Well having been at university for three years, here are the five main things I’ve learnt.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
This is a given, university teaches you how to budget, or, how NOT to budget in some cases! You’ve all experienced times when you’re counting down the days until your loan comes in… either because you’ve been patiently saving for those new shoes or you’ve splashed your cash on booze. Cooking, clothing, paying rent, you name it, at uni you’ve got to watch that bank account. But remember we all have different priorities… some of us don’t mind those 23p cans of beans!
This is probably the biggest learning experience of them all… learning about yourself. Being at university teaches you so much about who you are as an individual. Starting at 18 and leaving at 21, I have grown so much as a person, as have many others; the same can be said for mature students. University life pushes your limits – and I’m not just talking about hangovers! You grow in confidence, learn to deal with stress and find your independence alongside making life-long memories. University is about trying new things and meeting new people and with that in mind, meeting new people brings me to my next point…
Age is just a number!
Okay, I know this sounds a little weird but bare with me. When you’re at uni you soon meet people of ALL ages and backgrounds. From mature students to 17 year old exchange students, you get to know people from all walks of life and learning about different people’s experiences is pretty interesting. After a while, you soon forget that your closest friend is five years older than you, and the person sitting next to you in lectures has grandchildren! This is one of the best things about university; it brings people together that you’d probably never have mingled with on the outside world!
Sometimes, people clash.
There’s no denying that university creates life-long friendships and pretty awesome memories. But as we’ve just discussed, we all have different life experiences and some people’s personalities sometimes simply clash. As horrible as it is, ‘drama’ is not an unusual word within uni life, and whilst friendship miss-haps can be a hard experience, you learn about maturity and how to deal with complicated situations. It’s important to remember that you’ll never please everyone you meet – and if you try to do this, you’ll end up far worse off than if you just appreciate the close friends that you ‘click’ with.
University can become a bubble.
Being at university for three years of your life means you get pretty used to the people, the way things work, and general university life. Especially if you’ve experienced living on campus, you’ll know how this feels. Living in this uni ‘bubble’ for three years has can be both a good and bad thing. You make friends that you’re used to seeing pretty much all the time, you have your routine nights out and you know the campus like the back of your hand. This is a great feeling but unfortunately there comes a day when you have to leave and venture out into the world. Uni essentially becomes your second home and saying goodbye is bound to be a little tricky. This is why it’s important to appreciate university whilst you’re there… amidst the 9am lectures, midnight library visits, nights out and deadlines.
The cliché is true, university IS a life experience, but remembering to balance out the uni lifestyle with keeping your head focussed on that degree qualification… you’ll certainly be graduating with plenty of smiles, a few tears, and some amazing years to look back on.