With college comes many decisions; different routes to take; a copious amount of new knowledge to obtain. And although I try to live my life regret free, there are a few things I would’ve done differently in college, if I could go back.
I’m writing this, not to dwell on the past, but to share my experiences. If you’re a college graduate, maybe you can relate or add a few bullet points of your own. . If you’re in school now, going back, or getting ready to start, take what past students have learned and experienced and use that knowledge to create and build your own path.
- Study Abroad
There is no doubt that if I could turn back time, I would study abroad. Traveling while getting college credit? It’s perfect! Not only does it spice up class and homework, but employers like to hear about your experiences. Don’t let the financial aspect hold you back. Many universities offer scholarships, loans, and grants specifically for study abroad.
- Interning from the get-go
Although I did squeeze in a handful of internships during college, I truly wish I would have immersed myself into the “real world” as soon as I declared public relations as my major. You can never have too much experience, right? Getting involved right off the bat allows you to explore every facet of the industry.
- Campus Living
I lived at home all four years at college. Reasons being I lived very close and it saved me money. However, there was always that part of me that wished I didn’t have to commute every day or the constant thoughts that I was missing a part of the full college social experience.
If you want to live on campus, do it! At least give it a try for a year. If it’s not an option or you just want to save money, that’s ok too. Getting involved with student organizations helps with the social aspect when you’re a commuter. I know it made a world of difference in my experience.
- Earlier involvement with PRSSA
I joined our PRSSA chapter my sophomore year in college and became involved right away. We were busy focusing on our chapter, so much so that I had no Idea there was much more to the national aspect of PRSSA than the handling of our dues. It wasn’t until the second half of my junior year that I discovered the national side of PRSSA and truly fell in love with the organization. Thankfully I had my senior year to experience events such as National Conference and National Assembly.
I was missing out on events, scholarships, competitions, and many other opportunities and I was oblivious! When you join an organization you find a connection with, ask questions and do some research. There may be a lot more to it than meets the eye.
- Not letting others dictate my decisions
On a more serious and personal note, I wish I wouldn’t have let others dictate some of the decisions I made. Some of them dealing with the bullet points above , some of them minute, and others I questioned for years. What’s done is done, but now I know I have control over what happens today, tomorrow, and every day following.
YOU are in college. YOU are an adult. Start living your life the way you want to. Only you know what you truly want out of your college experience and career.
What would you do differently?