So, I graduated last month and I finally feel able to talk about it. It seems weird, but I’ve probably been putting off addressing this huge milestone because it doesn’t quite seem real, or, perhaps rather, I don’t want it to be. I’ve popped down ten things that I’ve learnt during my three years at uni.
1. Cheap is not necessarily the best option.
Obviously, as this blog suggests, I love a good bargain. However, I’ve learnt that there are some things that you just can’t scrimp on. Ketchup and cheese, for example…and vodka, please, for the love of god, don’t drink cheap vodka!
2. You can’t do everything.
Think you’re going to conquer that long reading list? Or perhaps commit to netball club, debating society and have a part-time job? Sure, it could be possible, but most likely it’s not going to happen – at least if you want to stay sane. There are some people at uni who seem to be doing everything, but from my experience, it’s best to accept that you’re not Hermione Granger.
3. Some people are complete arseholes…
It’s true what Bowling for Soup said, high school never really ends and you will meet some complete wankers during your three years. Whether that’s the guy who insists on playing Wonderwall on his Argos guitar at every pre-drinks or the bitch who is best friends with you to your face but slags you off behind your back, or hey, even the bus driver who kidnaps you! (The bus driver thing is a true story.)
Yes, unfortunately, you will encounter some awful people at uni – just try not to turn into one yourself.
4. …But some people aren’t.
However, you may also meet some absolutely amazing people! I don’t want to get gushy, but I’ve been with Aaron for almost three years now thanks to meeting him in my halls of residence. I’ve also set an unprecedented record for myself and became friends with an actual group of girls for the first time ever! #squadgoals
University also gives you a chance to meet a huge range of people, whose paths you probably wouldn’t normally cross!
5. It’s okay to say no.
This is important on so many different levels, from peer pressure to work/life balance. I’m going to concentrate on the latter. I am definitely the sort of person who says ‘yes’ to a lot favours people ask me. I have really good weeks, where I feel like I could take on the world, and then the week after I’ll become overwhelmed and regret saying ‘yes’ to everything, from that extra shift to a catch up with my friends. It’s definitely okay to say ‘no’ to some things and put your own well-being first.
Of course, you can’t say ‘no’ to deadlines, but you can relieve some of the stress by keeping other commitments to a minimum.
6. If you really want it, you’ve gotta go get it.
I think I’ve always lived like this, but I’ve definitely seen the results at uni. Yes, I did achieve a first class degree, however, I worked bloody hard for it. I spent countless days and nights in the library, rewriting, reading outside of the reading list and going above and beyond! I eventually exhausted myself, but, you know what, I am kind of glad I put myself through that because it paid off.
7. Sometimes you have to put yourself first.
A bit similar to point number five, but I really can’t stress enough how much this has applied during my time studying. Sometimes you have to be a little bit selfish and put your own needs first, and yes even before your academic work. Take a break, get out of the student bubble for a weekend and just chill out. I did this just after I handed in my dissertation in but before the rest of my exams started and it did me a world of good.
8. It isn’t worth £9,000 a year.
It’s true, the government have completely fucked us over, and it’s apparently about to get worse, for which I can only send my condolences to those wanting to further their education. Of course, I can’t speak for every university or course, and my university wasn’t terrible or anything, but the course I took certainly wasn’t worth £27,000! That’s without what I spent on accommodation and living. I’m basically entering my 20s in around £40,000 – £45,000 debt!
9. …But I guess, overall, the experience is invaluable
I guess I can’t put a price on the experience I’ve gained whilst at uni, however. I have met some of my best friends and obviously Aaron too. I’ve also been able to leave home at the age of 18 and survive and I’m now happily settled with a job and house, so one can’t really complain. Or can we? I’m still not convinced.
10. Blink and you’ll miss it
Uni is a weird one basically. Although, I feel like the people I’ve met I’ve known my whole life, and in a way they are my life now, the three years seem to have gone so so fast. It doesn’t seem five minutes since I walked into the kitchen and introduced myself to seven strangers, some of them are now life-long friends.