Would You Take a College Do Over?

by Kristina Tahnyak on March 30, 2015 · 3 comments

go to college again, take college all over again, go back to college, college do overGood morning Dinks.  This year marks the 10 year anniversary of my college graduation.  I can’t even believe it but I graduated from college in December of 2005.  It seems like a lifetime ago, but at the same time I remember it like it was yesterday.

What have you accomplished since graduation?

So much has happened since I walked that stage with my diploma in hand: I’ve had nine different jobs (some overlapping and two of my own), I’ve moved twice, I got my certified financial planners designation and I’ve gone back to school twice to study business law and journalism.  WOW, that’s a lot in a decade.

Even though I was in college ten years ago I still think about it a lot.  I wonder what my life would be like if I stayed at home and went to school instead of moving 800 miles away from my family.  I wonder what would have happened if I went back home after school instead of staying in the same city and I wonder if maybe I wouldn’t even be in the country if I would have taken a semester abroad to study.

If you could go back to school would you do it differently?

Do you ever think about your college years?  If I could go back and do it all again I would definitely do things differently.  I had a great college experience in the sense that I graduated and landed a full time job immediately afterwards.  However I don’t think I really got the full college experience.

During college I was always running between my two jobs, classes and group work sessions.  Group work is the worst!  During my entire four years I felt like I was always three steps behind.  I never really got a chance to take a breath until the day I realized I had enough credits to graduate.  I never spent an afternoon laying on the grass under a tree, I never studied with friends in the library and I never went to a single football game.  These are all things I would like to do if I went back to school.

Make friends

I know this sounds weird but I didn’t make any friends in college.  I wasn’t a weird loner or anything, I spoke to other kids in my class but I just never had time to hang out on the weekends because I was always working.  I also didn’t keep in touch with anyone after graduation, not even through Facebook.

Go on spring break

Whenever spring break came around I never hopped on a plane to Mexico or Europe.  I always took the week off school as an opportunity to get more hours at work and make more money.  Looking back at it now I wish I experienced a real spring break, even just once.

Take a semester abroad

This is probably my biggest regret.  If I could go back I would take a semester abroad.  I would study in a foreign country while travelling the world.  I wish I went to Portugal, Spain or even France.

Do you have any college regrets?

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy March 30, 2015 at 8:32 am

Your college years sound like mine. My parents didn’t have a lot of money so I was very conscious of costs. I worked many weekends and even during the week for a couple of hours each night in the dorm cafeteria. I took an extremely heavy course load each semester so I could cut out a semester required to graduate which meant if I wasn’t working, I was in class or studying. Going out to bars was unheard of. First of all I didn’t drink, but it was also very expensive. Because of the constraints on my time, I made few friends (except for a real good one with whom I am still in touch 40 years later). If I had different financial resources, I’d definitely do it different.

2 Madison March 30, 2015 at 9:03 am

This sounds so much like me! I just had a similar conversation with a close friend of mine and I had a similar list of regrets. I would say we would’ve been fantastic friends in college….but we’d never have time to hang out because we were always working! ;)

A good counterpoint my friend made was I was able to graduate without student loans. Watching my other friends struggle after graduation with student loans helps make me feel better about my decision to work during school. Also, working during school gave me good experience to put on my resume and showed employers I knew how to manage my time. It would’ve been hard to answer situation based questions during job interviews without that experience.

Love your blog, keep up the good work!

3 Heather March 31, 2015 at 12:29 pm

I would! I was in Iraq for 2 years right after my first semester of college. When I came home I was a 21 year old freshman so I had a full time job and an apartment. I completely missed out on the real college experience with dorm living etc. Years later, I still wish I had experienced that! Although I wouldn’t take away my Iraq deployment, since it really brought me where I am today, I do still wish I had more of a typical college experience.

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