There are a lot of different perspectives when it comes to talking about university, which makes sense because everyone has an entirely different experience. When I was doing my A-Levels, university was presented as the only option if you wanted to have a successful future. Obviously that isn’t the case. There are so many options in this day and age, so if you feel like university isn’t for you, then you shouldn’t worry about your life being hindered by not going. But that being said, I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity. And, I also feel so lucky that my experience has overall been a positive one. Honestly, I can’t imagine who I would be had I not gone to university. It is definitely an experience that has brought so many positive changes about in my life.
My university years, without being over-dramatic, have been life-defining. Looking back on who I was four years ago is like looking at a completely different person. So, here are the ways in which university changed me.
Before I came to university I was so shy. I wouldn’t dare talk to new people, I hated public speaking and just the thought of going to a party or any other social situation filled me with dread and anxiety. Now I’m not saying that has completely gone away, but I am so much more confident now. Being plunged into a new life and social situation where you don’t know anyone really forces you to come out of your shell. And although it’s nerve-wracking at first, the nerves slowly but surely disappear. You realise that everybody is in the same boat, so there is really nothing to worry about.
In my recent post about my body confidence journey, I touched a little bit upon how university helped me in terms of becoming confident in both my self and my body, so many sure you check it out!
When I came to university, I moved from the countryside in Cheshire to Leeds. Although Leeds isn’t the largest city in the country, it’s a city. And I am a city girl. Honestly, I hated Cheshire because I always felt trapped and isolated. But moving to a City it feels like the world has opened up. Going to university is the perfect way to immediately become independent. And, although this can be scary at times, it is honestly so liberating. Whenever I go back home now it is so strange to have to go back to living by someone else’s rules. University has allowed me to create my own rules and live my life the way that works for me.
I Learned What “Hard Work” Actually Is
If you come to university thinking it’s all fun and games then honey you are sorely mistaken. Obviously there are times when the workload isn’t as much, and it really does depend on what degree you’re doing and what classification you’re aiming for, but my degree has been hard work. Especially when you get to your final year, there is so much work that your degree literally becomes your life, so you better make sure you actually enjoy your subject.
As well as work for university, I also learned what it’s like to work hard outside of uni. Whether it be in part-time jobs or internships, you realise what level of work is actually expected of you in the adult world. I am really glad that I have had this experience because although you won’t always enjoy hard work, it does instil within you a great work ethic.
Pursue Your Passions
When I was a teenager, I literally had no passions in life. Sure, I liked reading and I still do, but I wasn’t passionate about it. University has really blessed me with the time to figure out what I genuinely enjoy in life. I know for certain that if I hadn’t gone to uni, then I wouldn’t have started a blog and developed my passion for writing. And hopefully, my passions will only continue to develop as I get older.
One Word: Budgeting
Before uni, whatever I earned in part-time jobs was just money that I could spend on things I want. Now, any money I earn has be carefully budgeted and sorted into different pots. It’s an arduous process, but it’s worth it when you save enough to go on killer holidays. Coming to uni has changed the way I see money, it’s a privilege and something to be handled carefully. It isn’t something to squander.
Surround Yourself With Good People
This is a difficult one, at any stage in your life. But, over the past few years, I have changed my outlook on friendships. Do they make me feel good about myself? Are they a nice and good person? Do they appreciate me? If they don’t fit this list, then I don’t give them much thought. Not everyone you meet will end up being a good friend and a positive influence on your life. True friends are a rare breed, so make sure you cherish them.
Things Don’t Always Work Out and That’s Okay
This is a valuable lesson for life in general. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try and how good your intentions are, things just don’t work out. This can apply to an essay that you pour your heart and soul into, only to receive a bad grade that you don’t think reflects your efforts. Or, you can try to make a bad situation work only to have to give up. Giving up isn’t failing and just because things don’t work out doesn’t mean that it is your fault, remember that.
University taught me to set myself life goals and do everything in my power to achieve them. I don’t want to look back on my life with any regrets, so I want to be as ambitious and hard-working as I can be. For lack of a better phrase: You have to go out and grab life by the horns. You want to start a blog? Do it. The only person stopping you from achieving your goals is you.
What lessons did you learn during your University years? I would love to know your perspective on the university experience down in the comments! Recently, I have really been enjoying writing these “thought-piece” type posts, so I would love to know what you think and if you have been enjoying them!
Jumpsuit: Primark (this season)
Boots: Primark (old season)
T-Shirt: Marks & Spencer