This entry was curated by Jordan Osterman ’11, with suggestions included from alumni who submitted regrets on social media.
If you’re anything like me, graduating from college was a bittersweet thing: It meant the beginning of an awesome new chapter of life filled with potential and promise, yes, but it also meant finishing a chapter full of amazing experiences, lessons and memories. In the time since graduating I’ve also realized I have a list of things from my time as a Tommie student that I flat out regretted – either things I shouldn’t have done and did, or should have done and didn’t. It’s a bummer, but every alum has that list and there are some things that make it on for most people. Here are Alumni’s Top 10 Do-Over Wishes After Graduating.
10. Not going to more sporting events
This one is so low because it’s easily amendable after graduating if you still live around the Twin Cities. But Tommie athletics rule, and if you didn’t figure that out until two years after graduating you realize pretty quickly how much you missed out on.
9. Deciding your career path too soon – or too late
More and more, career paths and the major decision that leads to them are being researched and decided earlier in academic careers, which can lead to missing out on your true calling. Especially at a liberal arts university with so many potential directions, there’s no harm in finding your true passion a ways down the academic road.
8. Wasted relationships
Whether romantic or platonic, looking back and realizing you spent way, way too much time in a relationship with someone you now realize is the worst is, well, the worst. Or third worst, according to this list. Present you is embarrassed for past you.
7. Housing arrangements
With the huge range of on- and off-campus living options at and around St. Thomas, there were tons of ways to get four years of housing arrangements just right for you. There also must have been at least one way to get it wrong, because you stuck yourself with the worst roommates ever junior year. Why?!?!
6. Not introducing yourself to the president
It always seemed like such an easy thing to do until you panicked all three times you had a chance. I, and most of us, should have made the time to at least land a firm handshake and introduction with the president before graduation. And that handshake when you get your diploma doesn’t count.
This one hits early and often when the first tuition bill arrives, but there are a crazy amount of resources these days to help students line up and land scholarships. Those who didn’t take advantage can easily have this do-over at or near the top of their list.
4. Not continuing a language enough to speak it
How cool would it be to speak Spanish right now? Or German? Or Italian? So freaking cool. But you stopped after your sophomore year and now can barely order off an authentic dinner menu, much less be that cool person who can get around foreign countries with ease.
3. Not getting more work experience
Real talk, this is one of the biggest do-over wishes for college grads nationwide, and Tommies are no exception. Work experience opens up all kinds of post-graduation options these days, while not having any (or enough) opens up tough questions from potential employers. Should have interned harder, intern.
For many (hopefully most) Tommies, college was an incredible time and – while the next stage of life is often equally or more incredible – many alumni wish that their time at St. Thomas never ended. Graduating screwed that up. Do-over?
1. Not studying abroad
This was the overwhelming majority of responses from alumni on social media, easily vaulting this do-over to No. 1. Between peers’ amazing stories and gorgeous Instagram photos, it’s no wonder so many alums look back on their years without getting abroad and count it as their biggest regret. When are you going to get to Morocco now?
What would be your biggest do-over if given the chance? Or was your experience too good to second guess? Let us know in the comments section.