“Regrets are the natural property of grey hairs,” Charles Dickens once said. What does that mean? The more you regret, the greyer you’ll be? Maybe, but one thing is for sure, everyone regrets something they have done, or didn’t do when they had the chance to. Life is about making choices, and taking chances, and sometimes we don’t do what we wanted in the long run and wish we would have. College is a four year period with a high probability for regret.
When you’ve taken every class you needed to take, and you realize that you’re so close to graduation, and the real world, and that partying on a Tuesday will soon be frowned upon-do you regret anything?
Have these four years at the University been fully taken advantage of? Have you done it all or are there things that you now wish you would have taken the opportunity to do?
There are so many aspects of going away to school. There’s the whole living-on-your-own-without- your-parents thing, which for many takes a lot of adjustment. There’s the option for night classes for those who cannot get out of bed until at least after noon.
There’s the freedom of doing whatever you want, whenever you want, which can be considered a college freshman’s biggest downfall. And then there’s knowing that after this, society expects you to grow up, put on your big kid pants and join the working world.
For those who still have some time left at the University, you are the lucky ones. As seniors, we can’t change the choices we made and the chances we took. We can only learn from them and apply them to the rest of our lives.
I asked seniors what their biggest regret was as graduation draws near, and if there was anything they wish they could go back and do differently.
Does commuting prevent you from getting the full college experience? It might. Living close to the University has its perks. You have the ability to meet new people and make new connections, but at the end of the day go home to what’s comfortable and familiar. However, familiarity may have its downside.
For senior communication major Kayla Inglima, commuting from her home in Freehold for her first two years is her biggest regret.
“Even though I was only 20 minutes from Monmouth, I still missed out on a lot socially. Also, I regret not participating in more events on campus because as I’ve found out from attending as an upperclassman they can be really fun and interesting,” said Inglima.
Adding to the commuter blues, senior Chris Spirito also regretted being a commuter and living at his parent’s house in Ocean all four years.
“[I regret] not getting involved with more organizations. Being a commuter sucks, especially as a freshman, and getting involved would have made me feel a little more connected to Monmouth rather than feeling like I was just going to class,” he said boldly. The University has a lot to offer its almost 5,000 undergrad students. Between sports teams, club organizations, Greek life, The Outlook, WMCX, The Verge, Hawk TV, PRSSA, CommWorks and the fall and summer study abroad programs, to not take advantage would be foolish. These opportunities are for the students-to help them grow in their experiences.
“Studying abroad is life changing,” said Kara Hunt, senior. “You learn so much about the way other people in different parts of the world live. You see that there’s so much more to life than what you know living in the Monmouth bubble. I suggest everyone takes advantage of studying abroad,” said Hunt.
The biggest regret Devin Rogan has is not studying abroad. “I think it would have been a fun time and a really great learning experience. It could have also filled some of my requirements and saved me from taking classes that I was not interested in,” he said.
The classes you chose to take during your college career are probably the most important decisions you’ll make in college. The courses you choose determine what degree you will graduate with, which in turn determines what career you will focus on for the rest of your working life. The classes you chose, and when you chose to take them, also determine your length of stay at the University.
The less classes you chose to take per semester, the longer it takes you to complete your academic audit and graduate. It’s simple logic. For senior Stephanie Ramadan, “My biggest regret is not taking enough credits each semester and now I have to graduate a semester late.”
For some, graduating late may not seem like an issue, and if that’s the case, take your time. Only enroll in the amount of classes you feel you can handle at once. And for others, the indecisiveness of not knowing what you really want to do as far as a career is concerned early on is a regret as well.
Declaring a major, as well as a minor, is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. Many students change their majors two or three times before they get it right, which causes an obvious delay in an anticipated graduation date.
Some students neglect the option of declaring a minor because at the time it may seem insignificant, but in reality declaring a minor makes you more well-rounded in your knowledge and experience. Senior Melissa Minio’s biggest regret is not declaring a minor sooner. “If I did, I would have been able to become a marketing minor, which I think would have been more beneficial for me and my career path,” she explained.
Four years fly by. You come in as a freshman and in the blink of an eye you’re a senior with less than a month left until you walk across the stage at PNC Bank Arts Center, receive your diploma and shake President Gaffney’s hand.
College is supposed to be the best four years of your life. Enjoy it while it lasts and take advantage of the many opportunities placed right in front of you.
College, much like life, is about doing your best, having fun and living with no regrets.