When the time comes to graduate, what do students regret the most during the years that they've spent at university? Here are 7 things that a lot of students would have wished they had done differently whilst they were at uni.
We also ran a (small-scale) Twitter poll on the same subject, and here are the results:
If you went back to university, what would you do differently?
— GRB (@thegrbteam) August 17, 2017
First years / freshers: take note.
1. Not working hard
Many university students will finish their degree and look back realising that they could have, and probably should have, worked a hell of a lot harder. This happens to most students and for a handful of reasons. The most obvious ones being: distractions from housemates and friends, laziness and lack of discipline since leaving school. With this in mind, make sure you as work hard as you can to make the most of your degree. It will be harder to keep your grades above a 2:2 if you don't work hard from the very beginning.
2. Not joining a society or sports club
Many students will just coast through university without ever being involved in anything apart from their course. Joining a society or a sports club is a fantastic way to meet new friends, and gives you something else to add to your CV, which is very important for future the job-hunt. On top of this, playing sport at uni is a great way to stay fit, and doing something other than uni work can be refreshing. There's no better time to start a new sport or hobby than at uni. What's stopping you?
3. Not going out enough
A few months after you've started and settled into your new graduate job, you will begin to appreciate how much fun university actually was. It will make you realise that you maybe didn't utilise your time wisely, and that you didn't make the most of how sociable university can be. With so many people in your personal network, and not to mention constant society and subject socials, you are spoilt for choice for what to do... this will go away as you get older.
4. Going out too much
On the contrary, maybe you went out too much and threw your chances of getting a good degree out of the window. At the end of the day, you're at uni to study and get a degree so why ruin this chance? Being hungover 7 times a week is not fun, and it is especially not good for your health.
5. Not doing a semester or a year abroad
A semester or a year abroad is a fantastic way to go out and see the world, but not everybody gets the chance. It can give you the opportunity to study in a foreign land and experience the culture. It will help you to get out of your comfort zone and develop you as a person, because settling into a new and different culture is not easy. It may also just give you that edge over another candidate when looking for a graduate job. For the many students who don't experience this, this regret trumps all the other on this list (especially when their friends did a YA!).
6. Not learning how to cook
This may come as a surprise, but there are loads of university grads who don't actually know how to cook a proper meal. This is because they have been relying on cheap ready meals or a simple pasta when mum or dad isn't round to cook something up. Cooking is not actually all that hard, you just need to be willing to commit and be able to follow instructions. Or perhaps it is actually harder than it sounds.
7. Going to university in the first place
Some students will actually regret the decision to go to university. Whether it is because they chose the wrong uni for them, or the wrong course, or maybe they realised that they don't actually enjoy learning that much. Whatever your regrets about university are, just make sure that this reason is not one of them (but there are plenty of options if this is the case - don't suffer in silence!).
During your time at uni, make sure you make the most of everything your university has to offer, whether it be a sports club or society, going out and having fun, or the excellent careers service that your uni provides. The last thing you want to be doing is regretting things that you should have done. No ragrets!
About the Author: JD is studying Industrial Economics at the University of Nottingham and is due to graduate in 2019. He enjoys sport, especially hockey and skiing, as well as reading and binge-watching Netflix.