People Are Revealing What They Regret Most About Their College Years, And It's Really Eye-Opening

Whether you attended a community college, a private college, or a large public school, the college experience varies from person to person—and it really is what you make of it.
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I recently asked the BuzzFeed Community if they had any regrets about their college experience, and the answers varied widely. Here are some of them.
1. “I regret the area I went to. I should have stayed with my original field of nursing, but the drive was too big, so I was shooting at my community college just as smartphones were coming out.”
– too many children, too little time
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2. "I met a guy in my freshman year and we were inseparable. We stayed together for six years throughout college. I knew he wasn't the one for me, but we'd been together for so long that it just made sense to stay together. We bought a house together and got engaged. We split eight months before the wedding when he ended things. I wish I had done it sooner and actually experienced more college singles rather than long-term relationships."
-Anonymous
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3. "I really wish I had stepped out of my comfort zone in a more social way and tried to connect with people I wouldn't normally have. I never really bothered to explore other social groups."
—mattyc3
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4. "I wish I had gone to community college and then transferred to a 4-year college. Now that I'm buried in student loan debt, I'm thinking about how much money I could have saved by taking my pre-requisite courses at a community college. I think I thought people would judge me if I didn't go straight out of high school to a four-year university.
-Anonymous
5. "I wish I had been more social. I started at a two year college with plans to transfer to another school to save money and while I was there I had a falling out with what I thought was my best friend who wanted more Spending time with more famous people. I felt so burned that when I transferred to another college, I didn't participate in social activities. She had done this with two other people in our circle of friends so I'm not sure why I didn't realize she was a social climber and I was just her friend until she found 'better ones.'"
"I didn't have a social life at my new school and I regret missing out on some really great friends at the second college I went to. I wish I had joined some clubs but I've already had two strikes as a transfer student and living off campus. My biggest piece of advice would be to step out of your comfort zone and know that your "people" are out there. Maybe you just have to search a bit!”
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6. "I was the only Jewish child in my department, so clichés and jokes were often made at my expense. Rather than being ostracized or labeled as overly sensitive, I went along with it and in some cases made the jokes myself. Not standing up for myself and going along with it will be something I will regret for the rest of my life. I should have been proud of who I was and brave enough to call her out."
-Anonymous
7. "Honestly, my biggest regret for college is that I'm going at all. I now owe so much debt that I will never be able to pay it back (thanks to interest rates). Salt in the wound: I can't get a job in this field I went to college, so now all this crippling debt is for an education I can't/need to use."
—p46bf3ddf0
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8. “I wish I had joined more clubs and clubs. I found my circle of friends early on and was lazy to try new things. But now, after college, a lot of people seem to have a lot more varsity friends from the sports teams they've been on, and it saddens me that I don't have those lifelong connections as well."
-Anonymous
9. “On the last day of recruitment week, I was torn between two sororities. I chose the 'cooler' one that had the better and more popular reputation rather than the one I actually liked better. I think that was it. That's why I never found 'my people' in college and didn't enjoy it as much as I could have."
—annaebrown3
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10. "Just following my gut feeling about what I wanted to study. I've always been very interested in art, but only okay with STEM subjects. I was persuaded to study science at university because of the potentially better job prospects. This resulted in me having a bad time with my introductory science classes because I wasn't that interested in them, I threw away my GPA and switched to an arts major anyway. Sometimes I think about all the things I could have done/be if I had done what I wanted to do from the start."
-Anonymous
11. "I had to figure out my sexuality and had crippling social anxiety — so I kept to myself and never made friends. Now everyone I meet has a core group of friends from college, and I regret I never will have that. I wish I had known that making friends as an adult was going to be so much harder than it was in college.
-Anonymous
12. “I regret that I was pressured to go to university. I chose a terrible course at a good university in a city I've been to a hundred times. It wasn't at all what I wanted to do. I didn't want to move out of the parental home, never go out or socialize, never get a job or join any clubs. After 1.5 years my grades were good but my mental health was so bad that I had no choice but to drop out . Now several years later I'm back as a student at a university I love with great courses, teachers and friends in a brand new city. My advice to people contemplating college is: Don't just focus on what you want at college; also think about what you DON'T want in school!"
—hann24
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13. "Changing colleges. Got the freshman experience at a college but then had to relive all the 'new experiences' on the second.”
-Anonymous
14. "I regret that I was in such a rush to graduate. I got double credits in high school, so when I went to college I had to choose a major and take specialty courses. Throughout my time there I was never sure what I wanted to do, so I only studied what I enjoyed (I have no regrets.) I was so depressed at my school that I took a full course program every semester and I took summer courses because I thought I wanted to finish as soon as possible. Now I'm unemployed and still depressed and I really miss school. I wish I would have enjoyed it more and taken my time."
-Anonymous
15. "I regret going to school near where I live. I was one of the first in my family to go to college, and it was difficult for my family members, including my mother, to understand that not only had I changed address, but [but that] I was in a demanding school, trying to build a life. They would show up regularly in my dorm (including unannounced presence in my room, which made my roommates uncomfortable), try to blend in with my social college life, and get annoyed when I said I had a club meeting or was up to study must stay on campus. It wasn't just embarrassing.
—devoestarr7
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16. "I went to a school where everyone was very, very wealthy and image was everything. It kind of became a bubble and you just felt like you had to be so perfect. I wish I had stayed true to my authentic self and I wasn't trying to be something I wasn't but I was vulnerable and 18 and just wanted to fit in. I had zero self esteem, started drinking too much, blacked out and made terrible decisions with not good people, didn't take care of myself and ended up in such a dark place."
