20-Somethings Reveal Their Biggest Regret About College, So Listen Up

The goal for many of us is to live life with zero regrets. You want to toss your cap when graduation rolls around, and know you made the most of these four years at school. Naturally, you'll make a thousand promises to yourself and attempt to do it all. You'll swear that you'll try out for the dance team, always study for your exams, and never let your fears get in the way. But, semesters go by and unexpected things happen to the best of us. You might steer off the original planned course, and may be disappointed with some of the outcomes. These 20-somethings reveal their biggest regret about college, so listen up, and then go out and live the life of your dreams.

Realizing you have some regrets can be the worst. You may dwell on the past, and wonder what would've happened if some things turned out differently. In these moments, it's crucial to take a deep breath, and then embrace change. Figure out what it is that you're missing, and make it happen.

Your current situation is entirely up to you. You can create incredible experiences and memories right in front of your eyes. Saying, "I wish I would've known," is inevitable. Don't linger on what could've been, and listen to advice whenever you can. These real women are revealing some of their regrets about college. Let's just say, the school of life is in session.

1She Didn't Explore Her Options

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My biggest regret is deciding on what I wanted to do early on as a freshman, without keeping an open mind about other fields or really doing the research into what the career would mean for me after graduation. I've been doing the nine to six thing for almost four years now, and am still thinking about how I could pursue something that isn't a desk job — maybe something more involved in the fitness, medical, or educational fields.
I was lucky enough to land a job right out of school, and being in public relations has led me to so many amazing experiences and travel opportunities. But above all, I've always prioritized eventually settling down and having a family and more of a home life, and am struggling to figure out where my career will take me in that sense. I wish I would've looked at the bigger picture earlier!

— Anonymous

2She Didn't Know What She Really Wanted Out Of College Going Into It

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What I regret is not being able to go to a huge school down South and go for the major that, later in life, I figured [out] I wanted to do. I’m such a sports fan, so going to a big school with the tailgate and large group of friends is something I always dreamt of, but never did. The major I chose is somewhat related to what I wanted to do in life, but not focused enough.
My goal, at almost 27, is to become a sideline sports reporter for a major sports network. But, I didn’t go to a school that had the connections and the name to give me the help to get there. I’m currently living in Boston selling real estate.
I wish I had the right mindset and the determination at 18 to know what I wanted to do my whole life, but I didn’t realize it until I graduated college. I guess that’s life; you think one thing and something completely different happens.

— Thomlynne

3She Didn't Attend Enough Sporting Events

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I wish I attended more sporting events, especially for the smaller or less popular teams. I went to a few smaller games with friends and it was a great experience! It really enhances your school spirit and helps support teams that don’t always have the fan turnout. It’s also a fun activity to do with your friends, and you might even make some new friends along the way.

— Anonymous

4She Settled For Another School And Career She Never Wanted

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I always had big dreams to go to college at some big fashion school in New York or California. I worked so hard and got accepted to a few of those dream fashion schools, but my parents talked me out of it, and I ended up going to community college.
I was young and didn't know that I should fight for my dreams. Now I'm 25, and not even in the industry I dreamed about being in. To be completely honest, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I think if I had gone away to one of those colleges it would of helped me find my true calling, and I'd be in a totally different place today.
My advice to you: Don't settle. Be selfish and go to that big school in the city, or go all the way across the country. Do what you want, even [if] someone else doesn't want you to. This is your life [and] your future — take control! Dream big, make it happen, take chances, and don't leave room for regrets.

— Kylie

5She Didn't Study Abroad For A Semester

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I wish I wasn’t too scared to travel abroad! I was very comfortable in a relationship and in my school environment, so I did not feel like I needed to travel abroad. I figured I would be able to travel with my friends after graduation, when we all had jobs. Boy, was I wrong! Travel now when your only big responsibility is passing classes.

— Sydney

6She Tried To Do Too Much

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One thing I wish I did differently during my college career was manage my time better. I tried to do so much during my four years to “make the most of them,” that my balance of having a social life and being a good student was always a challenge. I would get stressed out from my course work load, which would then stress me out that I was missing out on other things going on, and vice versa. My biggest flaw during college was not being able to say "no" to plans or additional work, and instead give myself time to breathe.

— Anonymous

Some responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.