I started university in September 2012 and after four years I am now finishing my degree in E-Finance (Computerscience & Finance) at Liverpool University.
It’s crazy being a student, it’s a strange bubble of existence that we live in there, in one way it’s like a 3 year holiday for most. You’re away from home, you get to do what you like, and for the most part you don’t have much to do. Unless you do a crazy subject, in which case I feel sorry for you.
Reflecting on the experience of university for myself, I remember hearing some phrases that people said about university before I went.
“University changed *insert name* when they went.”
We all know people on our Facebook timelines where they looked all quiet and innocent etc and then when they went to university, to our surprise they turned out to be overly outgoing – going to parties all the time etc. This may lead us to think that university changes people, however I would like to disagree with it. So if you’re planning to go university you don’t have to worry, or maybe you do – I don’t know. I believe that university takes away a lot of the barriers that you have growing up, the ridged nature of school/college life, restrictions by parents, people in your neighbourhood etc. At university you literally have a clean slate, nobody knows who(or what) you are for the most part – you could go there and pretend to be someone that you’re not and nobody would know. So I believe that university starts to reveal who you really are, you have to make decisions for yourself. If you want to eat chicken noodles everyday for 3years, who is going to stop you? Its wonderful XD
I think this is why university can be so character building and defining for people, we are forced to make daily decisions. We have to say Yes and No to a lot of things we never even knew were questions worth discussing. Do I eat today or do I pay the electric bill? This also can make university challenging, it’s not easy to adjust to this way of life and it can be stressful. Building friendships, and taking advantage of support networks are vital for staying sane and getting the most out of university. Mental health is not a joke, and never will be – we need to look out for each other.
and the other quote is:
“You make friends for life at university.”
I was very skeptical about this one, not because I don’t like making friends – but because I have such great friends at home in Birmingham, surely I couldn’t find any better; at least that’s what I thought. I remember being dropped off at my house in first year, didn’t even know where the nearest bustop was – wondering how I would make friends and if I would enjoy university at all. After finishing I can safely say there’s no way I would have finished without the friends that I made there, they are like family. You live with them, study, play, eat, drink, party, stay up till stupid o’clock talking about foolishness – and I genuinely think my university experience was the best simply because of the bonds formed with people there. Getting stuck in with societies, and getting involved with running student activities is fun. Also getting involved with things outside uni (In my case a local church) keeping yourself in touch with the ‘real’ world and also building relationships with people that aren’t just students too.
So to those thinking about going to university, I would encourage you to go – it really is worth while. And to those who have been or are currently there now, let us take a moment to reflect on how fun it can be. Yes it has it’s challenges and I don’t know if uni is for everyone, but it has definitely been a very defining part of my life so far. And I also got a degree too lol.
Would love to hear what you guys think about it all, feel free to leave your thoughts,