5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started College (Uni)
Going from high school to university will probably be one of the biggest transitions of your life. It will be a time where you will grow the most as a person, experience quite possibly all the range of emotions a human can go through and it will one of the greatest times of your life (so far).
I started university in 2014 doing a Bachelor’s of Journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney. I had just finished my 12 years of schooling and couldn’t wait to start afresh studying something I initially thought was going to be my dream career.
However, one of the biggest things I’ve learnt so far is that life doesn’t necessarily go as planned. In my head, I had my whole life figured out. I would study university for 4 years, get a degree in what I loved, enjoy every single minute of it, and there would be a full-time job waiting for me on the other side. My expectations were far from reality. So for today’s post I will be sharing you 5 things I wish I knew when I started university.
1. The degree you started with might not be the degree you end up with
Ever since I was young, I loved reading and writing. English was one of the only subjects where I never struggled and could easily come up with ideas to put onto paper. So the most likely degree for me was journalism…. I could get a job where I would make a living from writing and sharing stories right?
One thing I discovered is that the decision you make in year 12 won’t be the same decision 1, 2 or even 5 years down the track. I know so many people who have transferred degrees or who have completed their degree only to realise it’s not what they want to do anymore. And that’s totally okay! A lot of universities allow students to transfer courses quite easily because they understand the struggle and expectations that we place on ourselves to choose a pathway that will undeniably shape the rest of our life.
Whatever decision you end up making, just remember that you’re not the only one and it is so important to stick with something that you genuinely love and believe in.
2. You will be 100% independent and responsible for yourself
Unlike high school, one of the biggest things I struggled with was not having someone to rely on in terms of work. In high school, every teacher knew who I was and I was used to someone constantly checking up to see how I was going.
In university it’s a lot different where most of your tutors won’t even remember your name let alone your face. You will have to remind yourself when to attend what lectures, submit assessments without the 10 harrowing reminders and, if you are struggling, it is your responsibility to seek help.
However, the upside of this stark reality was that it taught me the responsibilities of having to rely and depend on myself and the whole experience made me grow into an independent person.
3. University parties and events aren’t as hyped up as you imagined them to be
Let’s face it, one of the most anticipated things about entering university life was attending those hyped up parties that we see in the movies and music videos. Boy was I disappointed!
University parties can be great, don’t get me wrong because they do understand our financial struggles and give out AMAZING benefits and freebies. However, nearly all of the university related events I went to were always over-crowded and teeming with sweaty, obnoxiously loud and very intoxicated 20 year olds spilling cheap beer all over the place.
4. You will discover a lot about yourself
The person who entered university in 2014 is definitely not the same person as the one who graduated in 2017.
University is a time where you will go through a lot of rapid experiences that will force you to learn and develop as a person. It’s not necessarily university experiences but also social experiences, work and internship experiences and life experiences, whether you travel or meet new people. It’s a time where you are juggling 10 things at once and with that you are forced to grow and become more confident and sure of yourself without the restraints that you had as a teen.
5. A university degree isn’t the most important thing to a successful future
My final bit of advice that I learnt is that a certificate isn’t the only thing that will dictate a successful and happy future. Of course, it’s equally important to find a job and (lots and lots of) internships during the way. But it’s also good to note that not everyone needs a university degree to make it in life. What I’ve learnt is that you need to find that thing in life that genuinely makes you happy and is what motivates you to wake up every morning. For example for me, it’s my social media. I love creating content, taking photos and interacting with people online. I love the freedom and creativity that my platform provides and looking at all the successful influencers who are doing exactly what I want to be doing just drives me even more!
I hope you find these 5 honest and real university expectations helpful! Please share your thoughts because I would LOVE to read your opinions on this.