5 Things I Learned in University

As the last few weeks of school are coming to an end, it has really started to hit me that I will be graduating in the spring. Four years of my undergrad... finished. My first year of university seems like a lifetime ago. So much has changed, including myself. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I am grateful for every experience that I have encountered on this journey, as it has shaped me into the person I am today. As I reflect back over the years, here are just a few things that I have learned.

  1. 1. It’s OK to not have everything figured out

    There’s a huge misconception that everyone in university knows exactly what they want to do after they graduate – I mean, they chose their  program for a reason, right? This can be especially stressful if you are not quite sure about your own future. Although, I noticed that this is  incredibly common, and very few people have a set plan. As you move through the years you may also find that you don’t enjoy the program you are in, which is okay! Switching programs is also very common. So don’t stress because you’re not exactly sure what you want to do, follow your heart, take the time to figure out what you like and don’t like, it’s never too late to make a change!

  2. 2. Try new things

    University is a time where you learn about so many different things, but most importantly ourselves. The way you approach your university experience makes all the difference. So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things - whether it’s joining a club or sports team. This is a great way to make new friends, create new experiences, and make university more than just a place you commute to and go to class, or a place you spend in your residence. Make the most of it because you only experience it once, and as they say these are the best years of our lives.

  3. 3. Balance is key

    While getting good grades is very important, it’s just as important to maintain a balance of school work, a social life and time for yourself. As we all know, school can be incredibly stressful and it can be difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to get done. But it’s critical to give yourself a break and regroup. Although grades are important, so is your own well-being! So try to stay organized and plan out what you need to do, while making sure to include time to relax and hang out with your friends.

     

  4. 4. Ask for help if you need it

    Asking help from a professor or TA can be intimidating. We often think that we will sound dumb or are annoying them, but more often than not they are happy to help because that is part of their job after all. I have recently come to this realization, and I wish I had sooner. Being surrounded by friends who weren’t afraid to ask questions, really encouraged me to ask more myself. It provides clarification that not only helps  your understanding but also your grades. So don’t be afraid, use the resources around you, and ask for help when you need it!

     

  5. 5. You can do it

    As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. University is hard and everyone has their moments of self-doubt where they just don’t think they can do it - whether it’s a handing in all your assignments, getting a certain grade, or making a presentation. When we are overwhelmed, we often feel that we cannot handle the tasks ahead of us. But it’s important to remember that you can! With some hard work and use of any external resources you may need to help you, you can do it and you will! So breathe, stay positive, and push through this tough period because it’ll be a great accomplishment to look back on.

Four years of your undergraduate degree can teach you a lot, especially about yourself. We are constantly changing and growing with each new experience, ultimately shaping us into who we are and who we will become. Looking back at my university experience, I feel so nostalgic as I am moving on to another chapter of my life. I’m so thankful for everyone I’ve met and every experience I’ve had. I cannot imagine it any other way. Here’s to the future!