• It's the most wonderful time of the year! Make your list and check it twice. The ResetEra Games of the Year 2019 Voting Thread is now live. Voting will be open for the next 3 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes, 57 seconds, and will close on Jan 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

Are you glad or do you regret your higher studies?

How do you feel looking back at your higher studies

  • I regret what I studied

    Votes: 57 21.6%
  • I am glad/grateful for what I studied

    Votes: 158 59.8%
  • I’m neither regretful nor grateful for what I studied

    Votes: 49 18.6%

  • Total voters
    264

Nothing Loud

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,834
I imagine this will create a mix of responses.

Personally, I’m really happy with what I’ve chosen to do. Someday I will make really good money while living in an appealing city. And it may not be the wealthiest career choice but I chose to study interesting problems for the intellectual stimulation.

For my bachelors I studied chemical engineering. It was really difficult at the time and I didn’t necessarily choose the best or easiest major to end up at the same place I am now, but I’m grateful I learned what I learned. Learning physics and chemistry and seeing the world through that lens has been rewarding. I also got a good job out of college for 4 years.

Now I’m back at school for my PhD in bioengineering, focusing on protein engineering within the nexus of computational biology and biomolecular engineering. As a PhD student I’m paid and have a flexible schedule, free tuition, and I’m free to study and learn for 5 years. I love it. When I graduate I could work as a researcher or computational biologist, which I love.

I’m sure there are other interesting and rewarding stories here. Or maybe some stories of career change and regret. What about you?
 

DeusOcha

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,209
SoCal, US
I don't regret university itself, was an overall positive experience for me in terms of adulting and learning how to socialize. I do regret buying into a STEM major over my original choice for an English major though.
 

Strings

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,258
I don't regret going to University, but half of my effort was a complete waste (did a philosophy/film double - the film part was a joke (which I recognised early on and compensated for by self-learning outside of class... though I wish I'd just dropped it altogether since it was a miserable experience and almost made me give up on doing what I love)).
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,123
I’m grateful. I took a lot of electives outside of my core major(CS) such as guitar, writing science fiction, and constitutional law.
 

coconut milk

Banned
Jan 17, 2018
3,489
I did chemical engineering too and I regret it. The degree was bloated with highly specialised modules that I haven't even thought about in the 3 years that i've been working as one.
 

Hodgy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,817
UK
Going to university helped me grow both professionally and personally. I wouldn't be where I am today without it and to be honest I have no idea what I would be doing instead.
 

ScoobsJoestar

Member
May 30, 2019
759
I don't know whether my studies themselves were worth it - I'm a programmer and most of what I do at my job I learned independently rather than through classes - but as a person? Worth it a thousand times. Moving away from my parents and being surrounded by people my age equally unsure of the future struggling through a common goal and having plenty of opportunities to be social was worth every bit of money I spent. Could I have gotten a job without that degree? Honestly, probably. But I gained a lot of life skills in university that I realistically wouldn't have gained elsewhere due to being a dumb sheltered kid lol
 

Gallows Bat

Member
Nov 3, 2017
273
I studied sociology and anthropology. I work abroad so I'm very glad I studied it, I also need a bachelor's degree to be eligible for a visa in all the countries I've worked in so I'm very glad I went to university. Alot of my friends from school are still stacking shelves, serving jn pubs etc because there's no jobs jn the countryside. If I hadn't gone to university I imagine I'd be doing the same and massively depressed.
 

n00bs7ay3r

Member
Aug 21, 2018
788
The loans and the fact that I did nothing with the degree do make me kind of regret my philosophy degree. But philosophy is a huge part of who I am and I don't regret that. So I regret going to school for it and not discovering it on my own and learning it for free I guess.
 

RockmanBN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,322
Cornfields, Nebraska
Feel like nothing's happened in my time of university. Literally only went to class or work during my time there. Last friend I had was in high school, so I made no friends there. No networking and no internships because I had to share my ride with my bro. Didn't gain anything. Went for MIS instead of Comp Sci. Only redeeming thing Is that managed to graduate debt free.
 

DeusOcha

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,209
SoCal, US
Interesting. You don't hear that often.
I might be a unique case because I got into a STEM degree not having a plan for a job, moreso of following the mantra "you'll get a job with good money if you do this degree!" Got a degree in Computer Science and atm working at IT helpdesk for 2 years now only for my current (and actual) plan to teach English and live abroad; completely unrelated with the major I graduated with.

Edit: Also took 5 and a half years to get the CompSci degree because I suck at coding and math (and lack of passion/interest) whereas I could've done an English degree probably within less time and actually relevant to the current career path I'm aiming for.
 

jb1234

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,509
I studied music. I'm good at it and was building a career. Health problems ended that but I have no regrets.
 

