Common mistakes made in College 

Common mistakes made in College

These may not be the types of college mistakes that come to your mind…. but hang in there 

I started my undergraduate years full of fears but mostly full of excitement. I could not wait to start my journey in a new place, although it was only an hour away from home. Quickly I realized that this journey was full of so many choices; what to major in, what classes to take, and most importantly… how am I going to afford this (YIKES). It is true when people told me that it would go by so fast, so quick, and that I would soon be left with a diploma and that the rest was really up to me! Looking back at those years I can truly say they were the four best years of my life, but they were also the most confusing. Now at almost 27 years old and more than five years later I realized and wish I did things a lot differently when I was in college. I would not say I have regrets, but I definitely made some mistakes along the way. Here are my top mistakes I made while in college…

The mistakes I made in College

1. Thinking that I knew everything about my field of study and that it would be easy:

I always knew I wanted to study psychology and the Spanish language. I had big dreams of getting my degree then getting a Masters and eventually getting my Doctorate degree. I did not however realize until halfway through my journey that it takes a lot of money, and support. I also did not realize, and no one told me that it would be so hard to get a good paying job with simply a Bachelors degree in my field. This was a reality check! And with this said it is crucial to have a end plan!! Do not wait till graduation day to start thinking about your next step: because trust me your walk across that stage will become the most scariest one instead of the most proud one if you have no real plans. 

2. Not joining more clubs or student activities: I felt confused many times while in College. I felt that students around me were not like me. They had money, they had manners I did not; and they even believed in things that I could not relate to. This made me feel very defeated at times and so I focused on other social aspects of college that added to my experience, but not my resume. I also wish I got to know those professors whom I admired so much. They would have been a great asset to my life and my career path.

3. Not involving myself in more volunteering or internships. If you are like me and you have done some college or planned your career, you have now realized that you can have a degree but most employers want to know that you KNOW how to use it too. You can be book smart… but what is written on paper does not always reflect talent or skills in the field. I knew so much, I wrote great papers, I could talk your ear off about psychology, but I did not put it into practice. I limited my abilities by not seeking higher opportunities. I settled for things that were not even in my field of study, simply because they were easier to achieve.

4. GETTING MORE STUDENT LOANS THAN I NEEDED! – This one is probably the most common! I went to a four-year private Christian college and after learning about my expenses I freaked out! I took out loans to cover expenses because it was hard for me to have a full-time job while taking 18 unit semesters! But I definitely wish I knew how to better manage my income. Counselors told me that some student loans were not bad… but the truth is, any debt is bad… especially if it keeps growing with no end in near!

5. Being in a relationship that did not add to my goals. This one was a hard one for me to admit. It was a blow to my ego to admit that all those years invested in a relationship only left me with a break-up text at the start of my senior year in College, and years of emotional pain and healing after. I was so focused while in college to build a future for that person and myself and I became blinded and it derailed my priorities. I chose to help build up his dreams while at times sabotaging my own. I did not want to hang out with friends because he NEEDED me. Well that is what I thought. I wanted to be Miss Fix It. I learned that someone who does not add to your goals is not an asset or necessity in your life.

Being in college was an amazing journey overall. I met some great friends who have been in my life ever since and I am blessed. When I started college I was very young. I had so many goals for myself but often not enough confidence. I received excellent grades and knew my potential, but I did not take initiative. I settled in my relationship, I settled in my jobs, I settled in my self-worth. I did not realize that I needed to work for my future CAREER and not just for a future job. But like they say, everything seems obvious in hindsight.

I truly hope that some of these tips will help those of you just starting college or thinking about embarking on a journey similar to mine. As always, thank you for reading and I welcome any suggestions and comments. Elenathinkslife


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0 Responses to Common mistakes made in College 

  1. Right after my graduation I felt this same repentance. I could not see anything around me but lost opportunities due to my light-minded attitude during my university years. It was so overwhelming that I spent 7 whole years after my graduation learning languages, getting additional non-degree professional qualifications and so on. Finally I managed to be employed one of the best companies in a very fulfilling scope of work.

    It was time to experience my next disappointment. Although my CV was pretty appealing, my professional knowledge was prettay extensive and I had acquired precious professional experience I realized that all this fuss took me too much time and too much effort.

    I started to spend my free time in a more intentional way. I learnt to enjoy cooking, I got to know the night life in my city, I read cc 80 pieces of classical literature and now I am spending my time blogging.

    This is where I am 10 years after my graduation. 🙂 so many lessons learnt since.

    • Thank you so much for reading my post and especially for adding your experience to it. I find hope in what you say and I am happy that you found something you truly enjoyed. I still have hope I eventually will too 🙂

  2. This was such a good reflective and informative post. I just finished my 2nd year in college and I do agree with what you’ve written, especially being part of more volunteer work, internships, and clubs.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I’m glad that you are realizing that at an early stage in your journey. Seize any opportunity that you might encounter!! College truly can be amazing.

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  4. Blue Settia says:

    Oh my! We both have made the same mistakes in College. LOL. I regret not joining any clubs. Shoot, I regret not starting any! Like. College is the PERFECT place to build connections and friendships. Everyone there is about the same age and we all have goals. How could I have missed such a perfect opportunity? Laziness, I suppose. I’m just like you, I can talk anyone’s ear off, but never put it into action….sigh….lol. Do you feel as though you gained the most from your college experience? I feel like I learned a lot. I probably would not be where I am now if I didn’t go to college.

    • Thanks for reading!! I definitely enjoyed college but i do think I held back. I don’t know if it was out of fear or maybe not wanting to take time away from other people in my life. I do not regret going. But I do wish I had gotten more useful advice! I agree with you!

  5. tmlaur says:

    Great tips! College can be trying, but it’s also a great time of life!

  6. livewellplaytogether says:

    College is such a learning experience. A tip that I would add is not going to professors’ office hours (at least for me). This made it much more difficult to track down letter of recommendation downt he road. Fortunately, it was a lesson I learned before graduation, so I was able to get to know some professors. But, I had some really great professors that I wish I had taken time to get to know better! I worked at a University after grad school, and it was really clear to me how helpful office hours were for getting letters of recommendation, better understanding material, and finding out about job and internship opportunities.

    • I agree with you!! I admired so many professors but at times that made me feel intimidated to go see them one-on-one. It is important to build these professional connections for the future. Great tip! Thank you for reading and for commenting!

  7. myrandomsampler says:

    College was eons ago for me. But I must say that it’s very important to not accrue debt for schooling. Some is ok, but really limit yourself. Work hard during the summers and save like crazy if you can’t work during school. Also, get as much internship experience as you can. Class experience only goes so far in the real world.

    • Thanks for reading!! I agree. Many times we are not told these things you mention and sadly we learn the hard way. I, like you agree that internships are the way to go!! Being book smart is not enough. Thank you for reading and leaving me a comment.

  8. I made most of those mistakes too! My biggest regret was not applying for an internship.

  9. halfpintpartydesign says:

    My University experiences are some I will treasure but it was, I agree, some of the toughest years of my life. I’m grateful to have had direction and avoid some of those pitfalls. This is a great list for anyone starting school. But there’s also great life lessons that we all need to remember. The people we surround ourselves with should build us up and support our goals. That’s something I need to remember.

    • Thank you for reading. And I can agree and relate to what you said. I was raised in a very conservative and traditional home, and college for me was where I learned independence and I discovered my true passions. I also made some great friends that I treasure dearly. I just really think that people going into college should know that there are options they can take that will enrich their experience even more. Thank you again for commenting:)