I wish I had spent more time with my friends.
I was lucky enough to be in a major where I was around my friends all day every day. I got to see them all the time, but I wish that I had made more of an effort to spend time with them outside of school. There’s a huge difference in hanging out at school and outside of the classroom. The ease of conversation, the variance in atmosphere and drink choice provide an environment of bonding that the confines of school cannot.
Gotten less sleep.
You read that right. I wish I would have gotten less sleep in college. There are so many nights that I could have been on adventures with my friends but choose to sleep instead. I cannot stress enough how that it is important to keep yourself healthy and get enough sleep to keep you sane, but it doesn’t always have to take precedence over making memories with your friends.
All of my close friends are beginning to graduate and move away, some even to other countries. I can’t help but wish I had been more proactive in making plans with them before now. I had some great times and late nights, but looking back it could have been so much more than I allowed it to be.
Saved more money.
With the real world practically staring me in the face, I have become all too aware of my student loan debt and the lack of a savings account. I see my debt-free peers with nice cars, more clothes than they know what to do with, and significantly less stress about the future and can’t help but be insanely jealous in my practically-falling-apart car and couple of t-shirts.
I have worked my tail off through college trying to earn some extra cash at a part time waitressing job, but have a nasty habit of spending most of the money I have left over from rent or other bills on clothing and shoes that I don’t necessarily need – it’s nice to “treat yo self” every once in a while, but this is something I have indulged in a little too often. If I had known that future me would be this freaked out about paying for bills, I could have gone without that bottle of wine or that cute dress I thought I had to have.
There are many discount websites and stores that I should have been utilizing throughout my collegiate career that would have saved my hundreds in the long run. My advice to all poor students is to research for all the best deals on text books, clothing, even food. Every chance you get to save a little money will be well worth it in the long run. You don’t need that designer product right now. It can wait. Future you will be grateful.
Learned how to do my makeup.
Yes, I’m a 20 something woman who can only do basic eye shadow and not much more. I’m not saying that I need to know how to do my make-up to feel validated or beautiful. It would just be nice to know how to do a few looks for interviews, work, or just going out.
I’ve recently had this goal of starting a music educator’s blog and adding a “Make-up Tips for Teachers” section could be an interesting addition to make me stand out in a world of amazing teachers. Learning how to do my make-up could give me an interesting hobby and just an excuse to make myself feel pretty. If I had tried this out while I had more time in college I would probably be pretty good at it by now. Never too late to start, right?
Cared less what other people think.
I have spent so much of my life caring about what other people think. It took me allowing myself to be vulnerable to even submit an article to Thought Catalog for the first time. I’m still really nervous about how people will perceive my writing or if anyone will even enjoy my articles, but I continue writing. I keep going because I enjoy it and want to reach out to people who struggle in the same way I do.
I’ve always been a people pleaser, and I wish I would have worked on prioritizing my own opinion of myself over other’s sooner. As a society, we spend much of our time trying to impress people and making ourselves miserable in the process. I want to work on promoting a culture where other people’s opinions don’t shape our views of ourselves.
Taken more time to indulge in my personal interests.
College is crazy and there are so many “other” things that need to be done in set periods of time. This stress consumes some of us and we forget to take the time to do the things that we actually enjoy. We miss or completely forget all about enjoying our time in college because of the pressures of our classes, part time jobs, and paying bills.
While all of this is stressful, I wish I had taken the time to just enjoy being in college. I had all the time in the world to get everything I needed to done with plenty of time left to do whatever I wanted (usually that was sleep). Now I’m student teaching in the fall and wishing that I had made better use of my time and used every last minute that I could manage.
I am proud of all the hard work I put into my classes and learning the materials, but there is part of me that wishes I hadn’t always prioritized school because of what I feel I missed out on. Classes are important, but so are your happiness and sanity. Let go every once in a while and live with no regrets.