5 Things That University Taught Me

6 Jun 2016

To say that I'm not a student anymore is extremely strange. I had spent 4 years at University, so for it to all be over feels a little odd. Each year, I found that I was faced with different challenges and experiences. Sometimes it was tough, sometimes it was absolutely great, and other times it was just downright bizarre. Because of this, I've decided to compile a list of things that my time at University taught me. 

1. If something isn't working for you, change it
Now, I don't mean buying a brand new computer when yours won't switch on. There are plenty of ways you can get around that! I'm talking about struggling/feeling comfortable. For example, I did a year on a TV and Film Production course, and I won't lie, I really enjoyed it. However, towards the end of that year, I realised that I couldn't see myself in a career like that and the thought of spending another two years on something that I wouldn't likely use began to weigh me down. Instead of moping about it, I got in contact with Uni and changed to English Studies with Creative Writing. More often than not, there are ways to fix your problem, no matter how big it is. In most situations, your tutors and the Students' Union are your best friends.

2. Join a society/club or get a job within the University
If you've just started Uni and don't know many people yet, the idea of joining a club or society can be super daunting, but this is the perfect way to make friends. During my second year, I joined the pole fitness group, and I got to work on my fitness whilst having a laugh with some lovely people. If that doesn't seem like your kind of thing, I strongly recommend applying for a job within the University. I was part of the bar staff in the Students' Union for 3 years, and it really was one of the best decisions I ever made. I met so many people that I would've never known otherwise, and boosted my job skills. You can earn money alongside your studies, and because it's within the Uni, the hours can be suited to your timetable. Keep your eyes open for job postings in your Students' Union, because no doubt your Uni will look to hire staff for the bar, kitchen, venue, reception and more! Plus, it also looks fab on your CV.

3. Don't feel like you have to give in to peer pressure
I know this is something that we're taught from the age of about 12, but I feel that it really applies to University. There might be people that try to coax you into doing things that you simply aren't comfortable with, and it's absolutely ok to say 'no' to them. People would ask me to on nights out a lot, but I don't particularly like to drink and I get quite panicky in small, cramped places. This meant that I would get called 'boring' a lot, but I would feel much better knowing that I wouldn't be in a situation that I find uncomfortable than having a horrible time, surrounded by drunk people.

4. Push yourself to be the best that you possibly can be
This is another thing that I'm pretty sure is drilled into us from a young age, but again, it's definitely applicable to University. You don't really want to have spent all that time and money on Uni to get a grade that you aren't happy with, so work for it. Spend time in the library, research, make revision plans, do anything possible to reach your goal (except all-nighters. I promise you, they're not good for you). Of course, you still need to have me-time to keep your brain from frying, but seriously, future you will thank you for putting in the effort.

5. It's hard, but doable
University is a huge step from college, and sometimes, it hits people like a ton of bricks. You will find yourself under a mountain of work, a heap of stress, and the odd takeaway box or two, but you can get through it. Going back to my first point, if you really are struggling, there is always help available, whether it's through talking to your tutors, getting extensions, or even talking to a Uni counsellor. It also might be a good idea to prepare yourself, like looking a bit further into your course and perhaps setting up a group on Facebook for others enrolling to the same course. Find out about what your Students' Union has to offer and maybe print out a map that you can keep with you for the first few days of being there. You might need to have a cry sometimes or a rant, and that's absolutely fine! You just have to keep remembering your end goal and push on until you reach it.

I really will miss University something rotten, but I'm really excited to move on with my life and see what the future has to hold. Side note: please don't take my word as gospel or let anything I say deter you from going to University if you're a prospective student. This is a list based on my own experience and with my own opinions.

Are you looking to start University? Let me know what you're excited for and what course you're thinking of doing. Or have you just graduated? Let's have a chat about what University taught you!

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