I can’t believe it has already been two months since I walked across that stage and received my bachelor’s degree. It was exactly four years ago yesterday since I set foot in Puerto Rico for my “four-year vacation” called university. Time flew by so fast. Here are a few things that I might have done differently if I had the chance.
University is infamous for not letting you get any sleep ever. However, my first year of college I never went to bed past 9:30 even though I lived an hour away from school. If I had to study, I would wake early in the morning to do so. I also got straight A’s. Then, I got 7:30 am classes. Now, I am a morning person until it comes to getting out of my house. It is also difficult to wake up early enough to study before getting ready to go school by 7:30 am. Then, when life gets so busy that you get home past 9:30 pm every night. Forget it. My brother got to the point where he slept instead of studying, but I didn’t feel I could risk it.
Be more balanced
My mom would have liked me to helped out around the house more, but when you spend more than 12 twelve hours at school it’s kind of hard to wash a load of laundry at home from school. Even if I organized all my classes to be in the morning or in the afternoon, my brother was sure to have an opposing schedule. When I leave school at 9 pm, he would get in at 7 am. Then, there was Word on the Street to attend on Mondays, Wednesday Prayer Meeting and Bando on Thursdays. I wish I had read more books and developed more skills. It would have been nice to have started a business. At the very least used my free time more wisely.
Be more social
My first year I figured I would go on outings with my department when I learned the language. Big mistake. I should have gone on every single outing possible. I would have met more people and I would have spoken Spanish more fluently when I graduated.
Taken this book more seriously
I think it was sophomore year that I read Cal Newport’s How to Become a Straight-A Student that was a stellar book. Probably the best piece of advice he gave was study ahead for exam. Studying for exams the day before was a hard habit to break. I wish I took more of the advice in this book more seriously. Of course, there was advice in the book that I did take seriously or naturally took seriously so I graduated with a Magna Cum Laude. Not too bad.
Started working earlier
I worked my way through university. The first couple of years I canvassed and the second couple of years I worked in the Janitorial Department. I am on the fence about this one, but I wonder if I should have started working earlier. Perhaps, I could have gone on more school outings and perfected my Spanish. I feel it would have brought down my grades, but maybe not. Maybe having a better handle on Spanish would have helped.
Been more intentional while dating
When you make boundaries for your dating life, it’s a good idea to keep them. I wanted to only go to banquets with guys that I was good friends with. That way if anyone caught feelings or something we could talk it over constructively. I broke that boundary on my first date. He ended up jealously yelling at another guy friend that I cared about. This undoubtedly started a snowball of miscommunications and misunderstandings. Whatever was left of that friendship was completely destroyed along with my ability to develop romantic relationship with guys on campus.
The second date wasn’t so bad. Actually, I enjoyed it. Although, we weren’t close friends either I made it explicitly clear what I expected of him –a date for the night. I think that kind of killed the vibe. Not to mention that I found someone that would have been more comfortable with accompanying at the banquet.
Perhaps, I just wasn’t meant to find someone in Antillean. One day I will go out with someone that I like and respect and that is also interested in me. One day…. Practice makes perfect right?
Started planning my life earlier
I should have started thinking about what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to take the NCLEX at the very latest in the Spring Break of senior year. I did not. I started discussing it after graduation when I should have been sending my credits to the board of nursing. Maybe I would have gone canvassing and earned some money to stay in Puerto Rico for another year or something. At the very least, some feasible life plan that my parents liked. Why is life so complicated?
First published on Emissus
What would you have done differently over the past few years?