How My Life Changed After Entering University

If I could tell my 16-year-old self something, it would be “girl, you’re going to be just fine” 

After graduating from high school, I had very low self- esteem and always doubted myself. I thought I would never make any friends or achieve good grades. I thought I would remain the same person and have the same horrible experience as I had in high school. I was always the type of person in high school who put an immense amount of hard work into classes but didn’t get good results or any recognition for it. However, I always enjoyed studying, reading and learning new things.   


people sitting in chairs and taking notes The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash

I was very excited to start my first semester at university in the Business program. I was hesitant to take courses related to mathematics, as I was not good at it. I ended up taking a Calculus, Economics, Management and an elective course in the first semester. I felt intimidated to go to my first Economics lecture. I sat in the front row to be able to take better notes and listen closely to the professor. To my surprise, I was very proactive in class and was the first person to answer most of the questions. I started to feel comfortable and confident during those lectures and began doing very well in the assignments and quizzes. I ended up getting 100% in my calculus exam. 

In University, the friendly environment, useful resources on campus, and help from professors allowed me to focus better and achieve good grades.  I participated a lot in my classes and spent five hours a day doing schoolwork. I spent the same amount of time studying in university as I did in high school. Here, the environment made a difference and helped me perform better academically. 

During all this time, I met new people and made a lot of friends. Eventually, I realized that everything is different, and students are a lot more friendly and open to meeting new people. Unlike high school, I made friends in every class and was able to clarify any doubts I had. Over the years, I developed new skills: public speaking, communication and analytical. I started university thinking I was only capable of taking Marketing as a major, as I was poor in math. After the first semester, I achieved excellent grades in courses related to mathematics and switched my major to Economics. I am the same person who failed math in high school and yet got a 100% in Calculus in university. 


Keegan Acton and friend laughing Keegan Acton


Another very important part about university is going beyond the classrooms and getting involved. I took advantage of the opportunities offered in university, such as volunteering for events, attending networking cocktails and business conferences, which made me more confident and knowledgeable in my field of studies.  

When I look back, I wish I told myself to stop crying and to keep working hard. I know now that university is very different than high school. Ultimately, it’s the choices you make that help you gain a better experience and achieve a successful university career.