Most people have a love-hate relationship with university. For some, it’s the time of their life. Newfound freedom, independence, unforgettable memories. For others, it’s the bane of their existence. Depression, uncertainty, pressure, feeling like they’re living someone else’s dream for them. A lot of people when asked why they’re in university say they were forced to by their parents and this is where the problem begins. Being ‘forced’. But whether or not you were forced to go to university here are a few tips on how to make your time at university feel less like a prison sentence.
First Thing’s First…Perspective
Before you spend the next 3-6 years complaining about how you were forced to go to university think about your perspective. Are you going with the mindset of a slave being forced to do work, or are you going with an open mind? If it’s the former then you’ve already lost.
The best thing you can do for yourself is break out of that mindset because whether you like it or not you’re going to university so why not just go with an open mind. ‘I don’t want to be here but let’s see what I can make out of it’ if you go with this perspective, you’ll get a lot more out of your time in university. Viewing your situation in a negative light will only hold you back from seeing the opportunities that lie in front of you.
Don’t See It As ‘£9250 a Year Just For A Degree’
Is a degree worth £9250 a year (plus extras)? Probably not but when you take in the other factors that £9250 offers then it probably is. For £9250 a year you’re surrounded by likeminded people around the same age as you. You’re in arguably the best environment to network and make life long friends. You get to create experiences and memories that you won’t be able to create anywhere else.
Unlike an apprenticeship where you’re surrounded by a bunch of miserable old-heads who probably hate their jobs and live to see the next weekend, at university the energy is different. You’re surrounded by a range of individuals from all over the world with different aspirations and goals, aspirations, and goals that might be similar to yours.
If you look hard enough you’ll find a number of people working towards a similar end goal to you and it won’t be a bad idea to surround yourself with such people. These people might turn into life-long friends. Friends that you’ll have shared unforgettable memories with because one thing for sure is that university will leave you with countless memories.
Can You Even Cook?
There are some things in life you’ll probably never learn until you get to university, like cooking or doing your own laundry. For many people, university is their first taste of independence. Mummy is no longer there to cook for you or make sure you’ve eaten three times a day. This might not sound like a good thing but it’s probably the best thing that’ll ever happen to you.
Once you’ve come to terms with the fact that on campus nobody cares about you (at least for the first month or so), you start getting your act together. When you’re hungry and you’ve run out of cash for takeaway you cook, even if you have no clue how. Once you’ve run out of clean underwear you realise you’ve got to do something about it…laundry, even if your whites turn pink. It’s all part of the learning process.
Over time you begin to understand how life works when you’re alone. You become independent, you become your own person. At first, it seems daunting but eventually going home for more than 3 weeks doesn’t even seem appealing anymore.
Why spend money going to Thailand to find yourself when you can just go to university.
Don’t Leave It In The Lecture Halls
If we’re being honest with ourselves no one knows how to enjoy university when it comes to lectures. Unless you’ve been blessed with a lecturer that makes learning fun, you’re just going to have to find a way to do it yourself. If you don’t enjoy your course or you struggle to stick to your revision time table don’t stress yourself too much, there’s a much simpler way to learn without feeling like you’re learning. All you have to do is ‘apply’
Most of us come out of our lecture halls with no intention to go over the class until it’s time to cram for exams. Rather than doing that, apply your course to your daily life. For example, if you’re studying ‘accounting and finance’ find a student business on campus and offer to do their accounts or get a part-time job (1-2 days a week) at least you’re getting paid for what you’re learning. And in doing this, you’re basically revising throughout the course of the year. By the time exams come the information will still be fresh in your head.
If you can’t find a job, say you’re an engineer, talk that engineer talk to your friends. They probably wouldn’t care about what you’re saying, but you’ll constantly be reminding yourself of aspects of information that you’ve picked up from lectures. The best way to learn is by teaching just so you know.
You’ve Started It, You Might As Well See It Through
Would you start building a bridge and stop halfway? It wouldn’t make sense, would it? So why start a university career, especially when you’re more than halfway through, just to stop it. You might as well see it through at the end of the day, no knowledge is lost. You won’t lose anything from finishing the course but if you don’t, you would have spent all that time and money (which you have to pay back) with nothing to show for it. And you never know when it might come in handy. It’s better to have something and not need it than need it and not have it.
If You’ve Got A Problem, Do Something.
So many people get into their university through clearing just to complain that the university doesn’t have such and such. First of all, if you had gotten the grades you needed you wouldn’t be having this conversation. Secondly, if you have a problem with something, constantly complaining isn’t going to make it go away so why not do something about it. Your university doesn’t have any ‘urban’ events? Start one. You wish there were alcohol-free events? Plan one.
The world is your oyster, and university is just one big playground. And to be honest, for how much you’re spending to be there, you might as well use their facilities as much as you can. Join sports teams, clubs societies because once you leave and get into the real working world, you probably won’t have the time to take part in those activities.
CBA To Read It All…
-Ask yourself: Am I only thinking about the negative aspect of university?
-£9250 isn’t just for a degree. It’s for unforgettable experiences, networking opportunities, finding yourself as an individual.
-You build your independence.
-Learning doesn’t just have to take place in the lecture halls, apply it to your life.
-If you have a problem then figure out how you can solve it. Complaining won’t get you anywhere.
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