What is the “College Experience?”

As the first day of class quickly approaches, I can’t help but reminisce about my days at San Diego State. The biggest regret I have is that I never really allowed myself to have the full “college experience”. The social clubs, intramural sports, concerts, football games—- I never went to any of it. I went to class, and then I went to work. Working full time, my schedule simply did not allow for me to enjoy many of the activities college life had to offer, and quite simply, I wanted to get it done as fast as possible.

Additionally, as an older college student,  I happily left some of the “college experiences” to the 18-22 year olds  living in the dorms.

Really, I don’t need to go streaking down the quad, or do a Keg stand in my bikini.

Join a sorority?- no thanks. I’m going to go home to my husband, pay my bills and hit up a local wine bar with other thirty-somethings.

But, now, as someone who never thought that grad school was even a possibility, I find myself relating to those 18 years olds. A new school, a new world, and a hell of a lot of possibilities. I have school pride! I identify myself as a 49er!

Call me a Dirtbag- Yes I am!

I find myself wanting to jump headfirst into school, and embrace all that college life has to offer. I want to go to every game, join lots of clubs, be active in my department.  What I don’t want is the next 2 years to go by, and at the end, look at myself and have the same regrets.

But as they say, “all things in moderation”. I can’t go to all the games, and join every club – and I wont. For someone who is married, living an hour away, with family, social and financial obligations that 18-21 year old undergrads don’t have, I am bound by responsibility that only age and life experience brings.

So then, what exactly is the ‘college experience” for people like me? It’s definitely not frat parties and keg stands, all night dorm ragers and cram sessions….. I guess my ideal experience would be one where I build strong friendships through a few clubs, get a great education and acquire the ability to do research to improve an industry that I love dearly. To go to a game or two, have more than one late night cram session where my husband is making me that fifth cup of coffee…. to enjoy another world but nonetheless live in the present one.

What I  know is that I am going to try really hard to blog about my experiences, both good and bad, so that  my journey is shared, and that I don’t travel down this road alone.  

What I know, is that when I’m done with this experience, I want to look back and have no regrets.


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