Given the chance to relive their college days, millennial grads don't long for trips abroad, different course offerings or the other do-overs you might imagine.
In fact, millennials' top desire if they could command-Z their college experience would be to work more.
According to TD Ameritrade's Young Americans & College survey, millennials ages 22 to 28 say that the top piece of advice they'd give their 18-year-old selves would be to work and earn money while enrolled in classes. Nearly one-fifth, 19% of the survey's 1,026 respondents wish they'd taken a part-time gig.
It's a response that reflects the growing financial burden of earning a college degree. Data from the College Board indicates that in 2017, student loan borrowers graduated with an average $28,500 of debt. That financial responsibility has impacted everything from graduates' ability to afford housing, pay off debt, save for retirement and prepare for larger milestones like buying a home and starting a family.
Notably, a separate PayScale survey found that 28.8% of millennial workers regret the cost of their college degrees more than anything else about their educational experience.
It's understandable that those who've been there, done that, would opt to work through college to be able to cover more costs throughout their four years — and current and prospective college students seem to agree. Three in four millennials said they are currently working or expect to work a part-time job while attending college — a 25% increase from 2017. A majority, 60%, of Gen Z respondents say the same.
Millennials also have regrets about their chosen fields, with 14% of those polled saying they'd tell their younger selves to pick a different major with more job security. However, nearly half also reported that their degree was not important in landing their current gig.
Other things millennials say they'd do differently given the chance to go back to college: work harder (13%), get to know yourself before starting (10%) and keep credit card debt to a minimum by paying off your bill each month (9%).
And yet, in spite of all the ways they might wish they'd done things differently, very few millennials would choose not to have gone to college at all — just 5% reported they regret their decision to attend.
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