“I finally left this school after my sophomore year. It was so hard and I was so embarrassed at what people would think. After much therapy, self-reflection, and time, I realized that there really is nothing wrong with who I am, and the only person I've ever had to prove anything to was myself. I regret that other people's opinions have taken me to such a dark level have caused my mental health to be compromised.”
-Anonymous
17. “I'm still at university, but I regret that I didn't look for other master's degrees at universities other than the university where I did my BA. I see now that I need someone a little different for the field I want to do my PhD in, but there's no way I can afford two more years at uni."
—mikkeluu
18. "I transferred out of school as a sophomore — after making great friends in freshman year — to be with my high school friend who 'couldn't live another year without me.' After five days in the first week he dropped me without further ado. I was able to watch firsthand how he rebounded with a couple of girls while I was left devastated and friendless."
"It hit me so bad I dropped out, wriggled for a couple of years and was pretty self destructive. I finally pulled myself together, got a degree, and now have a successful career, but it ruined the "college experience". I wish I was stronger and knew better then."
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19. “Anxious about money and not traveling anymore. My roommate was from Japan. Why didn't I visit them and get free accommodation?! ? Now I have the money to do these things, everyone is boring and busy with their families or jobs. I think you should have fun while you're young. Don't worry about the money!”
-Anonymous
20. "I regret ever applying for and receiving a credit card. A table was set up on campus where people were actively persuading new adults to sign up for these credit cards. I got one with a $10,000 limit! Needless to say, I wasn't responsible for all that money and credit, and that debt haunted me for years. If you're getting a credit card so young, be smart."
—keetawandon
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21. “I regret not changing my major. I chose English because I excelled at it for years, but I had taken my first psychology class in my senior year of high school and I was absolutely blown away. I enjoyed it. It was more than any English course I've ever had and I really wanted to major in it in college, but my mom wanted me to be an English teacher because that's what she's always wanted to do and I'm so scared had to disappoint you that I stuck to English even though I could hardly bear it. I did well in all of my English courses, but I enjoyed the psychology class so much more. Now I'm stuck with a practically useless English degree and I don't want to be a teacher."
—jdtres85
22. "I regret not studying abroad. I was too busy in every student organization when I checked it was time to graduate!"
—katrina cowboys
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23. "I was so busy finishing school and getting a job that I forgot to have fun."
—trgreen1711
24. "I regret going to school. I've never been away from home for so long, and I really broke down and was on fire. My anxiety and depression were so intense when I entered college. I ended up leaving it by Halloween with a medical. I went to community college in January and everything worked out.
—katiem4493674a4
25. "Choosing the wrong friends. They weren't bad or rude, I just learned a lot about who I was in sophomore year. The group of all had solidified."
—jillank3
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26. “I regret not going to college and not taking my major seriously. I met and dated a toxic guy and spent all of my time in our relationship. When I graduated I had no idea what to do with my life - my grades were so poor I couldn't even think about going to graduate school. After teaching English in China for a year, I finally found what really excites me and enrolled in college to get my ECE diploma. After graduating from university, I took it a lot more seriously this time . If I could study again, I would do it without hesitation and concentrate more on my studies."
—cobrakaineverdies
27. “I now regret switching majors because my interests have changed. I originally wanted to be a forensic biologist, so I was well on my way to getting a bachelor's degree in biology. However, I lost interest in forensics and took a break from college. I came back and did a BA in Art instead."
"I'm still very interested in art, but I really didn't need to major in it to be able to do it. I could have made it a minor instead, or just taught myself. In the last 6-7 "For years I've become much more interested in wildlife and conservation. I watch tons of wildlife documentaries and my focus in photography has shifted to wildlife. I'd love to do something with it, but all of these jobs require at least a Bachelor of Science degree in biology .
If I had to do it again, I would have majored in biology with a wildlife major and art as a minor. But I'm in my mid-30s now and I just don't want to go to school for four more years."
—doofenshmirtzevilinc
28. "I wish we could get rid of the 'dream school' idea. It has too much pressure and financial expectations. Choose a school that has features you like, including price."
—noraharvey2
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29. "I wish I had gone to HBCU instead of the school I chose to go to in the '90s. I think that would have prepared me better for life as a black woman.”
– Aricas
30. "I wish I could have done my general education classes at a community college. Would have been a lot cheaper.”
—buzzfeed1003
31. "I really wish I had taken the time to join a sorority. I think it would have greatly enhanced my college experience and helped me make friends. And it would have given me a community to connect with at later reunions. I feel like I missed something for not having the Greek experience. I know Greek life has a bad reputation and isn't all fun - but it would have been nice to be a part of something like that."
—tadh2
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32. "I regret not exploring the city where I went to school more. I went to school in an urban area because I prefer cities and didn't want to feel too isolated or too "in a bubble." I know a good chunk of it, but during senior week I went bar hopping and got some cool ones Visited restaurants and realized how much I missed - but it was too late. It's hard to make time for everything in college because there's so much to do, but I think it's worth getting to know the city you live in."
—tanzinaa
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33. "I went to a small religious college because I could drive for free, and I really wanted to get away from my family for a while because my dad and I had such a bad fight."
"I was already a fairly liberal atheist when I started, and have been for years, and had trouble forming close relationships and generally being comfortable on a small, conservative, religious campus. I wish I had gone to a state college where I would have still qualified for scholarships and had more opportunities, both academically and personally. I also wish I had studied at least one semester abroad.”
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