What I Would Do Differently If I Could Restart My College Years

I never thought that this day would come, but — alas, here I am, a graduating senior in my second to last quarter at UC Davis.

The past four years have gone by in the blink of an eye, yet dragged on for an endless amount of days, mostly spent drinking too much coffee, studying, stressing, and taking midterm after midterm. However, now after all these trials and tribulations are said and done, I can say I’ve learned quite a bit about college life and how to navigate it (not so) smoothly. Here’s a list of things that I would go back and change if I could:

1. Join more clubs 

Okay, I know this one sounds cliché and lame, but it’s a good place to start because it’s so true. As a new university student, it can be overwhelming to be alone at a campus of over 35,000 students. Joining a club is a good way to meet people that share the same interests as you and get some friendships started. 

 

2. Find a study buddy 

Making connections with your classmates doesn’t just benefit you in the form of a new friend, but it can benefit you academically. If you miss a class, you can borrow notes, share a quizlet for the midterm, ask questions about homework, and team-work your way through midterms and finals. Having a study buddy is a good way to gain motivation when you’re having trouble finding it yourself. 

 

3. Go to office hours 

No really, I’m serious. I’ve taken upwards of 45 classes at Davis, and I didn’t make personal connections with more than two of my professors. When I did make the effort to invest in the class and go to office hours to engage with my professors, it paid off academically and personally. It’s just better to be a student in class where you and your professor understand and respect each other. You will be more motivated to do well and your professor will be more motivated to help you. 

 

4. Know your resources

As students, we get so many things for free (or things that are included in our tuition — but let’s pretend they’re free, it’s more fun) that we aren’t even aware of. Everything from free tutoring, to free Xfinity on campus, access to the New York Times, and free Microsoft Office. We even get free therapy. It’s definitely in your best interest to take advantage of these while you can, and soak up all the student discounts that come your way. 

I don’t regret my years at college. I’ve certainly made some amazing memories and learned and grew as a person, but I definitely could have made even better use of my time if I had taken advantage of these tips and tricks. The best college advice is to have fun, study hard, and enjoy it while it lasts.