BLOG: 4 Things You Might Regret as A Student at Uni

Some really useful tips and advice from one of our 4Youth Community members, detailing her super relatable regrets regarding uni.

Being a student can be some of the best times of your life, but it’s only after you graduate and start working your first big girl job that you begin thinking of all the regrets you have about uni. Here are just 4 of the regrets I have that you might have too:

  1. Not Doing Any Internships – this is my number 1 regret about university. At the time, I genuinely believed I was too busy or too shy or too confused about what kind of career I wanted to even think about applying for internships. It turns out, I just didn’t know about The Grad Soc. This company help students and grads find flexible (between 5 to 10 hours a week), paid (£11 per hour!) and remote (an introvert’s dream) internships that last around 3 months. Looking back, if I had found them at uni, I would have been making the most of my weekends, saving up that extra cash and figuring out what kind of work I actually really liked (and what I absolutely didn’t want to pursue). One thing you realise coming out of uni is that a degree doesn’t mean much to an employer and it’s your work experience that speaks volumes when you’re trying to land a grad job. It sounds simple but it’s not something I knew.
  2. Wasting My Student Loan – in particular, on a bunch of new clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I saved like mad (maybe a little bit too mad at times) but I made some very regrettable purchases where that money could have been put to good use. No, I didn’t need the Anastasia brow gel because it was trending online and no, I didn’t need a new outfit for every event. If you’re a student reading this now, it’s worth asking yourself why you’re buying something. Is it just for the sake of buying? Can you find it somewhere cheaper? Can you wait a couple of months and if you still want it then you can get it? It might seem like the odd £20 here and the odd £15 there but it really starts to add up (and trust me, the future grad version of you will wish you had that money for a new vacuum or office desk or something “adult”).
  3. Not Enjoying the Small Things – uni is hectic. Every day feels like it’s mad and that’s not always a bad thing especially when you’re young, a little bit wild and soaking up all the freedom you have. But one regret you might find yourself having as a grad is not enjoying the small moments that made your uni experience. Like sitting in the library with your friends, all of you experiencing a stress-induced meltdown and you’re counting down the days until term ends. Or going home to visit your mum and dad. Or walking back to your flat with your besties. Or cooking dinner for your housemates. At the time, you’re so wrapped up in that essay you have to finish or that presentation you have to do that you forget to really soak up these small moments.
  4. Throwing Away My Free Time – once you graduate, you realise how time consuming it is working a “proper” job and you begin to regret throwing away all that freedom you had. Personally, I wish I had done more than binge watch and shop with my free time. If I could give advice to a current student, I’d say make the most of the time you have now where most of you have very few responsibilities. Travel to new cities (spending money on a new experience trumps new clothes by the way, take this advice), try new coffee shops, make new meals, choose a hobby, and stick to it (even if you’re rubbish at it, you’ll come out of uni with a passion for something that isn’t related to your career). I also wish I’d spent this freedom exploring my future options better. Could I have done some online courses? Could I have been networking? All of this hindsight is something you wish you had as a student.

And these are just a few of the many regrets you might relate to!

“Ultimately, it’s important to look forward rather than wishing you could change the past but hopefully this lands in the hands of newbie and current uni students who can learn from my mistakes.”