Things I Have Learnt Through University

Sunday, 29 March 2015

So I'm in my final year and have roughly 2 months left before I graduate and uni is all over. I have discovered a lot of things through uni and realised a lot of things about myself and other people and thought I would give you some of them here and my advice on a few things. It's a great life experience for you to have and will probably be one of the most exciting few years you will have, meeting new people and growing your independence. I met my girlfriend, Laura, at uni and have never been so happy. Don't doubt the amazing people you can meet, and at the same time don't get held back by the negative people you will meet. Go out and make university what you want it to be!

9am Lectures - They are actually worthwhile
For some reason when you get to university, attending a 9am lecture seems to become a real effort. We've all been there in the morning when we have woken up and decided that we don't actually need to attend the 1 hour lecture and then go straight back to sleep. Surely there won't be anything important this early in the morning? As much as you might try and justify this to yourself, all lectures can have a real benefit to you and can give you a lot more than just reading through the slides that a lot of people end up doing. I'll be the first to admit there is the odd lecture that is a complete waste of time, but the majority are useful and are designed to help you with your studies, not just a time to get you out of bed.

Work/Life Balance - You do have time for both
Going through uni, you will come to point thinking you can't possibly have time to get your assignment finished before the end of the week, especially seen as you have two parties to attend before then. No one said you can't go out and still manage to put enough time into your work. If you know you want to go and do something else, plan in time ahead of this to complete your work. I'm the first to admit I've said I don't have time to get everything done, but I seem to forget the hours spent in bed in the morning, time sat watching endless shows on Netflix, or the days and nights spent doing other things. Yes you can still do all these things, but if you go out in the day for example, you are actually allowed to do uni work in the evenings. So what I'm trying to say is just plan your time wisely and you will actually have a lot more time than you think.

It's not all about going out
Its freshers week and you have been out night after night and your week seems to blur into one long drinking and sleeping session. Time goes on and the attraction of going out and getting drunk most nights starts to wear off but your flatmates are telling you that you 'have' to come out. There are different types of people when it comes to going out, some love going out all the time, and others aren't interested by it. Yes it's nice to relax, take time off your work and have a laugh, but this doesn't mean you have to go out all the time. As I got through uni I found I was quite happy just chilling out at my flat on the sofa watching episode one after another on Netflix. I wasn't able to go out and be up the next day carrying on with my uni work, some people can I know but this doesn't mean they should presume everyone should be the same as them. My advice, if you don't want to go out and you aren't going to enjoy it, don't waste your time any money just because your 'mates' tell you that you 'have to'.

Part-time Job - It's worth it
Most students have experienced the horrifying feeling of checking their bank account and staring desperately into the empty pit that is what you have left for the many weeks remaining. I had a part time job before I went to uni and was able to transfer up to a store where I lived in uni to work, and then transfer back in the holiday times. I know this isn't possible for everyone but there will be a lot of jobs out there when your first move to university. These will go quickly and there are a lot more students wanting jobs than there are positions available. Get in early and you should have a much better chance at getting one. You might think you won't have time to work, do your uni work and still go out etc. I found having a job gave me more structure and forced me to organise myself and work around doing shifts. One bit of advice about working, don't take an unrealistic amount of hours on. Yes you might think its a great idea working 25 hours a week, thinking you will get a huge paycheck at the end of the month. You will soon find if you do this, your uni work might start suffering. After all that's what you are there for, to study and get good grades. You have plenty of time in the holidays and after uni to earn more money so leave it until then. My main point for having a job is having the extra cash is always good, but be sensible with how many hours you actually work.

Work Experience
I am currently doing a part time placement while in my final year. I wish I had thought about this in my first year, because even though you might think its years away until you graduate and need to think about getting a full time job, work experience is a valuable asset on your CV. Basically, the more you can do the better, and try and get something close to what you want to go into after uni, this is something employers are very keen on.

Check, check and check again
You will have enough stress trying to get your assignments in and the last thing you want to do is re-read what you have been looking at for the past days. I found I was always working towards the deadline and thinking I have until then to finish it. What I didn't consider is allowing enough time to check over what I had written for my assignments. After I started doing this, I found I was picking up lots of little mistakes that I have looked over and not seen before. Lecturers have said checking over your work properly can push you up a whole grade. I have without doubt noticed a big improvement in my work after checking it a few times. My advice, finish your work a few days before the deadline and put it away the day you finish it and give yourself a break from it. The next day go and re-read it and be critical of your writing and you will notice how many little things you can improve.

So there's some of the things I have learnt while being at university. If you have any questions or anything to add comment below and I will get back to you.

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