Osahi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,408
Glad. Did film studies with a major in screenwriting, and while I didn't leave the school ready to start, it did broaden my knowledge of film and writing. But most important, through a teacher I knew there I landed my first job as an assistent (three years after graduating) and from there on I was able to grow and build a career. I'm still not exactly where I want to be, but I wouldn't be where I am now without doing film school.
 

Acinixys

Member
Nov 15, 2017
666
I took a 1 year gap after high school selling caravans, wanted to do journalism, folks pushed me to do IT, did 2 years of Programming, hated it, dropped out, trained as a Chef for 1 year, worked in resturants for 2 years, quit for a retail management job that i did for another 2 years, and now im 29 working in retail as a Data Analyst, earning the same or more as my friends who have degrees.

And all I want to do now is go back to school to study marketing and economics.

So no, i dont regret it. If I didn't take the very winding path I did, i would probably still be stuck doing some shitty job I hate.

So yes. All the work experience I have gotten has taught me to aggressively pursuit what I want, regardless of my own fears or others feelings.
 

hat_hair

Member
Oct 26, 2017
678
I regret some of my actions (or inactions) during my study, and probably would have chosen a different course if I could do it again, but I still made a lot of good friends during that time and can't say I truly regret the overall experience because of that.
 

345

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,169
knowing what i know now i would probably not have made the same choices (english degree), but i'm fortunate that the choices i did make worked out fine for me (am now a journalist on the other side of the planet). i'm also glad that i studied where i did.

in the UK you pretty much have to decide your entire path by the age of like 15, and back then there was no-one to tell me, for example, that maths might be directly relevant to a bunch of stuff that i would be professionally interested in. sounds stupid because i'm sure that would all be obvious today, but back then it really wasn't.
 

MartinB105

Member
Nov 8, 2017
2,259
No regrets, but I think my Computer Science course could've pushed me a lot harder than it did. I hardly put in any effort and I still breezed through it, like leaving my 24 week final project until the last 6 weeks and still getting the highest possible grade on it (despite being very stoned every night of those six weeks), or attending only two out of twelve lectures on Computer Network Infrastructure and achieving the same result.

The university pretty much marketed itself on being easy though; things like "You'll only do the bare minimum maths required", and "Choose this module if you want to easily get a high grade", etc.. I was also told by some lecturers of how they had dumbed down elements of various modules over the years, like only covering FAT filesystem rather than more complex filesystems like EXT2 and NTFS as they had in the past.

The best thing about my degree was the mandatory work placement. I learned far more in that one year than I did in my entire three years of being at university. I also learned more just by working on my own hobby projects too.
 
I'm sort of on the fence about this. I regret going to school for theater (stage management), only because at the age of 31 I'm a little burned out and no matter how glowing and prestigious your resume is, it's really hard to explain to employers in other industries 1) What my job actually entails, and 2) I have every skill they're looking for, and more - and can do everything in a highly stressful and fast-paced environment. Most of the time people see the job titles and totally ignore the resume, or if they read it they discount the work experience because "lol tHeAtRe iSn'T STEM."

I also regret it because I realized very quickly in the real world that I just as well could've gotten an internship out of high school and learned the same shit. My college education was basically useless. Regardless of how many of my professors were working in the industry, regardless of the fact that I went to school in the theater capital of the world; doing productions with students and "faculty advisors" was not even remotely close to what working in the real world is like. I suppose thats universal amongst industries, but I feel it's especially jarring in the entertainment industry. Academic theatre is warm and supportive. Real theatre is not.

I don't regret it because without the prestigious University contacts and scholarships this little Iranian kid from a super poor neighborhood would still be doing community theater and hoping to get a "break," like a lot of my friends from high school and not where I am today.
 
Oct 28, 2017
783
Don't regret my studies, but I wish I'd taken a gap year after finishing school, volunteering or doing some internships, to have some time to figure out what I really wanted to do and develop some social skills.
As it was I chose a subject I wasn't really interested in because I didn't know what else to do. Also I was really shy and had a hard time making friends for a long time. Ended up changing majors and moving to a different university, because I felt stuck where I was.
In the end I did learn a lot and have grown as a person (although probably as much from extracurricular activities as from actual courses). Don't regret the time, it would have just been way less messy if I had more organizational skills and self-confidence going in.
 
May 9, 2019
389
I might be a unique case because I got into a STEM degree not having a plan for a job, moreso of following the mantra "you'll get a job with good money if you do this degree!" Got a degree in Computer Science and atm working at IT helpdesk for 2 years now only for my current (and actual) plan to teach English and live abroad; completely unrelated with the major I graduated with.

