My 10 Biggest Academic Regrets Upon Graduation
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My 10 Biggest Academic Regrets Upon Graduation

A serious look at my entire undergraduate career

My 10 Biggest Academic Regrets Upon Graduation

Technically, I graduated in January 2018 with my undergraduate degree. However, I still do not feel complete. I did not write this in order to bemoan what I could have done, but to look with a serious perspective at what I could have done differently and how that would apply to my decision-making in the future. Alongside explaining why I chose an entry, I will also explain how I will adapt from it. This is why I have regrets, but no complaints.

1. Not becoming a liberal arts major sooner.

I originally entered college life wanting to become a game designer, so I registered as a Digital Animation & 3D Design major. However, as I grew more and more tired of my own video games, I began to view the assignments I did for my classes as chores. At that point, I felt like I was lied to, not even by corporations like Square Enix and Koei, but by myself into thinking that I would live my dream when that dream started to materialize into reality.

What I will take away from this is that I have become more resolute in why I chose a liberal arts major and am willing to dispel any stereotypes associated with it.

2. Not enrolling in one more independent study course.

Although there is a limit to how many I can take, I should have reached my limit because there are many topics that I'm fascinated by that Monmouth University or Brookdale Community College did not offer me.

If I ever see an opportunity where I can indulge in my deepest academic and professional desires, I would have to take it.

3. Not becoming an Anthropology major.

I am fascinated by how entire groups of people can create an identity for themselves in the face of imperialism. Not to name any names, but the anthropology course I enrolled in did not electrify my interest. Although the subject within the course interested me, it was one of the few courses where I had trouble staying awake. When I entered Monmouth University, I decided to become an English major because I was fascinated by its multi-faceted nature and how it can be easily applicable to the world beyond just narrowed-down professions.

Since I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in English with a History Minor, perhaps I could pursue a Graduate Certificate in Anthropology.

4. Not seeking out more mentors.

A conversation about my interests is enough to inspire my professors to grant me access to activities that would benefit my resume and LinkedIn profile. It was how I managed to share my work in Student Scholarship Week, enroll in an independent study course, and write an essay about one of the months from the First Volume of Samuel Pepys' Diary (hey, he was a Renaissance man a hundred years after it passed). But, I regret not taking the initiative of pursuing more of my interests and appealing to more professors in Monmouth University.

I would not consider this schmoozing, but as letting my professors know that I genuinely care about the material they teach and am willing to explore it at deeper levels.

5. Not starting my own club.

Since I live in an area where there is a Haitian diaspora, inside and outside of the campus, I should have created a club dedicated to spreading scholarship about the Haitian identity and Haitian Creole, which is the language they speak. Akin to Reason #3, I am fascinated with how African slaves took and reshaped their masters' language just like the Gullah people when they reshaped English.

Whenever I come to a place where the demographics of people that may want representation, I would need to have the initiative to pursue it.

6. Not writing for Odyssey sooner.

I have been writing for Odyssey for half a year now, but I only wish I could have started sooner. And when I did hear about Odyssey through a classmate in an experiential education class, I did not immediately join because I felt like they would not accept me.

I should remember to never underestimate my own abilities and every invitation to any project or group does not mean an automatic denial.

7. Not becoming involved in Theatre.

This would be a broad entry, since I could have participated in the Theatre Club or minored in Theatre. Specifically, I am fascinated by William Shakespeare and how close his plays come to playing out the human condition.

I was mainly interested in this field because I would like to bring myself out of my own comfort zone. I felt that the Public Speaking course at Brookdale Community College did little to do that, even though I practiced diligently and ended up being considered the student who improved the most.

8. Not enrolling in an Irish Gaelic Language course.

Not only is this a disappointment as a person of Irish descent, but as an aspiring linguist who hopes to help revitalize endangered languages like Irish Gaelic.

If I cannot find an available Irish Gaelic course, then I would probably have to resort to teaching myself Irish Gaelic through dictionaries or MOOC's.

9. Not submitting more in-depth short stories to literary magazines.

This mainly has to do with underestimating my own abilities, just like in Regret #6. I always feared rejection, so rarely would I submit to literary magazines (and yes, I did receive rejections from all of them).

Now, rejection should not matter to me, because I can not predict that any magazine will automatically reject my own work.

10. Not seeing a therapist sooner.

Not to dive into personal life, but I have had ingrained troubles that have afflicted me for a long time. They especially started getting worse for a year before graduation, since I felt like my efforts were futile, that there was no point in doing coursework since I was not being paid for it. Although I am currently seeing a therapist, I think that had I arranged to see one much sooner, I would have appreciated my final year at Monmouth University a lot better and would have earned better grades.

I have since learned to become more aware of my mental health and how to maintain it, especially since college students have high rates of mental disorders, which mainly have to do with social media use, homesickness, and worries about paying off student loans. Mental health may not appear to have an effect on academic (and career) performance, but there are long-term consequences.

When it comes to handling the problems in my life currently, I don't think that complaining about the past is useful to me, rather I focus on how my future will play out and establishing the steps needed to accomplish my goals. I would hope that any student who is either currently attend or about to attend tertiary education would take these regrets as advice when they submit their applications.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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