My Biggest College Regret

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not midterms, midterm elections or even the impending Thanksgiving break, but course selection for next semester. Hopefully, by now you have already chosen your classes. Hopefully, you will be full of vim and vigor and other exciting words that start with a v.

Unfortunately, it seems to take at least seven semesters, or 3.5 years, worth of course selections to understand what a person wants and needs. There is that perfect balance of difficult and easy, fun and challenging classes to find (and, of course, the supposedly easy ones always have the weirdly elaborate group project at the end). There is the impossible challenge of determining when you actually want to be awake. And,of course, there is the hardest part of all: figuring out what you want.

My biggest regret at Dickinson is that I did not explore very much. True, having a more-or-less set plan by the end of my first semester enabled me to double major, go abroad for a year, and still take some electives. And it’s impossible to say that, if I took an Environmental Studies or Studio Art class as a first year, it would interest me as much as it might now.

The pesky graduation requirements don’t bother me. Yes, I could have taken a more interesting US Diversity class or not taken Computer Science courses for both my labs, but overall I respect Dickinson for making us do things we would not do otherwise. In fact, I think our graduation requirements could be a bit stronger.

Although I cannot imagine myself with any other combination of majors (International Studies and Russian), I wish my approach to the whole undertaking had been less rigid.

With the perfect clarity of hindsight I see all the other classes I could have taken, the opportunities I was convinced did not apply to me. But then again, I know there is no point in second-guessing myself, while others are scrambling to fit in the same classes at which I roll my eyes.

Maybe it comes down to one of those phrases you are probably tired of hearing, fear of missing out. I do not want to accidentally not learn something that could change my life! I do not want to spend four years locked up in the third floor of Bosler!

I know that this anxiety about supposedly overlooking some deep and wonderful secret is irrational, one of those whispers that creeps in with all the other voices seniors start hearing in their heads. Still, I hope it has some value for you.

You are not your major, and your education is not over once you submit your application for a degree. So while you are already in a fascinating community, enjoy the resources you have. Try something new. Have fun. Everything will come together in the end.