Things I Keep Learning as a University Student

School is such a unique time and experience, and university even more so. Each term is filled with new experiences and opportunities for students to try. Aside from formal education, there are also life long lessons to be learned in the many things you encounter as a student. As a student in the upper years of my university journey, some of the things I’ve learned in my first few years have been extremely formative and helpful. Here are some of the insights I’ve gathered so far during my time as a university student. 

  1. 1. Be Open To New Things

    You’ll encounter many things during your time in school, many of which may be completely new to you. As a university student, it’s a great time to explore and try different things. By doing so, you can learn a lot and gain new experiences. Maybe it’s trying out a class that has nothing to do with your major or immersing yourself to different ideas and cultures. By broadening your horizons, you might stumble upon something completely new and of interest to you. ​

  2. 2. Get Involved

    While getting a degree may be your priority, it’s no fun to just go to campus to attend your classes then promptly leave right after they end every day. Enhance your student experience by joining a club, volunteering for causes, or getting a part-time job. Doing any of these can make you feel less lonesome at school, which can seem like an extremely isolating experience. Getting involved is a great opportunity to meet people and can make you more comfortable in your school environment.

  3. 3. Have A Good Work-Play Balance

    Time management and sorting out your priorities are key in university and finding that work-play balance is everything. While your studies are extremely important, try to allow yourself some free time to just be you. Regularly allot time for your relationships, family, recreational activities and rest throughout the week. This will allow you to de-stress and will help keep you from getting burnt out. Additionally, it also helps when you don’t procrastinate.

  4. 4. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

    I’ve always been the type of student that doesn’t ask questions due to shyness or the dreaded feeling of embarrassment. However, I’ve come to realize the importance of asking. While I still may not be the most willing to talk when the whole lecture hall is listening, I’ve learned that it’s always better to ask when you’re unsure of something. If you’re not comfortable with doing it in public, you can always go up to your professor, your TA or whoever it may be. I’ve found that it’s better to ask in the first place than to anxiously wonder and dwell in regret later on. Besides, you can always ask after lectures or shoot your professor or TA an email if you’re not comfortable asking in public.

  5. 5. Failure Is Not The End (Unless You Make It)

    It’s a great feeling to have such good grades that you know you’ve worked hard for, but what if they’re not so great? It can be so discouraging and disappointing to receive a grade less than what you’re expecting. For a while, it may make you feel incompetent and even unmotivated. However, it’s important that you keep going and try to improve. Take it as a learning opportunity and grow from it.

  6. 6. It’s Okay To Change Your Mind

    You might have entered university with certain plans and expectations for yourself to achieve. While it’s great to have a guide, don’t set things in stone. Allow some flexibility in case certain things happen. You might find that you don’t love your program as much as you thought you would or you’re not doing as well as you’d like. We can be extremely hard on ourselves when we don’t reach our own expectations. When these things happen, we have to be a little forgiving of ourselves and look for the next best step forward.

These are just a few of the things that I’ve learned during my time at university. I’m sure there’s many more that you and I will learn in the upcoming months ahead. Whatever your experience may be, make the best out of every situation. I wish you all the best in this new school year!