The weeks after graduation are a time for reflection. Regardless of how excited you are when you finally get your hands on that diploma, there are always things about your college experience that you wish you could change. While I was thrilled to finally graduate and mostly satisfied with the choices I’d made, there are a few things I’d do differently given the chance.
I WISH I’D GONE TO MORE SPORTS GAMES
While the Ivy League may have started as a college athletics conference, its members are no longer powerhouses in the most important American sports. At Princeton, that meant that unless a particular team was doing uncharacteristically well, hardly anyone showed up for games. I’m glad a friend finally dragged me to half of a football game, but I wish I’d made an effort to go watch other Princeton teams play—such as our women’s basketball team, who made it to the NCAA tournament this year after an undefeated regular season.
WISH I’D TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE IN COMMUNITY SERVICE
After participating in Princeton’s service-focused orientation program, I was psyched to jump into the university’s huge and well-organized network of opportunities to give back to the community. Service didn’t end up being as much a part of my college experience as I’d hoped, and I wish I’d tried harder to get involved while Princeton made it easy.
I WISH I’D ATTENDED MORE ON-CAMPUS EVENTS
The list of lectures and workshops happening on campus every week is too long to keep track of, and if you add in exhibitions at the University’s world-class art museum, the number of ways to spend an afternoon or weekend is mind-boggling. Although most of my weekday afternoons were taken up by crew practice, I wish I’d made an effort to attend the events that I was free for.
I WISH I’D MADE FRIENDS WITH MORE GRAD STUDENTS
One of the best things about attending a small, undergraduate-focused school like Princeton was that I had access to resources and funding that I wouldn’t have had at a university that had big graduate programs like a medical or law school. On the downside, this also meant that I hardly ever came into contact with graduate students. Those that I did meet quickly became some of my best friends and mentors, people I could turn to when faced with real-world dilemmas, like the stress of figuring out what I’d do after graduating.