They say that hindsight is 20/20. Now that I’ve been a UC Davis student for over a year, there are a lot of things I wish I would have known, done differently or changed.
Despite the fact that my higher education has been split between two institutions over the past five years, there are a lot of shoulda, coulda, wouldas in my college experience I’m just now realizing.
Of course it’s too late to change any of those things now, but you know what they say … YOLO: you only live —
What they really say is that you can either sit in pity about the past, or actually do something to change your future. I’m gonna attempt to do the latter.
So although I only have a quarter and a half left here, I also have four and a half years of past education that has given me reflection, appreciation and opportunities to change my future. Knowing that I’ll be graduating soon has spurred me to compile a wish list of sorts. Ultimately, there’s no time like the present and no better present than getting everything on your wish list, so here we go.
1. I wish I would have enjoyed the ease of my CCC. I was more than proficient at listing off the benefits of it, but I wish I had taken the time to truly enjoy it.
Believe me, I totally understood the upside of going to a community college; I was more than happy to knock out my GEs at a place where more than 60 percent of the classes they offered were remedial education courses.
I was more than happy to pay $350 for a semester of classes, spend a total of four hours a weekend on homework (*cough cough* hear that UC Davis? *cough cough*) and still have the ability to work full time.
I was more than happy to list off all these benefits, I just wasn’t capable of seeing the big picture of it all.
I wish I would have spent less time humdrumming over the seemingly sad plight my education had just taken and put some faith in my future.
2. I wish I would have utilized the diversity of my CCC’s classes better. I always registered for the most conveniently scheduled classes — giving me a solid 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Thursday schedule.
I also completely avoided classes that I suspected I wouldn’t thrive in.
Instead, I wish I would have taken the classes that truly interested me, no matter how complex they seemed. Instead of the “Oh, I’ll figure out what I want to do with my life once I’m at UC Davis,” I wish I could have thought “Hmm. Maybe I should get a head start on that now”.
3. Lastly (oh come on — everyone knows you always get 3 wishes), I wish I had actually prepared myself for UC Davis. Outside of all of that learning-inside-the-classroom stuff, I wish I had taken just one moment to say, “You know that college thing everyone gets so excited about? Well this is it.”
Actually, my statement probably would have been more like “Wah wah wah. You didn’t get to go off to a real college. Boo hoo. But you should make the best of this anyways.”
Despite my tendency to become incredibly sappy when I write these columns, it’s true. I wish I could have owned up to how much of a baby I was being and instead, focused on my interests, my future and my agency in those matters.
So that’s my wish list. And now, with a quarter and a half left, I’m going to grant all my wishes (well, those three plus some Joe Nichols tickets):
1. I’m enjoying the ease of my UC. “Ease” being a relative term, but still. There’s a certain comfort zone that surrounds you as a student and I’m taking the time to appreciate that.
2. I’m utilizing the diversity of my classes to the best of my abilities. Though I’m predominantly taking classes in only one subject, I can still tell you about things I’ve learned in classes I was scared to take — both because the subject matter intimidated me and the fact that 8 a.m. discussions are just plain terrifying.
3. I’m preparing myself for the next step in my life — at least, I’m trying to. I’m reflecting, learning and adjusting to things I was unsatisfied with in my past and employing those lessons. Then hopefully employing myself somewhere.
So, here’s to taking what we learn in college and actually making use of it in the real world!
To gift SARAH MARSHALL with your wishes or goals, email her at email@example.com.