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Senior column: Don’t dwell on what you missed

Coming into Seton Hall as a freshman, I was adamant that I wanted to be involved in as much as I could.

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Schirm

In high school, I was a part of every club under the sun and somehow always found myself wanting to be involved in more. I’ve spent this past semester beating myself up for not joining more clubs, attending more events and generally just not giving myself the college experience I always wanted.

Chalk it up to being a commuter, not being social enough or just getting side tracked with the absolute chaos that my life has brought me in the past 3 ½ years.

Needless to say, come August when I started to realize I would be finishing in just four short months, the FOMO hit me hard. I panicked, trying to squeeze in as much college life as I could into one short semester. I tried out for the cheer team, went to a college party, interned almost full time and checked off a lot of other things on my list, but it left me perpetually exhausted and running around from one thing to the next.

Most people think of me as an organized, Type-A planner, but I’m really not. I procrastinate on everything- assignments, getting an internship and especially trying to experience college. My anxiety kept me from living the college life I wanted, and now it’s making me regret all the things I never did in college.

As much as I wish I could, I can’t rewind a magic clock to my Pirate Adventure and tell myself to do what I wanted to do sooner rather than later. The only thing I can do now is learn from what happened and look to the future. I don’t like thinking about the future, but now I know that going forward, it’s important to do what I can when I can.

I have to try to make sure that as I move on from college, my future does contain all that I want it to. It’s probably the most important thing I’ve learned in college; jump on chances when you have them, but if you don’t, don’t dwell on it. Learn from it.

My first point of advice is don’t do what I did. If you’re a freshman reading this, don’t wait until your senior year to do all that you wanted to do. Think about what is keeping you from doing it and work as hard as you possibly can to get around it. Going alone or just feeling nervous will feel awkward for about ten minutes. If you let those things keep you from enjoying things, not just in college but in life, you’ll feel much worse for much longer.

Second, if you’re a senior like me and also starting to feel the regret for what you might not have done, don’t dwell on it. It will only keep you from being proactive and planning for the future.

Thinking about what you lost out on in the past will cause you to lose out on your future and the present. I’m still trying to get the hang of it- as much as I know I have so much to look forward to just around the corner, it’s extremely difficult to for us leave behind things we always wanted. Especially when we never got them because we stood in our own way.

But, as we’ve heard throughout our college years, hazard zet forward. Don’t regret the past. Just move on into your future and make it the best it can be, and I’ll do the same.

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Alyssa Schirm is a senior visual and sound media and journalism major from Kearny, New Jersey. She can be reached at


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