Things I Do Not Regret About College

National Lampoon's Animal House / Amazon
National Lampoon’s Animal House / Amazon

I wrote about the things that I regret about college. Today, I’ve written about five things I don’t regret.

1. Going abroad. Going abroad was definitely the most influential decision and experience that I made during my college years. While it’s pretty much standard to hear “studying abroad changed my life!” from those that studied abroad, I can’t deny that I basically share those feelings. The decision made sense in so many ways: 1) I paid my state college’s tuition to go to one of the top 50 universities in the world, in Europe, for a year, 2) I lived with 5 – 10 (mostly) European students for 10 months, effectively providing me with the College/ Dorm Experience and sense of shared community which I had no real concept of before going abroad, 3) the coursework was about three times as hard, 4) I got to spend a year in Europe, 5) I got to have sex with European girls, 6) well, you get the idea. I consider myself extremely lucky to have gone abroad.

2. Smoking a lot of weed, drinking a lot of alcohol, and spending days playing video games and making music with my friends. I know yesterday I said that I regretted spending a lot of money on weed during my college years, but I realized last night that college was basically the only time I had ever been allowed or had the privilege to basically waste entire days on what was essentially leisure: getting stoned, sitting around, playing video games, riding bikes. Aside from coursework and my part-time job, there was nothing I really had to do during my time off, and I could like, chill, hard. Before college, of course, I could hardly do that – my parents were not down with me smoking weed, first off, and second, they didn’t really let me waste entire days. And now I’m just incredibly busy such that wasting a day is called “vacation” and is an event that doesn’t come all that often anymore. I’m glad I got in all that leisure time before the real work began.

3. Getting extremely into music. One thing I did in college was basically make it a goal to download as much music as I could and expand my library’s… oeuvre, if you will, to include so much music that when people saw my library they’d be like “whoooaaaahhh.” I’m serious. Admittedly, this project was a sort of unconscious ploy in my Personal Quest of Becoming Cool, but one of its side effects was that I learned about a shitload of both new and old music. It’s satisfying to have that knowledge now because it provides a lot of context, reference points and help in judging new music to which I’m introduced.

4. Having an entire month of blackouts. I should admit that having an entire month during which I blacked out basically every time I partied (this occurred while I was studying abroad) was an almost entirely regrettable offense. However, there were two good things that came from that weird month: 1) I somehow managed to “bag” my ex-girlfriend – who I would stay with for two years after that night – on one of my blacked out nights, and 2) I learned through shame and some pretty fucked up mornings that blacking out was, basically, Not Good. I probably should have known this before, uh, testing the waters of the “Black Sea,” but there’s nothing like experience to actually make someone desire alcohol less at a certain point in the night.

5. Doing a lot of different drugs. Can’t say I “chased the dragon” or anything that dire but during university I was often game to use drugs and try new ones. I don’t want to paint a picture of myself as a stoner/ druggie freak during college, because that wasn’t how it was, but doing all those drugs (well, mostly mushrooms, really) expanded my worldview to include the experience of ego-loss and other sort of fight-or-flight/ existential curiosity that drugs often induce, that I probably wouldn’t have had, had I not experimented. As a result, I honestly don’t feel the urge to do drugs to have new experiences anymore – if I use a drug now, it’s just to relax. TC mark

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  • authenthich

    where did you study abroad? i go to the u of u now. it is okay. europe seems like a good place. 

    • Brandon

      maastricht university, the netherlands

  • Guest

    Come on, it was not an UNCONSCIOUS ploy.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=42002098 Mage Baltes

    Three of the five things you do not regret are variations on reasons for getting intoxicated. You could have shortened this list from five to three! 1. Studying abroad. 2. Getting into music. 3. Getting intoxicated with various substances.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    minus all of the drugs and blackouts and stuff we’re pretty much the same person

    sex?

  • http://twitter.com/jennifersussex Jennifer Sussex
  • Anonymous

    How much music did you d/l?  I did the same thing.  Taking my quest to find new music from my 56k rural modem to high speed cable in the dorms, let’s just say I took advantage of it.  Got over 26K mp3s before I was done (although I was on the six year plan due to reasons 2, 4, and 5…)

  • Anonymous

    ta.gg/4vh

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    I CANNOT WAIT to study abroad.
    I will always have a part of me that will wonder what I would have experienced if I had stayed in my country last year instead of choosing to return to the US.

    It was a sacrifice, but I hope I can make up for it with a great education and some crazy stories of good times from abroad to tell when I’m old.

  • ZZZ

    agree 100% on the study abroad bit. and hooking up with european guys, even though i was studying nowhere near europe, is just the cherry on top.

  • Jessica

    Crazy! I went to Maastricht University too!

  • http://imlikecocaine.wordpress.com/ Ana

    europe is different. every region is so damn different from one another. so I’m happy that you got your european experience, and maastricht. oehs noehs, brings me memories of Highschool History classes and the amighty “Maastricht Treaty”. (yes, we, europeans, are nerds)

  • Dylan

    I feel like I’m getting dumber even just reading these to make fun of them.

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