Back to School Guide 2013 | College Regrets

When it comes to the question of how to make the most of your college experience, there is no “correct” answer. Everyone’s experience is different and valuable in its own right. However, there are those instances when we look back on our time as undergrads and think, “I wish I could’ve…” The Audrey Magazine staff, although all have great college memories, share about the things they wish they got a chance to do during their undergrad careers. If nothing else, hopefully it spurs you on to take full advantage of your college experience and the unique opportunities available to you at this time in your life.

Not studying abroad has been one of the biggest regrets for multiple Audrey staffers.  One of our editors explains:

There was an English study abroad program that was essentially studying Shakespeare in London. It was described as a mixture of Literature and Theater and if you know anything about me, thats basically riiiiiight up my ballpark. Unfortunately, I had already taken the classes that satisfy that requirement prior to hearing about this program. My suggestion is to really look into study abroad programs. I always assumed that as an English major, I wouldn’t find a study abroad program that would fit my requirements. Obviously, I was wrong.”

Budgeting time between family, old friends, and the constant excitement of a completely new college environment also cropped up multiple times with our staff as something they wish they had managed better.

“I regret the way that I managed my time with my family. When I went off to college, I was experiencing an entirely new lifestyle. I was living on my own, creating new friends, having new experiences, etc. My family completely understood that I was too busy to call and to come home often, but it wasn’t until I graduated that I found out how difficult it was for them. In hindsight, I realize that while I was in college having the time of my life, they felt like they had just lost a presence at home. Even worse, I had lost a family member during this time and I definitely regret not putting in enough effort to contact them all on a daily basis. A phone call isn’t all too hard after all. “

“Sticking with my group of friends/one org for 4 years; it would’ve been nice to branch out and meet more people!”

“I usually make the effort to call my parents everyday, but I never regularly checked up on my friends who I’ve known since like childhood or middle school. I guess I got around to thinking more about the friendships I cared about and needed to put more effort into when I found out one of my friends was depressed and suicidal.”

College is also a good time to learn to be responsible with your finances, as one of our editors found out.

“Not paying attention to my finances. I didn’t go on shopping sprees or anything, but I’d forget to pay the credit card bills, eat out for every single meal, continue to pay for expensive cable for months after we stopped watching it. College is a good time to develop good spending habits.”

Another common regret among our staff and one of the best tips for all you soon-to-be collegiates is to appreciate the opportunity you have to attend college and just enjoy the ride.

“Not taking the time to let everything sink in. College passes by FAST and even then that’s an understatement. If I could do it all over again, I would take more time to just walk around campus on my own and really take it all in. Its easy to get distracted by everything going on, but sometimes it helps to slow down and appreciate the privilege/opportunity of just being there.” 

Mostly I regret not making the most of where I am. Things like not getting to know some really cool people or not taking advantage of weekends to travel.” 

“Sometimes I also regret taking my classes for granted. Yeah, we always complain, but in the end it’s a real privilege to have learning as your sole obligation.”

“I’d have to say the one thing I regret about college — other than my crazy dorm roommates freshman year — is not appreciating my time in college enough. Looking back, I really had a great college experience — one that was good for me at the time. All my bills were paid, I traveled, I made great friends, my love life was always interesting, I studied hard and had a lot of good, clean fun.”

Interview with Under the Dome’s Jolene Purdy

If I ever find myself trapped under a gigantic, indestructible force field I would want Dodee Weaver to be there with me. Dodee is the feisty and insanely intelligent audio engineer in the new hit television series Under the Dome. She makes it her mission to figure out what exactly the dome is and how to help get everyone out. Jolene Purdy, 29, is the actress that brings Dodee’s character to life. When asked if she and Dodee are similar, the half-Japanese, Torrance, CA native modestly explains, “Dodee’s way smarter than I am. She’s more methodical and calm and collected. As an actor you act on your emotions more than anything and she reacts with her intelligence. That’s a little opposite.” Despite her humble answer, it has definitely been a combination of Purdy’s smarts, tenacity, and openness to a wide range of roles that have landed her such memorable parts, such as Cherita Chen in the cult sci-fi hit Donnie Darko.

Purdy knew she wanted to pursue a career in entertainment at a young age. Her mother, who raised her and her two younger sisters as a single parent, enrolled her in musical theater as a kid and from then on there wasn’t much looking back. Purdy took on multiple roles in her high school’s theater productions. Besides acting, she also worked in props, costumes, and directing just to get an idea of the different aspects that go into putting on a performance.

After high school Purdy applied to a few college theater programs. When she didn’t hear positively from any of them she began thinking about studying at a junior college. However, an opportunity came along for her to perform at Disneyland in the Aladdin show. Purdy auditioned, was hired and worked there for two years. Looking back on that experience she says, “That was kind of like college, performing, doing multiple shows a day, five days a week and auditioning at the same time. I think it’s persistence and dedication more than anything that really keeps you going.” There’s no doubt that Purdy’s dedication is one of the factors that has allowed her to thrive in an increasingly competitive industry.

Purdy also attributes her success to having a strong foundation and support group in her family. Although Purdy no longer resides with her mom and sisters she’s still able to see them around twice a week. They also continue to help her read lines and even take on the role of babysitter to Purdy’s dog when she needs to go up to LA for work. Family is extremely important to Purdy who says, “The business is difficult. You have to have that solid foundation and support to make it.”

