Vulcan Post writers give their thoughts on what they would do differently if they were to go back to college again.
“If I were to go back to college again, I would take up classes on musical instruments: either guitar or the saxophone. I would spend time mastering them rather then wasting my time on drama series. I would also pick up a language class rather than spending my credits on lessons which I now have no use for. Either Thai or Japanese would have been my top language choices.
Oh and I would probably muster up a little more courage to say hi to the cute girl in the lecture hall.”
“Be appreciative of the opportunities you get! Sometimes things you want may not turn out to be what you get, but you should still appreciate opportunities presented to you in school. You never know what might be around the corner.
I would also spend more time socializing with people. Opportunities do not fall out from the sky; they come from people with resources to give. All it takes is for someone you know who know somebody else in order to get your big break.”
“If I were to go back to college, I would:
1) Try to figure out what I was really good at than try to fit into a group. Most of us back in undergraduate are a mish mash of different influences and end up more confused than ever.
2) Not get a girlfriend because everyone else is getting one. This makes it look trivial and that relationship will never last.
3) Do things that made me confident in my abilities. I came out of undergraduate feeling very shaky about myself. It was possibly because doing well in courses would not give you any idea about real life.
4) Get more real life experiences specially in sales. I believe now that working in McDonalds will teach you much more about life and people than an internship at A*Star. You hardly learn anything out of the way in regular internships and the people supervising you are as bored as you are.
5) Pick a particular skill (perhaps you are good at closing a deal or programming) and spend all the time mastering it. What matters more than your degree is basically your experience and even ore if you an expert in anything.
However, I believe it is ok to be lost during your undergraduate, it is a rite of passage. That is why creative people peak at the age of 40 because through all these failures and soul searching they learn to be great.”
“Well, I am in university right now, but my mindset on this matter is this:
It’s the university, we are all aged 19 and above, let’s be mature young adults and be nice to people! Gone are the days for dirty pranks and senseless gossiping.
This is the last leg of education and the last leg of student-hood. There’s no time to waste to be wishy washy and scared around fellow peers. It’s time to jump out of your comfort zone and make friends because this might just be your last time making friends with a myriad of people from different ages. And the best part is these people are as much of a greenhorn as you are.
Most importantly, look out for people who share the same great ideas as you do! Because you are no longer dealing with frivolous humans lost in puberty but young adults looking to shape their future. You will probably be seeing some of these faces in future and they might just be your stepping stone or your partner to success! ”
“If I were to go back to college again, I would spend lesser time studying. I studied really hard but I still flunked my A levels. When I repeated, I just took lesser time to study. It turned out to be a perfect formula because the lesser time you have, the less you procrastinate, the more you focus and the more you seek to understand (not memorise) your texts!”
“Here’s one from a friend A:
“I would play hard. I really would. I would go back and enjoy uni life.”
And friend B:
“I would do my thesis alone. It was so stressful when I had to do it a friend! It felt like I was doing it alone anyway.”
And friend C:
“I would study harder! And do my work with more enthusiasm.”
For me, I would take the time to learn how to manage my finances so I wouldn’t be caught unawares like I am now with student debt. I’d also spend less time with the people I didn’t much care for, and spend more time with those who do matter. Also, I’d study a lot more too – if I knew then that grades showed up on my transcript, I’d have actually done my modules properly.”
“If I could be a freshie again I would take the effort to learn about the administrative and course registration issues from seniors way beforehand, so that it isn’t too much of a hassle once the semester starts.
And when it comes to choosing modules, I’d recommend avoiding electives that teach something that you’re already somewhat familiar with. Because even though the module becomes easy and can pull up your GPA, you miss out on learning something new. Go ahead and be more adventurous with your choice of electives and venture into areas you’re totally unfamiliar with.”
“You’ll be spending a lot of time with your major, so choose well. It’s more important to be doing something you love and do it well, than suffer with something you hate for the three/four years. Take all the opportunities you can get, and don’t hold back!”
“Don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh more!”
“Well I would talk to more people to get a better idea of what to expect for university. When I got in, I was utterly clueless. I think the the funny thing is that, the people I spoke to were probably as clueless as I was! To each his own was sort of the name of the game in year one. Cliques didn’t exist because you’re expected to be more independent and lots of people in science faculty were just sort of individual islands, so to speak.
I guess in a nutshell, what I’m trying to say is that there were all these subtle mini lessons to be experienced and learnt from and the sooner you understood them, the better.
“I will have fun.
When I was in college all I did was study this and that. I did not get to enjoy it like my friends. They go out, they date, they go to the mall, to the billiard hall, they join club activities, they participate in school campaigns, watch movies together. They had fun in college. They enjoyed their teenage life in crazy ways that probably their parents will never agree too.
I realized that the crazy ones in college are also the ones that are more successful now in their careers than the ones who were very serious in studying -who were either out of job, still in school or has a kid out of marriage.”
So what would you have done differently?