Edit: Also took 5 and a half years to get the CompSci degree because I suck at coding and math (and lack of passion/interest) whereas I could've done an English degree probably within less time and actually relevant to the current career path I'm aiming for.
Interesting. I got my AS in CS, tried to get my BS but I did so poorly this previous semester that my fear of not having no passion or interest in this major came to light. I tried to ignore this fear during my first two years but realizing that I failed my classes because I just couldn't care anymore made me switch. I'm now majoring into Environmental Science and minoring in Comparative Literature.

I just hope to God I like En Sci because if not, I don't know what to do in college.
 
Jun 22, 2019
475
I wouldn't regret it if it didn't cost so much.
It's fine that it (probably) didn't turn out to be what I want to do for a career, but the cost of tuition is not fine.
 

Kingasta

Avenger
Jan 4, 2018
253
It's not only free where I live, I'm given money to study.
It would be ungrateful to regret that.
 

Airegin

Member
Dec 10, 2017
2,231
I'm happy with everything I've done but now I want a complete change in career and I have no options because my degree is too specific. So I definitely regret it now.
 

GamerJM

Member
Nov 8, 2017
3,374
I regret it, but I don't know what I would have done instead. I did computer engineering for three years and almost failed out three times, I knew it wasn't for me after a year but I spent the next two years in denial that it wasn't ever going to work out. I ended up changing to economics and made my computer engineering a minor because there were some classes I just wasn't ever going to pass. I did well in econ and ended up getting a data science emphasis in there as well.

The thing is, changing to economics was pretty much a purely strategic move. I knew I probably couldn't make it in a pure STEM field because I'm just not good enough (and hate) the math/science courses that require anything more than the basic level of calculus. I didn't want to be stuck with a degree in English and be unable to find a job. I couldn't transfer into the school of business at my university because that required a 3.0 GPA which I was very far away from after spending three years in computer engineering nearly failing. The university I attended had an economics degree in the school of arts and sciences in addition to the business school, and after looking at all of the majors that I could transfer into that seemed like the only one that I had a good shot of doing well in and could be marketable on a resume without a whole lot supplementing it. Though I did have a decent interest in econ at the time anyways (mostly through reading people talk about basic economics in the NPD topics on the old place lol).

I ended up not having an easy time finding a job after college anyways, and the career path I ended up in is not horrible but below my expectations, and also has absolutely nothing to do with anything I learned in school. I attribute this more due to lack of networking since that seems to be how everyone in my major got a job. Which is my real biggest regret, dunno how I completely overlooked that if you go to a rich people university you need to make friends with the other students to open up more job opportunities.

So what should I have done instead? Dunno. I fantasize about being a librarian sometimes so maybe I could have done English with the ultimatum of eventually getting into grad school and doing that. Maybe I could have started out in the business school and majored in something like accounting....that probably would have been more boring than econ, but I'd probably have a more linear career path to success and I'd probably be making more money now. Maybe I could have done philosophy or media studies or something like that that actually interests me but has pretty poor job opportunities, and then try and get into academia from there. I do think I regret ever starting out in computer engineering though; being able to put that as my minor on my resume isn't worth it since it fucked up my GPA which severely hurts my chances for certain opportunities (especially grad school), and I suck at actually coding so if my minor ever comes up in an interview I can't really talk through it. I think if I majored in econ from the start, did well, and consistently networked I'd have less regrets though in retrospect that might not also be the optimal choice.
 

plngsplsh

Member
Oct 28, 2017
590
No regrets about that humanities degree. I'm 50 cents above minimum wage, momma. I'm on.

EDIT: In all seriousness, I'm glad I was able to spend a significant amount of time of my life to closely study philosophical texts. It has enriched my life enormously.
 

mhayes86

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,683
Virginia
It was worth it. I struggled figuring out what I wanted to do and go to college for. After multiple major changes (thankfully all in community college), I landed on IS after realizing I did IT as a hobby. Good money and lots of jobs.
 

Heromanz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,844
I went to school for 4 years and got a degree. And all I got to show for it is 16,000 dollars of debt
 

Thorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,935
Going into 3D Animation was a godamn waste of time and money.

At least it was only community college.
 

Timmm

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,971
Manchester, UK
I am in the middle - my first degree (Politics) was not a financially good decision, and I just went to Uni to do it because everyone else was. I found the course interesting, but kind of wasted my time socially, so came out of Uni with £30k debt and not really the social side most people get

After working a shit low paid job for a couple years I went back to get a different qualification in CS and that was a great decision - I grew up a lot socially, and it was also a great decision career wise. I met some good friends and also my GF who I have now been with for nearly 8 years.

