May 24, 2011  •  In Education, Personal, Relationships

Education Regrets

With the increasing number of studies and articles questioning the value of college degrees, in addition to the declining rates of employment and starting salaries among new graduates, it is no wonder that today’s young adults are fraught with regrets about their college choices.

According to a recent study by Rutgers University’s Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, a full 74% of recent graduates wish that they had done something differently about their college careers. At the top of the list is choosing a different major, with getting more internships/experience a close second:

I can’t help but be reminded of myself and my husband when reading articles such as these. Shortly after we had first started dating, I had asked him, “If you could go back in time and change one thing about your past, what would it be?”

“College. I would’ve taken that scholarship at NYU instead.”

Incidentally, that was my answer too. Except I would have gone with Columbia.

What is so ironic about our matching answers is that we had met in college; if we had not attended JHU, we probably would have never met.

But then again, NYU and Columbia are in the same city so there is still a slight chance that fate would have intervened.

What about you? Do you have any big regrets about life? What is your biggest regret about college?

Via Geekosystem.

13 Responses to “Education Regrets”

  1. Teresa:

    I liked my undergrad but I was pretty unhappy with my Ph.D. program. In retrospect I would have stopped after a master’s degree. Although then I wouldn’t have the cool job I have now (probably), so I guess it was all meant to be.

  2. I have serious education regrets. I’m okay with my undergrad, but pursuing a graduate degree was a huge waste of time and money. However, I met lots of friends and my husband by moving to a new city for that degree. I still think we each could be happy with other people if we hadn’t met each other, though.

  3. I wish I had picked a different major. I chose advertising and I really do not like working in the advertising industry. So I decided to go back to school to do nursing. I really wish I had known this back when I was an undergrad, because my alma mater has a great nursing program and I wouldn’t be paying for it out of my own pocket. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.

  4. I know a number of people who would have chosen a different undergrad, and that always makes me feel a little sad, mostly because I LOVED my college experience and was pleased with my major, my internships (but I jumped into internships off the bat band held one all 4 years), loved where I went, etc. If I had to change something, I would have had a little more fun and studied a little less!

    Now, graduate school on the other hand… that’s where all my regrets fall. If I was starting all over, I would have gone into a straight biophysics program rather than a cancer-oriented program where I do biophysics, so I would have had more relevant classes. I probably would have chosen a different institution if I went into biophysics. And even if I would up here, I DEFINITELY would not choose my lab if I had the opportunity to go back and do it all over again.

    Funny how I love pretty much everything about undergrad and was so happy, and hate everything about my grad school experience and am miserable all the time.

  5. Di:

    I loved my undergrad experience but I a) would have done multiple studies abroad and b) would have chosen a higher earning degree. As it is, I’m faced with poor prospects for advancement in my career and am seriously considering going back for something in engineering or computer science.

  6. how interesting…

    my husband also went to JHU, and always wished he took the scholarship to UCLA. Something about JHU….

  7. I had a degree in Social Work, and although I have a heart for the field, it really seems that I CANNOT find a good job with just a BSW; I need my masters. I don’t WANT to get my master’s right now, and I don’t want to have even MORE student loans. Between the two of us, the hubs and I have $40,000 in student loans. I just want a really good job. I feel like a masters wouldn’t get me very much either, as far as job/salary.

    I also wish I had transferred universities after my sophomore year, when I was really unsure what to do. I may not have met my husband (I moved to Wyoming with an ex-boyfriend for the summer, after we had broken up, and that’s where I met my husband), but maybe I would have… either way, his school(s) were between $5,000-12,000 a year, and mine was $24,000. Dumb. I really don’t know what I’ll do if my kids want to go to a super expensive Christian school. I may seriously try to talk them out of it. SO expensive, and too bubble-y (as, you’re in a bubble… my husband calls it “post-high school” not college) for my taste.

  8. Vee:

    I probably would have chosen a different major. Or not pursued the graduate program that I did, which has proved to be one step above Completely Useless. And that’s the degree I’m still paying for. Ick! But similarly to you, if I hadn’t pursued my graduate program, I might not have met my husband, as I met him in the bar I was working in to support myself through school.

  9. Oh man, I totally regret not majoring in economics as an undergrad. And I’d trade in the PhD for an MBA. And I’d do study abroad. So many regrets!

  10. I probably should have skipped my master’s program or done a different one. I decided to condense a two year program into one year because I was sick of school and was totally miserable for that choice and ended up in a job where I’m not using the degree at all and where they don’t pay me extra money just because I have it. I now advise everyone to be sure they’re going to get a pay raise and wait until they work for a company that will pay for them to take the classes instead of being like me and going into debt for something I feel like I don’t need. Obviously I value the information I learned but the cost of that seems like it doesn’t balance out.
    Undergrad though was pretty awesome. I would have added a minor I was two classes short of getting just so I could say I have it, not because it would get me anywhere, instead of taking that ballet “filler” course.

  11. Both my husband and I have serious regrets about college. We both went to rigorous college prep high schools, and we were tired of working hard by the time college came around, so we went for a private university with great community but less than stellar academics. Also because we were tired of working hard, we kind of coasted through college… both of us wish we’d done more research with profs, and been more involved on campus.

    Sometimes we play the “what if we’d picked different colleges” game… but we wouldn’t have met each other then. He wishes he’d gone to the Air Force Academy (turning it down is one of his biggest regrets) and I wish I’d gone to a cheaper school. I also shouldn’t have gone on to do a teaching credential… sooo not worth it!

  12. How funny, my college regret is *exactly* the same as your husband’s. I wish I had taken the scholarship at NYU. Instead, I stayed in California for a boy…who is now my husband. I loved my undergrad experience and the friends I made there, but sometimes I still wonder how it was so easy for me to turn down such a great opportunity.

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