Episode 47: If We Could Do It All Again

Episode 47: If We Could Do It All Again

Date of Publication/发布日期
October 1, 2021
Curtis WestbayEdwin DayJennifer Gunter
Files & media
Volume 2 2021-2022

Jenn Gunter

What activities did you do in high school?

Ice hockey - played men's varsity and coached/played for the women's team

Student council


Poetry Magazine - Editor

Junior Achievers Club - President

What regrets do you have from college?

I wish I could remember more of what I learned! I remember being in 'survival mode' a lot with my classes. This lasted for the first two years. I think I finally got my head around the level and the work in my third year. My advice - get ahead and stay ahead. Get your books ASAP and start reading! Join diverse classes! Go outside your comfort zone!

If you could go to college again as a freshman, what would you do differently?

I'd get ahead of my work really early and stay ahead. Freshman year, I felt like I was always behind. I'd be more academically focused if I could do it again. I'd also seek more balance between school, sports and social life. I was playing 3 hours of hockey a day - too much and my studies suffered as a result.

What advice would you give to yourself as a high school senior?

Keep doors/options open! Don't give up on subjects/classes because they are hard or you aren't sure you like them. I wish I had kept going with math and done more work in the arts. Keep those options open!

Edwin Day

What activities did you do in high school? Would you do them again?

Wrestling team for 4 years; Yes

Yearbook Committee for 1 year; Yes

Spanish Club for 3 years; Yes (but only for the parties they threw)

E-mail Based Subscription Joke List for 4+ years; Yes

Key Club for 1 year; No (A bunch of resume-padding posers, in my opinion)

What regrets do you have from college?

Like a lot of college students, I used to obsessed with my GPA. As a result, a lot of the courses I chose (especially electives) were ones known to be "easy A's" as opposed to courses teaching topics I legitimately had an interest in. So one of my regrets is focusing too much on trying to maintain the highest GPA I could at the expense of exploring other subjects I may have discovered having an interest in or passion for.

Sometimes "easy A" courses and having an actual interest in the course material did intersect, and those experiences were great, but I think I took far too many courses just to chase a higher GPA and wish I knew then that I know now: In the real world, nobody really cares what your GPA was in college.

If you could go to college again as a freshman, what would you do differently?

As a self-professed high school nerd, there were a lot of social events in college that I felt were beneath me because "good students only study and don't care about any of that stuff."

By "that stuff" I mean things like dorm parties, social clubs (as opposed to academic ones), sporting events like D1 football/basketball games, etc.

And I was super wrong.

On a whim my junior year I went to a Cal/USC football game where Cal was starting a new, unknown quarterback against the #3 team in the nation. That quarterback was Aaron Rodgers, and he lead Berkeley to a triple-overtime upset of that USC team which sent national shockwaves across the college football world at the time and put him on everybody's radar.

My point is, I didn't know it at the time, but I was witnessing NCAA/NFL history unfold before my eyes in real time. One day Aaron Rodgers will be a Hall of Fame NFL quarterback, and I got to witness his very first college game as an unknown. Incredible. Looking back at that experience after graduating with the knowledge I have now, it sent me down a rabbit hole of all the other college experiences and opportunities I missed out on from believing that things unrelated to studying were beneath me. Who could I've met at a social club that could potentially help get me a job in the future? Why wasn't I best buds with Chris Pine who was only one year ahead of me in college, in the same dorms, with easy access to the same dorm parties?

In short, I regret not exploring the social scenes in college more than I did. When I did it was always reluctantly (except for football games after that first experience), and after looking back, I believe that I missed out on a lot of social, historical and professional experiences/opportunities that are often developed outside the classroom as a result.

What advice would you give to yourself as a high school senior?

Take a moment to appreciate your home, your city, your family and your friends. My senior year was the last year I ever lived at home with my parents, and seeing family and high school friends thereafter were basically just sporadic visits. While intellectually I knew that would probably be the case, and I also probably couldn't wait to get out and be on my own, when I look back, I should have taken more emotional stock of my life when I was in high school, and let my friends and family know how much I appreciated all they've done for me.

Curtis Westbay

What activities did you do in high school? Would you do them again?

A lot of activities: basketball, track and field, cross country, tennis, theater, musical theater, show choir, concert choir, SkillsUSA (a vocational student organization, of which I was the state president in G12).

I think I would do them again. My high school wasn't very academically demanding. Doing activities for me wasn't about building a college activity list. Doing activities was about staying busy and engaged. I loved playing sports, participating in fine arts, and being part of a pre-professional organization. Each of them was enjoyable to me.

What regrets do you have from college?

I've already talked about major choice before. I don't think I regret my major choice, but I might have chosen something else a second time around. My biggest regrets are about the way I got started. My first semester, I had the lowest grades I would have in college (or even in high school). I wasn't ready for a college where students were expected to read so much, participate in discussion so actively, or manage their time so independently. When I went from high school to college, I expected the workload to be similar. So, I got involved in activities just as eagerly. During my first semester in college, I think I bit off more than I could chew.

If you could go to college again as a freshman, what would you do differently?

I would work closely with two supports that I underutilized at my college. One was an academic adviser that every student had. Though I attended the few required meetings that I had with this person, they offered more workshops that I didn't take advantage of. These workshops covered skills that I needed to develop, like notetaking and study methods. The second was open tutoring that upperclassmen from my major provided almost every day. These students were offering free help to younger students. I don't think I went to these sessions until at least the second semester of college, maybe later.

What advice would you give to yourself as a high school senior?

Try harder. I didn't understand how fulfilling it would be to connect with professors and classmates, and that I wouldn't be able to connect with serious people unless I took preparation seriously. I think that, at my high school, "doing enough" was the standard for success. I looked for the mark I had to hit to be done with things in high school. In college, I would never find that minimal standard. It wasn't about doing enough, it was about doing everything you could. You could never be perfect. Instead, you could just try as hard as you could.