Things I Wish I Did in College

Elizabeth Field

This week I had my “last” first day of college. I think, for a lot of us seniors, this brings about many different emotions. I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful experience at UNH, to have met some of my greatest friends, and to have had the opportunity to receive such an exceptional education. Now that there are only four short months left of my college experience, I am going to try to cram as much as possible in before graduation day, where I must accept my status as a full-fledged adult and pursue a career path. Looking back, there are many things I wish I did differently.

1. “Study Abroad” – Because I’m double-majoring with a minor, I had little flexibility in my course schedule or load. Almost all of my elective credits went toward my other fields of study. Except for last semester when I took Wine Appreciation…it was worth paying for those extra credits. Studying in a foreign country has many benefits: culture, language immersion, independence, and countless other opportunities. I’ve never once heard someone complain about the time they spent abroad. But seriously, if I spent four months in France or Italy, imagine how much wine I could have been drinking!

2. “Take More Difficult Classes in the Beginning” – Course numbers are designed with each level in mind, i.e. “E103 English Fundamentals” versus “E481: Poetry and Power in Seventeenth Century England.” In my first year, I obviously took mainly 100-level courses, and in my second year I began with 200-level courses. In these early years, I was like “Wow! What is everyone talking about? College is EASY! No homework, ever!” And then I was cruelly blindsided junior year. College is hard. It sucked.

3. “Participate in Organized Sports” – I’m not talking about anything crazy here, I can barely walk without falling down. But UNH has an awesome program at the recreation center I’m sure you’re all aware of: RecSports, where you can create a team of friends to play intramural games like Dodgeball and compete for prizes. Participating in sports kills two birds with one stone: staying active and getting out all that pent up aggression against your roommate/frenemy/professor/etc.

4. “Don’t Stretch Myself Too Thin” – Despite being in the middle of this list, I feel like I have made the most of my college experience. I’ve done a lot. A LOT. Right now for instance: I’m taking 18 credits, maintaining a 3.9 GPA, am the Editor-in-Chief of the Charger Bulletin, President of Active Minds, in the middle of writing two theses, and hold two part-time jobs. Did I mention that it’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday and I’m in the Charger Bulletin office alone? It’d be nice to know what relaxation is.

5. “Be Youthful” – Finally, I wish I spent more time goofing off. College is the last chance we have to act like ignorant, silly youths, and I wish I did that more instead of being so serious all the time. Universities are beacons of limitless opportunities and things to do that will enrich your mind, body and soul. Do them!