the idealist: things i wish i did in my spare time in college

2 the idealist - tuesday

i realise now, after everything is over, that i did not really use my time to my advantage during my uni years. and that is about four years’ worth of spare time that i have wasted doing God knows what. so here is a list of things i wish i had done and which those who are still in uni can still consider doing instead of wasting their time away like poor little me.

1. internship
i had foregone the opportunity to do internships during my uni years for other things, whether it be ’cause i already had a solid permanent part-time job that had really good flexible hours and pay, or whether i wanted to spend more of my time resting, or because i just wanted to play boggle and scrabble in my free time. but now that i look back on it, just having that one permanent part-time job on my resume is not the best. ’cause while i really did do a lot of things and learnt a lot during the time i’ve had there, a six-year-long stint at a tuition centre does not apparently leave a big impact on the companies i want to hire me. so, for those who are still in college, i suggest trying out a range of jobs during the summer for internship. ’cause there are high chances that your internship will get you your future job. and choose them wisely too. while it may be a pain in the ass, going for well-known companies can up your rep.

2. written more on the side
i think the majority of my writing was spent during my second semester, where i was able to accomplish a poetry collection and a play. and those things made me feel good. but i realise, looking back, that i should have really written more poetry and, i regret it now, i should have attempted larger projects, such as maybe one or two full-scale novels. as a writer, i am really lazy. i have to admit that. i usually don’t get as far as a chapter before another idea springs to mind or i get really distracted. but the thing is is that to get yourself published, you need to have some sort of material already done. which i don’t. so i wish i had written more during college, when i had the free time for it, and at least have two completed novels that i can look for publishing sources or enter in contests now.

3. upgraded skills
while it was all fine and dandy going to classes and learning all that is to do with my major, i think one thing, as a college student, we must do is to step back and realise that a lot of things you’re learning now in your degree is not going to help you in the real world, unless you’re dead set on going for a masters. well, that’s mostly true for art degrees at least, i know communication and engineering majors probably are more related to the jobs their going to finally get, but if you’re an english major like me or maybe a sociology or history major, you’re definitely going to have to go beyond your curriculum and find ways in improving skills that will matter in the long run and which will help in your resume. so i suggest taking a language class in a language that is necessary in your society, or learn some computing skills. one way of helping you realise what skills you need to learn would be to go look at job postings and see what kind of skills companies want out of a position.

4. networking
i think this is a really important thing when it comes to finding a job or getting more opportunities out of life. get to know more people. even though you know you’re not going to like it or you think one particular circle of people are fake or you feel fake for doing it. it is always important to learn about what others do and how they are linked to other people. you never know when they need someone with your skills and come knocking at your door ’cause they know you personally. i feel like i haven’t done that enough in my college ’cause i’m such an introvert and am the type to just nuzzle myself in my blankets, with the computer in front of me in my hall room. but for those still in uni, don’t be afraid to get out there and make a name and some sort of reputation for yourself. the people you meet may someday end up ruling the world, and it will feel good to say that you knew them at one point in time – and maybe got drunk with them one night.

5. used the facilities more
it is in your college fees that you pay for the usage of your college facilities, so it is a shame if you do not use them – and especially if you do not know where some of them are still, even in your senior year. i’ve seen plenty of people who just go for classes and hightail out of the vicinity after its over. while i probably did use the facilities more than some of my other classmates, i do feel kind of sad that i didn’t use them even more while i was there. this especially includes the swimming pool and the running track. i haven’t even stepped into the sports gym during my time there. a lot of times i make it a point to state that i will go swimming once a week and running twice a week before the semester, but once semester kicks off, i find myself constantly choosing to sit in my room instead of going to the sports centre. this is especially shameful as it was just across the street from my hall. now that i’m out of hall, getting to sports facilities is even tougher, and i bet by the time i start working it will be even more terrible to get my butt out of my house and go exercise. so i suggest that while you’re still in college you make full use of the track.

but, at this point in time, i can’t sit back and regret too much of my time there. the most i can do is reflect upon it, so here is my reflection. as a whole, though, i really do feel like i got the most of the college experience (just not the time outside of that college experience). i am proud of the fact that i did put my studies first and that i was always on top of my workload. i’m also proud that i made friends and memories within my hall that will last a life time, and that my studies were not just all about academics but also about having a lot of fun. so, maybe the last thing i have to say is that while you are in college, try to balance both worlds, the academics and the hall life (or the social life, if you don’t stay in campus). some of those memories are really things that will make you the person you are once you graduate.

till next time!

cumuloq ❤

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