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The much-needed structure university provides

I was having coffee with a friend, and we were discussing how impactful the university years, especially during our bachelor’s, were for us in terms of structuring. Every day we had a purpose, and we had a full schedule. For someone whose life is not yet figured out, this has a relevant impact on how we live our days. While for some people it might be okay to carry on without a set routine, for others is just dreadful. The comfort of knowing somewhat how your days are going to look like, at least, for the next three years is of unreplaceable value. While we rapidly realized that we might get that routine aspect out of a job as well, there might be some things missing.

For instance, each semester you would get a new chance. Either to learn new things from different courses or to perform better on new courses, letting go of the ones you didn’t like as much. When you have a course that is not pleasant, while it might be hard getting through it, you have the certainty that it will not last longer than a few months. While in a job, you don’t know. You always have a choice in quitting something you don’t like or trying to change positions or tasks, but the control is all on you. The risk is all on you. You have to take action to change “course” and accept the consequences (e.g., not finding a new job, receiving a no, getting fired, etc.). You have full responsibility for yourself, while in university almost everything is planned out for you.

Adding to this comes the establishment of goals. Your final goal was to finish a bachelor, and there were small steps guiding you towards that same end, be that attendance, group work, or exams. I honestly do not recognize the final goal of working or the small steps. For instance, when looking for a job, I know landing a job is the goal, and writing cover letters, sending applications, and going on interviews are the small steps. Therefore, while I think it is easy to get lost in our lives when we are trying to figure it out, since we might know the goals but do not have an established schedule; I also think it is not hard to lose track of time when we are working, as we have a schedule but we don’t see the end goal that clearly, nor the steps towards the end. It just seems like an infinite path until retirement.

Hence, as of right now I feel like the university years were good in the sense of providing us with a reliable structure that we should try to adopt for the rest of our lives. If you have any idea of what the small steps and the final goal of working are let me know. I’m sure it’ll solve all my sleepless nights.

Ana Leandro

Helsinki '22

Student of Politics and Communication with a huge passion for film and travelling.