck with my same group of friends from when I was in high school (however, none of us went to the same high school). I love them all, but I've even had people tell me to my face that it must stink to not have made any lifelong college friends.
It makes me wonder “What if?!”
What college mistakes did you make?
What would you change about your college experience?
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