You’re in the last year of school. Everyone’s thinking the same thing: you’re about to leave a place that has spoon-fed you for the last 6 years. And now, you’ve been told to “go face the real world”. Yes, the transition is quite dramatic. Yes, it might be the most strange and daunting but most meaningful experience. Yes, it might force you to think differently. However, you’ve made it through semester one, and finally got a taste of the awaited “university life”. Now, it’s time to reflect and apply the lessons we’ve learnt.
Lesson 1: Constant effort is required
University is not someplace where you show up for lectures “just because”, procrastinate and nick off your lecturer’s notes. That’s called “slipping through the cracks” and that only works in high school when our teachers were always there to push us. However, in University, around ninety percent of studying is done by individual research and note taking. It’s almost impossible to earn a decent mark through our high school ways.
UNSW EDSOC President Emma Tang phrases her advice as “University is not a place where things are given to you on a silver platter. It is challenging and requires a plethora of critical thinking, and if you want to make the most out of it, you have to carve out your own opportunities.”
Lesson 2: Making friendship circles are important
In high school, did you ever have a friend who was just your friend because you saw them five times a day? Well, that’s only because you had an easy way to get into contact. In high school, class times and break times were fixed, allowing you to bond with your friends without much effort. However, it’s different in university. It’s so important to make friends in university and keep in touch with the high school friends you truly love. In times of hardships or trouble, your friends are your pillars of support who know what you’re going through.
Lesson 3: Having a balance through time management is so so important
If you are one of those students who balanced school life with work and extracurricular activities, this might be a bit easier for you. However, for most people, it’s crucial to know that university is not all about placing your mind, body and soul into study. Working, socializing and time management are essential and important. They are the center of your university life. Unlike school, you’ll now need to handle more “adult stuff” which could range from more work shifts or trying to find financial stability, moving out and so on.
Lesson 4: University broadens your outlook of the world
Even though you’re one in an ocean of students, it’s less restrictive than school. It allows you to expand and grow your mindset. It’s all up to you to spread your boundaries and explore what is beyond your comfort zones. It’s all about moving forward even if you don’t necessarily want to, but need to in order to grow.
Many times in my high school years and from current high schoolers, I regularly hear “Will I be good enough?” “What if I can’t cope?” “What if it’s too hard for me?” Students always worry about not being able to put up with the pace because of constant assurances of people claiming that “University is much harder” or “After high school, get ready for ‘the real world'”.
What is “the real world”, anyway? It has a very broad definition and that’s for you to decide. Of course, in university you’re required to be self-sufficient and independent. However, after experiencing a semester, is the “real world” that terrifying? Not really. It may be harder, but that’s what makes you stronger. University brings on many challenges foreign to you. But, stay in your lane and keep pushing forward. It may be hard, but it’s not impossible.
Everything falls into your own two hands after graduation. It’s up to you to take control of your situation since no one else is held responsible for it neither will they take responsibility for it. Don’t get paranoid or afraid. Make an effort to reach out to as many opportunities as you can, stay on top of your game and when things get hard take it one step at a time and you will be fine.
Believe in yourself!
Last modified: August 16, 2016