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Reflections on my Undergrad: A Fourth-Year Student Looking Back

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

It’s hard to believe that my undergraduate degree is coming to an end in less than a month’s time. These are my last four weeks as a student before heading into my career and starting a new chapter of my life.

Although that’s terrifying to think about, my undergraduate experience has been amazing. It has been inspiring, enlightening, and absolutely transformative. The journey has been full of laughter, disappointment, breakthroughs, and valuable lessons.

In passing the torch to the next generation of university students, here are some key takeaways that have shaped my undergraduate experience.

1. Accept FAILURE

Mistakes are inevitable, but they serve as powerful learning opportunities. Failure is simply temporary, and resilience is the key to bouncing back stronger than before. The road to success isn’t linear, so stay diligent.

2. Time management is key

Balancing academics, extracurricular activities, and personal commitments is not an easy feat and requires effective time management skills. Setting realistic goals, creating a plan, and breaking down tasks into manageable chunks are all important components of successful time management. 

3. Build connections

Surround yourself with peers and mentors who inspire, guide, and challenge you to reach your full potential. Attend industry events, join organizations, and reach out to other professionals in your field. The right network will prove to be a valuable asset to your personal and professional success.


Don’t be afraid to take risks and explore new opportunities. Now is truly the time. And if you ever doubt yourself, remember that if you never ask, the answer is always no.

5. prioritize self-care

Don’t let your mental, physical, and emotional well-being slip through the cracks while juggling university life. Prioritize self-care to maintain balance and prevent burnout because, trust me, it’s very real. 

6. Stay curious

Cultivate a thirst for knowledge and remain curious about the world around you. Embrace lifelong learning to improve your intellectual and personal abilities, even outside of a school environment. 

7. Learn to say no

Setting boundaries is crucial for preserving your time and energy. Learn to say no to commitments that don’t align with your priorities and values. It’s great to have a diverse portfolio, but not at the expense of your mental health. Spreading yourself too thin can cause more harm than good.

8. Take ownership of your education

Your education is in your hands. Take initiative, explore topics of your interest, and seize the opportunity to broaden your perspective. Slacking off is merely a disservice to yourself. Become involved both inside and outside the classroom, dipping your toes into extracurricular activities and contributing to the school environment.

9. Practice gratitude

It’s easy to lose sight of all the blessings and opportunities that come your way while in the throes of chaos at university. Take some time to reflect, be grateful and appreciate the little things. Recognizing your successes and accomplishments can help overcome the threat of imposter syndrome. Acknowledge your progress and hard work as you continue on your journey toward graduation and beyond.

Ultimately, as my undergraduate degree comes to an end, I’m pretty pleased with how things have turned out. Writing for Her Campus, in particular, has been an absolute blast, giving me a chance to capture bits of my life in these articles. It’s been a whirlwind of three years, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

This is Aishah Ashraf, signing out.

Aishah Ashraf is a fourth-year journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University whose hopes to pursue a career as a talk-show host are fuelled by her passion to remedy the absence of female Muslim representation in the entertainment industry. When she isn’t writing, you can find her rambling on about pop culture, watching football, or binge-watching shows on Netflix like the television fanatic she is.