1. Not Joining More Clubs
You’re probably sick of people telling you to join clubs because they seem like a lot of work, and I thought so too. I honestly wish I would have joined more. A club is where you meet your network. It is what you write on your resume to have employers view you as “skilled’ without experience. This is how you stay too busy for toxic relationships. Being in a club is how you have cool, college experiences.
2. Waiting until my Senior Year to Intern.
This may or may not come as a surprise, but when you graduate from college, employers already want you to have years of experience for an entry level job. I know this sounds absurd, and believe me I was flabbergasted myself when I was looking for a job after graduation, but it’s true. However, an internship will give you that experience and help you get a job right out of college. PLUS most jobs are found within people’s network, so who you intern with could potentially hire you, or know of someone who would hire you. Interning is priceless and absolutely a must while in college.
3. Focusing on a Relationship
Unless your relationship is hassle-free and never makes you worry or stress-out, don’t have one. Just end it or put it on hold until you graduate. It is really hard to slay an exam when you’re significant other is fighting with you about your plans for the break afterward. Just trust me on this, there are plenty of ways to curve the loneliness that do not involve relationship-drama.
4. Getting a Car
It’s super nice to have a car if it’s paid off, or was a gift, or won’t hurt you financially in any other way, but I was not in that situation. Having a car payment to worry about on top of student loans, and working, and rent, and food, and gas, and books, etc, was way too much stress for an 18 year old. Save your bills for when you graduate. Embrace public transportation or a bike. For real, I could’ve taken trips with the amount of money I spent monthly on a car that literally just took me to a job I worked to pay for the car.
5. Getting a Dog
I love my dog to death and he is amazing, but I wish I was getting him now in my life rather than when I was a student. It was hard finding sitting for him whenever I wanted to travel. My parent’s had to watch him for months at a time when my life was too hectic to be home. So much money was spent on food, shots, veterinary care, etc. I know how hard it is to say no to a dog (hence why I have one), but get a fish until you graduate and a new puppy can be your gift to yourself for finding a job. Dogs also need a ton of exercise and studying at the dog park in January in the snow was not my most favorite memory of college.
6. Being a Hermit
I was super busy in college, and I used that as an excuse to not go out and do things and meet people. This made my life more difficult. If I missed class, it was hard to get the notes because I didn’t know the people in my class. When people invited me out I said no and now my networking pool is much more shallow than I would like it to be. Meet as many people as possible and stay in touch with them!
7. Letting Family Drama Stress Me Out
Leave family at home. This is why it is critical to move out, even though it is so much cheaper to live at home through school. Even if your parents went to college, they will not understand you and your life and they will be so stressful. They don’t try to be, and we love them, but this is the time where you’re setting the foundation for the rest of your life. It is really hard to make sure you’re on the right path in your life if you have to come home and hear your parent’s plan for you every night.
8. Not Setting Goals
I wish I would have set more goals for myself in college and worked towards actually achieving them. I would have been more successful now had I had done so.