The Collegian
Sunday, January 29, 2023

Ask Maddy: My would’ve, could’ve, should’ve moments at UR

Editor’s Note: Ask Maddy is an advice column published every Wednesday. Anonymous questions are taken from this Google form. Questions are also taken both from The Collegian’s Instagram, @thecollegianur, and via email at madyson.fitzgerald@richmond.edu. The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

Dear Maddy,

What are some things you wish you would have done at UR? Some that you wish you hadn’t?

Dear readers,

I hope you all had a restful winter break, and are taking the new semester by storm! It’s been a while since my last column, but I’m glad to be back!

As a rule, I try not to think about my regrets too often, but there are actually several things I wish I would have done differently during my time at the University of Richmond. As a second-semester senior, I can truly say my time at UR has been well spent — but I still regret not going to Color Wars during Welcome Week my first year here.

I’ll try not to get too sappy, but here are a few things I wish I would have (and would not have) done during my four-year journey.

The Would’ve

Looking back, I certainly would’ve gone to more major-specific events and gatherings in my first two years. I was one of those people who came to UR and had already decided that I would major in journalism and leadership studies. Despite this, I wanted to get my general education requirements out of the way, meaning I was taking classes in all corners of campus.

It was still a fun time for me; I met people within disciplines I probably would not have met otherwise. But in both the journalism department and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, there are a lot of professors - and even students - that I would have loved to connect with earlier on in my career. 

Maddy’s advice: You don’t have to wait until declaring your major in sophomore year to connect with the people in your intended departments.

The Should’ve

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There are several resources available to students at UR that I should’ve taken advantage of. It’s a cliche answer, but it’s for a reason–students here do not enjoy asking for help. This is a notion I’ve previously mentioned a number of times, but there may be a belief among high-achieving students that they have the capacity to make it through college without asking for help.

This is only a theory, but even if you can make it through college without asking for help, that in itself may be a cry for help because college is not supposed to be taken on alone.

The Academic Skills Center, Alumni and Career Services and the Writing Center are all resources that we all know about, but not enough students take advantage of.

Maddy’s advice: Not to belabor the point, but there is nothing wrong with asking for help–especially when your tuition is already paying for it.

The Could’ve

For those who know me, I am always darting to and from classes, work and club meetings. These are all things I enjoy, but looking back, I could have taken more time to simply have fun. 

There have been plenty of times I have opted to do homework instead of attending a SpiderBoard comedy show in The Current within Tyler Haynes Commons or Richmond’s First Fridays in the Arts District (I attended my first one last week!). I’ve had my share of canceled plans to go to SpiderNights because of internship applications I wanted to submit.

Don’t get me wrong–being a responsible student always pays off–but I do not enjoy the feeling that I have to scramble to attend some of UR’s best programs and events because I put it off earlier on. 

To be fair, this is what senior year is for. But as much as I’m looking forward to graduating soon, I can’t deny the fact that I’m becoming nostalgic.

Maddy’s last word of advice: Enjoy the time you have here.

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