Things I miss about being a college student

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I loved everything about college. From dorm life and weekly parties to taking notes at lectures and cramming for midterms, I enjoyed every second of my 4 years at UCLA. College is the period when annoying teenagers start to transition to semi-independent adults, and the best thing about this pre-adult phase is that you still have an excuse to experiment and be a little crazy with your life while you learn and form your perspective about the world.

After I graduated from UCLA and started working full time, I realized I had taken a lot of things that college offered me for granted. In light of back to school season, I decided to compile a list of things I miss about living life as a college student.

 

1. FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE

One of the best things about being a college student is how much freedom you have with your daily schedule.
Class enrollment was always a pain in the ass at UCs, but usually I can avoid taking that 8am class or sometimes even get a free Friday if I’m lucky. Since you are basically setting your own class schedule, there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to managing your free time. Things are very different when you have a 9-5 job and need to show up to work in the morning everyday. I miss the days when I could wake up at noon or skip a class when I accidentally overslept. Being a full-time student also means that you can fit a lot of different things in your life, such as having a part-time job or participate in a student organization. When you start working full-time, you realize scheduling appointments become impossible because nothing is open after you get off work.

 

2. MEETING NEW PEOPLE IS EASY

This is especially true in freshman year, but in general it’s a lot easier to meet new people and make friends in college because there are plenty of chances to see new faces at dorms, classes and parties. College students are also more free and open to hang out with one another compared to people in the working world, partly because we tend to settle down with our lives as we get older and have less time to spend with our friends. It’s hard to get together with friends when everyone is living at different places and busy with work. This is just the sad reality of adult life.

 

3. ACCESS TO DIFFERENT OPPORTUNITIES AND RESOURCES

College is designed to be a place where students can explore different options before entering into the real world. You can always find at least one student organization that matches your interest, and there are virtually limitless learning opportunities with all the university faculty and professors available. The hefty tuition also gives you access to resources such as the Career Center, academic counselors, and all kinds of student-exclusive workshops/events. These were things that I have taken for granted when I was in college, and I wish I have utilized these resources more when I was still a student. These opportunities are available but harder to find after you graduate from school.

 

4. CLASSES ARE INTERESTING (ALTHOUGH MIDTERMS/FINALS ARE NOT)

This largely depends on your major and your interests, but I loved most of the classes I took in college. Some of the interesting topics I studied include sex and biology, gender communication, social psychology, philosophy of ethics, and I even took an acting class. While I am (obviously) a social science person, I love that I can also take classes in different areas such as computer programming and cognitive science. Although some people find lectures boring and unnecessary to attend, I personally think nothing can really replace sitting in a lecture hall and taking notes with a pen and paper. I even get a slight sense of satisfaction from making study guides and printing out a 10-page paper…is that just me!?

 

5. STUDY ABROAD

Probably the best decision I made in my entire college career. If you’ve always wanted to travel abroad and experience what it’s like to live in a different country, study abroad is the perfect opportunity to expose yourself to a new culture while fulfilling your college graduation requirements. You can pretty much go anywhere you want since there are so many study abroad programs available at different international universities, and you can have a true immersive experience if you apply as a exchange student since the classes will be taught by local professors. Study abroad is also a good way to take classes that you normally wouldn’t take at your home university, and you would be surprised by how much you can learn from venturing out of your comfort zone. I’ve always wanted to live in Europe and decided to study abroad in London for a semester during my senior year, and it was a life-changing experience that I will never forget.

 

6. COLLEGE IS FUN!

Last but not least, I had so much fun in college and learned so much about myself and the world around me. I met some of the most amazing people and made unforgettable memories during my time at UCLA, all of which helped shaped who I am today.  There were times when I wished I didn’t have to write this paper or study for that final, but I would do it all over again because all those painful nights of procrastination was part of what made my college experience unique. I tried different internships and part time jobs to discover what I like and don’t like, devoted my time and passion for student organizations I cared about, made and broke relationships with people, and grew to be wiser and stronger than the girl fresh out of high school 4 years ago.

 


 

College was an essential part of my life that I will always treasure, and while I do miss certain qualities of the college lifestyle, I love my life after college equally if not more. The 4 years of college experience gave me the tools I need to tackle post-grad life,  and it’s rewarding to be able to finally take the knowledge I learned in the class room and apply it in the real world.

What do you miss the most about college? Or what do you NOT miss now that you’re out of school? Share with me your thoughts on your college experience!

 

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