5 Things I Wish I Did Differently When I Went to College For the First Time
April 21, 2021
Recently, I’ve done a lot of thinking about college. What started this is many of the college YouTube videos I watched recently about college as well as a mini 30 something, post long term illness life crisis. Even though I don’t want to go back to college (Right now at least), I wondered if there is anything I would do different if I could re due my time in college the first time around. After thinking about this, I quickly realized that there are many things I would do differently. Most of the things I thought of are more personal, but here are five of the things I would do differently that I believe that could help anyone new to college or returning.
Live Closer to Campus
When I went to college the first time, I live almost an hour drive one way away from the campus. Today, driving that amount of time is normal for me when I run errands, but it’s a huge problem when I went to college. If a class was canceled, I was stuck on campus until my ride to and from the campus was ready to take me home. One day, all but one class was canceled and I didn’t know until I was on campus and checked my email. That forced me to be stranded with nothing to do at the small campus all day long without lunch. This is why if I could redo my first time at college, I would try to live closer to campus.
Know the Signs a College or University Is Not A Good Fit For You
The college I picked to go to offered everything I wanted in a community college, but during my senior year of high school I realized very quickly the college was changing. And it was changing in a not good way either. Despite this, I still decided to go, which was a horrible decision. No college or university is perfect, but this one began to stop offering classes I needed to graduate with my degree and, over ten years later, got rid of the degree completely. Seeing this, as well as many other problems with the college that I won’t talk about in this post, I should’ve transferred to a different college that offered the degree I wanted and wouldn’t have the problems I experienced while attending my first college.
Don’t Push Myself For the Perfect GPA
I was extremely hard on myself when I was a teenager and I pushed myself more than I should’ve. There are personal reasons for this, but for the most part I wanted to be the best version of myself I could. My desire for this is from seeing many of my relatives and classmates I went to elementary, middle, and high school not care about school, learning, or using education as a way to escape from the bad situations they currently lived in. Since I wanted to get a degree as a way to get a higher paying job, I was willing to go to college and studied very hard. Back then, my gauge to see how my hard work was paying off was to have a perfect 4.0 GPA. This was a terrible idea and, after falling sick to illness that plagued me for years prior to going to college, I realized having the perfect GPA was a dumb and stupid idea. Instead, I focused on studying and getting the best grades I could, but also tried to find ways to relax and allow my body time to rest while it fought the illnesses.
Ignore, and Cut Off Connections to, People Have Nothing Nice to Say About Me and/or to Me
Going to college was hard, but one thing I wish I did back then was, after graduating from high school, cut ties off from people I know didn’t like me. I was a hopeful teenager and I thought everyone would have a chance to change their opinions about people if they had enough time to grow up. Looking back, I was right, but what I also learned when I went to college was these people may not want to change their opinions about people. Including me. These people, including people I thought were my friends from high school, made college miserable. Every day I hated going to college because, for me, it was an adult extension of high school complete with bulling. I couldn’t change colleges, but if I did I would’ve just to get away from those people. I would’ve also cut ties from them on social media and tried to avoid them more at the store, post office, or other places I ran the chance to run into them.
Pick A College Based off My Health Needs And My Collegial Degree Needs
When I was a teenager, I already knew I had allergies. I also knew what some of those allergens were. Because of this, I thought I picked a college that was perfect for my health needs and college needs. Unfortunately, I knew after visiting it as a senior in high school that my allergies would be aggravated if I went there. Still, I made the decision to attend that college… and regretted it ever since. Because of this, if I could redo my first college experience over again, I’d go to a campus far away from my allergy triggers and not go to a college near those allergens again.