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First year has taught me five lessons that will stick with me forever because they are lessons that I have learnt through experience. As a university student, I technically was only here to complete a part of my undergrad but truly, I have also learned some important life lessons that I’m sure many of you may have learned during first year as well.


1. Perfection isn’t always necessary

Perfection has always been something I have chased, and I have realized that this is not the best for my mental health. Perfection is an illusion that an individual creates that makes them believe that they have done everything absolutely right, but the definition varies from person to person. Perfection is not always necessary, because something imperfect can tell a more beautiful tale and say something about one that shows their natural self.

I have learned that sometimes imperfection is better and it can actually bring out the better side of me. My first year made me realize that chasing perfection won’t help me, but chasing the best in me will. Just like in the picture below where my natural self is present but perfection is not there because of the blurriness.


2. Procrastination Won’t Help

We all love to watch our favourite shows and hang with our friends but sometimes we go overboard and don’t give our work enough time. Procrastination did not help me in my first semester. As a former procrastinator, I can say for a fact that I have been able to finish more work and assignments on time after I stopped procrastinating. I have been able to decrease my stress levels because I’m not doing everything last minute and that allows me to give my best in everything I do.


3. Be Grounded No Matter What

First year has taught me that everyone I meet here at university is intelligent and capable, and everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. This means that being arrogant won’t do any good for me. Being grounded can be very tough, but it is a strength that if mastered, can take you a long way. I have made so many friends and have interacted with so many people who are much smarter and capable than I am, so it’s better to become motivated by those individuals and grow rather than try to show my achievements. We are all seeds that still need to pop out of the ground and show ourselves to the world, so it's better we grow to the heights from the ground and remember where we came from.


4. You will meet a lot of different people

University is home to a lot of different people that come from different backgrounds and places, which is great because I was able to learn so much about people. Being exposed to a diverse group of people has taught me how to tackle difficult situations and how to make new friends. I have been able to discover a new self in this process because I have been able to find my strengths and weaknesses in relationships that I share with my acquaintances and friends. I have become less judgemental after attending my university for a year, indirectly helping me grow and mature as an adult.



5. Fun and Work are Both Important

Having fun and doing work is equally important! Going out with friends or just doing a spa night for yourself helps rejuvenate the body. This is a very big lesson because one needs a little time off to just relax. Being a workaholic, I love to finish things that are not even due in that week, but I forget that I need to give myself time in order to do my best in my work. First year has taught me a lot, but this lesson is one of the most important things I have learned. Work and fun are equally important to be successful.

After this year I am eagerly waiting to see what the next year has in store for me and what new things I will get to learn through my undergrad. As a student I have matured only a little, but I still have the next three years in my undergrad to learn even more. Until next time...



Photos: 1, 2



Tithi Joshi

Waterloo '22

She is a student at the University of Waterloo in Health Studies. With a passion for medicine, but has a love for writing.
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