It feels like almost yesterday that I walked the green grounds of my university, books in hand, nervousness and anxiety at the forefront and a palpating excitement to begin this new chapter in my life. Now that I have graduated and it’s your turn to feel the exciting first-year rush, I have a few words of wisdom for you!
Here are some things I learnt in university:
Independence Is Exhilarating
Sure, you may have sufficient freedom back home. But that is limited to not having a curfew or staying out whenever. Living away from home at your university is a whole different ball game!
The kind of independence you have and experience is truly exhilarating. Be it grocery shopping, budgeting or picking studies over partying without anyone telling you to choose, you will have a strong sense of adulthood. You will feel grown up and this independence will help you make better decisions!
I Wasn’t Alone
I was living far away from anyone I knew or was familiar with. I hadn’t made any friends yet and I didn’t know a single soul. When I first started out, I had this sense of loneliness and fear hanging over me.
But soon, with time, the fear disappeared into thin air. Simply because I realised that what I was feeling then, everyone around me was feeling the same. All of us were alone, together! And so none of us were truly lonely. Each one of us understood what the other was feeling and we stood up for one another. This sense of togetherness with complete strangers taught me that relations bound by blood aren’t the only ones that are strong.
Budgeting Is Key
Everyone at university, especially in the first year, is short on the bucks. Mix this with no-restrictions on take-out and partying and you’re in for a disaster.
I quickly learnt that budgeting is the answer to your financial worries. Your wants will always surpass your needs. But when you have a budget, you can clearly see how much you can and should spend on things you need and things you like.
Believe me, one of the most important things I learnt in the first year of university is budgeting. And if you want to learn anything before uni, it’s this!
Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone
When we move to a new country, a new city, we are as out of our bubbles as possible. In such times, we start protecting ourselves by keeping to ourselves.
But you will soon realise that experiencing university life to its fullest means stepping out of your comfort zone. You will make friends from different regions and races, you will experience different cultures. But for that, you need to be open to experiencing newness in life first. And that is one of the most important things you will learn in the first year of university.
Procrastination Will Get You Nowhere
I quickly learnt in my first year that procrastination may be the worst of all evils. Pushing things to the last minute and procrastinating until the deadline showed the pressure of university life to me in the worst way possible. And that is why, this is the best advice I can give you of my first year university experience: STAY ON TOP OF THINGS.
Create to-do lists and schedules and keep track of deadlines. Once you have a calendar in place, get things done much in advance and the only pressure you will feel will be exams.
No matter how much research you do on how your university experience will be, you will only truly know once you’ve experienced it for yourself. So gear up! You have a wild ride ahead of you.