Remember your first year in uni? If you have a chance to redo the whole year, what would you do differently?

It is the last semester of uni for many of us third year students. Some have secured jobs right after graduation, while others planning to do Master’s degrees. The majority? Still having no idea on which path to choose.

Catching up with some of my friends whom I have known since first year, our conversations are no longer aligning with the usual holiday talk. Rather, they are dominated by the future-talk-thingy.

Suddenly, the far future looks so near.

I went back home after finishing the last exam ever in uni, and tidying up the university books – the notes and subject readers that have collected plenty of dust over the years. I took a glance at my super horrible timetable back when I was in first year, and the subjects I took. Creative Writing? Critical Thinking? Seriously?

Well, it seems that I was a bit stupid when I first started uni. Reasons?

I had the worst timetable ever. I only had 12 hours of uni back then but no days off. Worse, I have four and six hours gap on two of the five uni days. Wow.

I bought every single subject reader and prescribed book, including four weird novels that I would never read again in my whole life for around AU$20 each.

I was friend-less for the entire first semester – eating lunch alone or with a laptop was really that depressing, you know?

I was never committed with an organisation for more than one event. I volunteered here and there, but when the event ended, so did my commitment.

I lived one hour and twenty minutes away from uni, which was only reachable by a combination of bus, train, tram, and foot.

So after two and a half of years, I have realised how much I’ve grown. Every experience – every heartache, tear, and moan over assignment-doing and exam-taking is worth it. But you know what? If I can redo my first year of uni, I would do some things differently.

I would make more friends, and prioritise them.

I don’t remember my subjects. I don’t remember my lecturers, or even my tutors. But I remember my friends. Our time together. Our silly times. Our skipping classes and going for movies days. Ditching a lecture for the sake of comforting a friend who just broke up.

My friends would remember me for years to come. My lecturers? Tutors? Hardly.

I would start having part-time jobs sooner.

I had my first ever part-time job in the middle of second semester. If only I had started earlier, I would have gotten more experiences. Now? As a third-year student it’s quite hard to juggle between uni, internship, social life, and work at the same time.

I would get more involved in organisations.

Or do the Duke of Edinburgh‘saward. That way I could put something worth writing on my resume, complete with tons of skills and experiences on leadership and socialising.

And there’s more…

I would participate more in classes.

I would travel more often.

I would take single courses on baking and patisseries, just because I have the time.

I would have done this and that, but basically they are all talking about the same thing. If I can redo my first year, I would use my time more efficiently. I would prioritise the things I value. I would read more, watch less. Love more, hate less. Listen more, talk less.

Would you?