Ever since she auditioned for the part of Dodee, Purdy has been having a blast shooting Under the Dome and getting to know the rest of the cast and crew. In turn, audiences love the mix of suspense, mystery, and science fiction that the show is delivering. A highlight for Purdy is the warmth of the people and the natural beauty of Southport and Wilmington, North Carolina, which are the two locations where Under the Dome is being shot. But, her favorite part about being on the show is the incredible group of people she gets to work with. Purdy, Alexander Koch, and Nicholas Strong, who play the characters Junior Rennie and Phil Bushey, respectively, have become particularly close. Purdy recalls throwing dinner parties with them and having time to hang out off set with the cast, going to the beach, bowling, or just hanging out. “We got close really fast.”

At the end of the day, the art of story telling and the unique portrayal of a character, the two things that intrigued Purdy the most about acting from the very beginning, are the things she has displayed so expertly throughout her rising career. For those who are just trying to break into the business she has these words of wisdom, “I think a lot of younger actors and actress are really trying to fit the Hollywood mold. More importantly you need to stay true to who you are because that’s what really sets you apart from other people. That’s what’s going to add your own little spice to characters.”

Keeping Away the ‘Freshman Fifteen’

Making healthy choices when it comes to food is probably not too high on the priority list for the majority of you college students. As far as to-do lists, it might fall somewhere in between washing that mug that’s been sitting on your desk since last week and organizing your sock drawer. And who can blame you, there’s an all you can eat buffet waiting for you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s late night dining serving up pizza and burgers. And of course when it comes time to cram for midterms and finals what better way to stay awake than mindlessly munching on candy and Doritos washed down with a sugar laden energy drink? We’ve been there. We’re here to help you stave off the infamous Freshman Fifteen and hopefully spark some good eating habits that will benefit you long after you move out of the dorms. Here are our top ten tips to navigate the murky nutritional waters that is the college dining experience.

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1) Go for the Green:

When faced with a multitude of tasty options in your dining hall start at the stations with fresher choices, these include the salad bar or any fresh veggie sides. Fill your plate to your heart’s content; remember to go light on the dressing (balsamic vinegar and olive oil make a great, more healthful alternative). Besides offering a good range of nutrients, the fiber in the veggies will help you feel full and can keep you from feeling the need to fill up on heavier options.

2) Portion Control:

When choosing other options in the dining hall don’t feel like you need to completely ban certain food groups. Carbs, such as brown rice, whole grain pastas and breads as well as healthy fats, like those found in avocados, walnuts, salmon, and peanut butter are important for a balanced diet.  Just be aware of how much you’re putting on your plate.  For the figure- conscious a general portion size of rice or pasta is ½ cup which is about the size of a hockey puck. For fats, depending on the type (olive oil, butter, nut butters) the general range for one serving is one to two teaspoons.

3) Say No to Social Eating

Food is a common thread in many outings whether it’s for a club event, after an intramural sports game, or just hanging out with friends. Pizza, late night fast food runs, grocery store bought cookies and chips seem to be favorites. Basically, if you’re not hungry don’t eat just because everyone around you is. If you know that you’ll be in this situation eat something more substantial beforehand. Enjoy the company sans empty caloric intake.

4) Your Liver is Your Friend

We are not condemning alcohol. What would college be without it? A lot of studies have actually shown that moderate consumption of alcohol may lower your risk of developing osteoporosis, dementia, and even aid in weight loss. The key word however, is moderate consumption. Red wine is the most beneficial for the prevention of certain heart diseases and dementia. One glass a day is sufficient for women to reap the benefits. If your drink of choice is beer go for lagers or wheat beers (examples: Heineken, Blue Moon, Shock Top), or light beers, all of which contain about half the calories and carbs of their original counterparts, ales, porters, and stouts.

5) Smart Snacking

When hunger strikes in between meals reach for snacks that will help keep you full without weighing you down. Some good options are hummus and fresh veggie sticks, popcorn (not of the extra butter variety), apples or another favorite fruit with a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, a cup of lightly sweetened Greek yogurt topped with berries or some sliced bananas.

6) Have a Glass of Water

Keep hydrated throughout the day so you don’t confuse your body’s need for hydration with hunger. Keep a reusable water thermos with you while on campus and keep it filled. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water.

7) Just Chew It

Sugar cravings are hard to shake. All you want is a red velvet cupcake or a rich, gooey brownie. Instead of giving in, chew a piece of sugar free gum. Yes, it’s ludicrous to think a piece of gum can completely satiate your overwhelming inclination to inhale anything chocolate, but it might just give you that burst of sweetness that will help you walk on by instead of tearing open that bag of M&Ms.

8) Late Night Dining

Don’t do it. Ideally, try not to eat two to three hours before you go to sleep.

9) Partner Up

Setting goals and sticking to them isn’t easy. Find a like-minded friend who wants to make her health a priority and keep each other accountable.

10) Start Cooking

The best way to avoid unhealthy fast food and heat and eat meals is to get used to cooking. When you cook you can control exactly what goes into your meals and snacks. When you don’t see all the hydrogenated oils, sodium, sugars, and preservatives going into store bought meals you don’t think twice about them.

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kd 5Sources: conrad-summer-2013