By Julia S. | March 20, 2014
I’m graduating from THE Ohio State University in a month and a half. Which, by default, also means my undergraduate career is about to be over.
Such a thing has led me to think about my time here, and whether or not I’ve spent it well—or at least how I wanted to. I can’t relive my college experience, but if you haven’t started yours yet, I can at least make myself feel useful to you by telling you my regrets and… non-regrets? This could be part one of two, depending on how emotionally swept away I get in this:
- First and foremost, I don’t regret being open about my identity, struggles, and experiences at OSU. I’m a pretty open person in general and it doesn’t take long for my personality to be evident, but there were other things that I consciously chose to share about myself at college that I was originally unsure about. I’m politically conservative, and all my friends know it. I was initially nervous about coming to college, which is traditionally a more liberal institution, but I didn’t want to hide who I was for four three years. And you know what? In the end no one really cared and everyone was really okay with it. Be open. Be honest. Be kind. Don’t be a jerk. And odds are you’ll be respected for whoever you are. If not, shake the dust off your feet and find new friends. There’s only about 50,000 of us here.
- I do regret not participating in class more and talking to my professors in office hours more. And not just for the practical reason that you might need people to write letters of recommendation for you one day, but because I can veritably say that I have had so many insightful, passionate, ingenious professors, and I never even bothered to go talk to them about all the things I was learning in their class. Never forget the investment you’re making in college—you’ve paid hundreds or thousands of dollars to take each class. If it interests you, milk it for all it’s worth.
- I don’t regret investing in others when on occasion it meant that my academic schedule was compromised. Those late nights spent goofing off with your roommates or having heart-to-hearts with your best friend? Weekends spent going to group dinner with dormmates hoping that your crush shows up or staying up late jumping in Mirror Lake and risk waking up late for your 8 a.m. class? All worth it. Don’t spend so much time focusing on college that you forget to enjoy—well, you know, college. Looking back, I don’t care that I didn’t study an extra hour (or five) for some midterm if it was spent being there for a friend who needed to talk. I’ll forget about what grades I got on my exams, but I won’t forget the times I spent with my best friends.
- I do regret being too prideful to make an effort to talk to people I wanted to know more. Don’t get me wrong, there are a million people at Ohio State and if you make just a little effort you’ll have friends. But don’t ever get so caught up in your self-concept that you think you’re too cool to be friends with someone or that if you want to talk to someone they just have to talk to you first. Missed opportunities usually stick in your mind more than the times you went for it and it didn’t work out.
- I don’t regret studying abroad. Oh my gosh, just do it. I could write a whole blog post advocating for that, and you know what? I just might.
Rude Awakening: But for Ohio State, I would be more well-read. All I wanted to do was read Fahrenheit 451 this week but all 5 copies are gone from the library. *tears*
Pleasant Surprise: ZOMG I GOT INTO GRAD SCHOOL AT OHIO STATE AND I ACCEPTED THE OFFER!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M STAYING I’M STAYING I’M STAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In firm friendship,
Julia Rose S.