I wouldn't have done any of this without doing the first degree that didn't really give me much, aside from an appreciation of how tough things would be if something didn't change. So its kind of a regret in the sense that I made things harder for myself (and also was very lucky to be able to recover from), but also not, because things ended up pretty good in the end afterwards
 

BasilZero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,077
Omni
I regret two years I went into pharmacy school and respiratory tech - not a fan of medical field

Thankful for the four years of IT studies - huge fan of technology and fixing computers 😂 , got me a job which paved way to everything else
 
Last edited:

Masoyama

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,483
I imagine this will create a mix of responses.

Personally, I’m really happy with what I’ve chosen to do. Someday I will make really good money while living in an appealing city. And it may not be the wealthiest career choice but I chose to study interesting problems for the intellectual stimulation.

For my bachelors I studied chemical engineering. It was really difficult at the time and I didn’t necessarily choose the best or easiest major to end up at the same place I am now, but I’m grateful I learned what I learned. Learning physics and chemistry and seeing the world through that lens has been rewarding. I also got a good job out of college for 4 years.

Now I’m back at school for my PhD in bioengineering, focusing on protein engineering within the nexus of computational biology and biomolecular engineering. As a PhD student I’m paid and have a flexible schedule, free tuition, and I’m free to study and learn for 5 years. I love it. When I graduate I could work as a researcher or computational biologist, which I love.

I’m sure there are other interesting and rewarding stories here. Or maybe some stories of career change and regret. What about you?
I got my PhD in electrical engineering and I am getting paid tons of money to do exactly what I always wanted. I really love the life my education got me. I also get to use just about everything I learned in school almost every day, from Laplace transform to differential equations to circuit theory.

As for your degree OP, just a quick tip. Competition in your field is massive. You wil be competing in a job market with people straight out of PhD with papers in Nature/Science and for academia jobs with people that spent 4-5 years in Post-docs at Ivy league labs. Treat it as such from day one, don't waste your time and don't take it lightly.
 

quesalupa

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,388
US
I am now self-studying to become a Navy pilot, so I definitely could've chose a better major in college than Business and starting a Master of HR program. Buuut I didn't know pilot was gonna end up being what I want to do, need a Bachelor's degree for it anyways, took away a lot of valuable knowledge, and made great friends so 🤷‍♂️ I wouldn't really say I regret the whole thing.
 
OP
OP
Nothing Loud

Nothing Loud

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,834
I got my PhD in electrical engineering and I am getting paid tons of money to do exactly what I always wanted. I really love the life my education got me. I also get to use just about everything I learned in school almost every day, from Laplace transform to differential equations to circuit theory.

As for your degree OP, just a quick tip. Competition in your field is massive. You wil be competing in a job market with people straight out of PhD with papers in Nature/Science and for academia jobs with people that spent 4-5 years in Post-docs at Ivy league labs. Treat it as such from day one, don't waste your time and don't take it lightly.
Thank you. Well I just rotated in a lab that only has Nature papers, and publishes about a dozen of them per year. A huge, famous lab. It was too intense, my project worked out but the lab environment was too sink-or-swim. I'm rotating in a different lab now that's smaller, less impactful, but I really enjoy it. At least I'm in a top 10 program, and I can always do the other famous lab as a post-doc when I graduate.

As I think about these posts, I remember that there are aspects of chemical engineering I regret, where I should have chosen something else like computer science. Chemical engineering cost me $100k in student debt, and it focused way too much on things and industries I never wanted to work with (like distillation columns), but that of course, every ChemE must know.
 

cgpartlow

Member
Oct 27, 2017
488
Seattle, WA
Got a degree in Structural Engineering, and now I have a job as a structural engineer and I really enjoy it most of the time. Work is still work though. I certainly don't regret my degree. I use it everyday.
 

NekoFever

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,083
I'm glad I went to uni. What I do now is only tenuously related to what I studied, but it was still an essential step to where I am now.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,217
UK
I'm glad. No regrets. I'm glad I went to university and studied a subject (Bachelors and Masters) that enabled me to get a job straight after graduation. Also grateful that my tuition fees were paid by the government and it only took me less than 10 years to gradually pay off my student loans that had a really low interest rate.
 

Soda

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,879
Dunedin, New Zealand
Got my BS and PhD in STEM and those directly were applicable and required for my current career. Managed BS with no debt due to help from my parents plus a lot of scholarships, and did my PhD with no debt due to getting a few fellowships that also paid me a stipend.

It's hard to complain about going all the way through a PhD in an employable field without debt by my mid 20s.
 

Jeronimo

Member
Nov 16, 2017
1,583
My graduate education is directly applicable to my career, so yes. My undergraduate work was semi-related but it lead to this particular career path. I regret the initial (and ongoing) costs, but it's why I am qualified for the job I have.
 

Kromeo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,571
I was glad to get another 3 years of not having to work, but I've had no benefit from it since and am still on shit wages
 

Reckheim

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
3,214
It helped me get a decent career but I don't really enjoy it. I'm perfectly fine with it tho; that's life.