Graduating with #NoRegrets


HANNAH CARR-MURPHY, Opinion Columnist

As I prepare to graduate in about a week, I wanted to share a few of the “Do’s” of my college experience.

While I have made a lot of mistakes in the last five years (personally, academically, professionally), the mistakes were the things I learned the most from.

For those of you who still have time left in Cedar Falls, I want to pass on the little wisdom I have gained through five years of undergraduate classes.

Here’s a quick list of Do’s for the rest of your time here at UNI:

1. Go study somewhere else. UNI has a number of opportunities for students to get outside of their comfort zone by studying abroad, going on National Student Exchange or taking a capstone with an international component.

The large majority of UNI students are from Iowa, and I am no exception. When I was on National Student Exchange, I learned so much about my own background and preconceptions from being in a new place, and I didn’t have to pay any additional school fees.

2. Shower often, or invest in a number of slouchy hats. It’s important to at least look clean, or incorporate not looking clean into your aesthetic. Either way, I’m not here to judge.

3. Utilize resources available at UNI. You’re paying lots of fees to have access to a fantastic library, the WRC and experts at the Academic Learning Center and Career Center, just to name a few.

Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance with cover letters and resumes, because it’s a lot harder to get constructive feedback on these things out in the “real world.”

In addition to the resources I’ve already named, there are also ones that could be specific to your area of study, like computer labs with expensive software you won’t be able to afford for yourself in the near future. Make sure you’re always on the lookout for ways UNI can help you, because you’re paying a lot.

4. Sleep every night. Don’t become the person professors always ask, “Are you okay? You look exhausted.” I am that person. Don’t be me.

5. Take a class you aren’t required to take. If you have the time, take a course just because of interest.

I’m not saying “exhaust yourself by doing a bunch of extra work.” I’m saying, if you plan out all your LAC and major courses and you only have 12 credits, consider what classes might be fun for you or give you a useful skill for the future.

As a person who has had four majors at UNI, my transcript has a lot of superfluous courses, but I wouldn’t change it.

I hope this column can be helpful to those of you who are staying for the summer or returning in the fall.

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone who has been reading my columns this year, especially those who continue to fervently disagree with me. I’ll miss this space to spew leftist vitriol, and I’ll miss all the people who made it fun for me. Thanks to all.