The Japanese web portal goo recently asked its users their biggest regret from their college years. It seems in Japan as well, those heady days of freedom in university offer more than plentiful chances for screw-ups. Youth is one factor, but compared to middle school and high school students, university students have a whole lot more time on their hands and a whole lot less supervision, leading to a lot of navel-gazing, time-wasting and jack-assery. Some things are true the world over, I guess!

The most commonly expressed regret was failing to sit for any qualification exams. Being able to put certifications or special qualifications on your resume is a huge advantage when you go out job searching, but the time and effort needed to pass is substantial. One of the good points about college life is that you have a lot of free time, so you could use it to prepare for these kind of exams, but not everyone is quite so diligent, it seems.

The second most common regret is an ill-advised hook-up. In college seminars, social groups, and the like, students are afforded a chance to interact with other people with similar interests, building human connections and self-worth. Or at least, that’s the theory. It seems like that relaxed and friendly atmosphere also leads to a fair number of hook-ups that seem less that advisable down the road.

If you ask people why they wanted to go to university, I doubt anyone would say it was because they wanted to work a lot of hours at a part-time job (regret #3) or because they wanted to avoid going to cultural events and festivals (regret #4). If you make it all the way to graduation without having experienced something you could easily have done just staying at home, then you’ve really wasted your time. So, if you are currently at university or are going to be enrolling soon, take this survey to heart and make the most of your time!

And to round out the top 10:

1. Failing to sit for any qualification exams
2. Ill-advised hook-ups
3. Work a lot of hours at a part-time job
4. Not going to cultural events and festivals
5. Not looking for a job
6. Choosing a field of study I wasn’t really interested in
7. Always sitting in the back row in lectures
8. Not going out much
9. Not making new friends outside of my usual circle
10. Playing hooky